a dog linda and i affectionately named mama last year when we met her and her newborn puppies, all of which were taken in by yoga students. dogs here tend to not stray too far. they gather in packs and are rather protective of the area they consider their "home", and the other dogs they run with. if you can imagine, the social hierarchy they create is quite gang like.
i think mama was fond of us. that is to say, she allowed us close to her and her newborns. like most dogs here, she has a softness that is beyond words, and simultaneously she is fierce. the dogs in india are wise far beyond their age. look into their eyes and witness the experiences of many lifetimes wrapped into one. from such a young age they look like wise old men to me. they've seen some things!
many nights i wake to the sounds of vicious dogfights, either nearby or off in the distance. the morning yields the results, a limping dog, or fresh open wounds. last week i discovered that a group of puppies had rolled in hot tar...the wounds were unimaginable and they are lucky to be alive.
so when i saw mama looking relatively healthy i was happy. she received my touch just as she had when i last offered it.
as ashtangis returning to mysore yearly we come back and witness a community growing and dying. our part time roll here is a blip in their existence. for me its both fascinating and humbling to return home and see how my nervous system tries to reconcile that both "this" and "that" are happening at the same time and on the same planet. trying to describe that experience in detail is for another lifetime maybe.