Bodh Gaya

Somehow I expected this town to be a small, quiet town filled with monks and pilgrims.  It is that, but it is also a crazy place filled with people asking you for money, selling things, shops, people pushing past, man powered rickshaws whirling past, colors, noise, all pushing you toward sensory overload.

And then this little boy about 7 comes up to me.

Boy: Can you buy me a bat and ball?
Me: What?
Boy: A bat and ball?
Me: Really?
Boy: Yes please.  Where are you from?
Me: The USA.
Boy: Do you speak Thai?
Me: No
Boy: Do you speak Chinese?
Me: No
Boy: I speak English, Thai and Chinese?
Me: How did you learn all of those languages?
Boy: “I learned from the monks. They come from all over.  One monk teaches me each time he comes to visit.  I miss him.  I feel it in my heart…” He touches his heart.

He continues to tell me about his life and how much he studies while directing me toward the store to pick up his ball and bat.

Me: How far is it?
Boy: Not far, over there.
Me: What is your name?
Boy: My name is Vikram.
Me: I have a friend named Vikram.
Boy: Now you have two.
Me: I think you are a genius
Vikram: Nah, I’m not a genius.
Me: I think you are!  I think when you grow up you are going to run India!

He laughs.

Me: Are we any closer to this shop?
Vikram: Yes, Yes, it’s right over there.  See.
Me: Ji ha.

He asks for the bat and ball and out comes a complete cricket set.

Me: What?!
Vikram: Please.
Me: Yes, How much?
Store owner: 700 rupees.

This pint size kid is carrying an entire cricket set home. I’m worried someone will take it away from him so I offer to walk him home. My guide Rashid starts to freak.
Rashid: You can’t walk him home.
Me: Why?
Rashid: He can take care of himself. He got you to buy him an entire cricket set, didn’t he?
Me: He is still a kid and I want to walk him home.

Maybe your mom can make me some tea, I say to Vikram.

I think my guide is going to faint.

Rashid: I advise you not to walk him home.
Me: Why, you’re here.
Rashid: It’s not advisable even for me.
Me: Oh.

Vikram sees his mom and runs over. I go over to meet her. I tell her that her son is a genius. She smiles warmly.

Goodnight Vikram. He waves.

About EssentialYoga Studio

Roberta has been practicing yoga since 1988 and has been teaching yoga since 1994. She has trained under master yoga teachers Swami Padmananda, Patricia Walden, Manouso Manos, Father Joe Pereira, Zoë Stewart, Karin Stephan, Liz Owen and others. She continues to study with her Iyengar teachers, Patricia Walden and Peentz Dubble. Roberta has studied yoga at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Memorial Institute in Pune, India during June 2011, February 2014 and attended Abhijata's intensive in Pune, India December 2016. Roberta is currently enrolled in Peentz Dubble's two year Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training Program. Additionally, Roberta completed training and certification with Elise Browning Miller as 'Yoga for Scoliosis' instructor. She completed a 500 hour Hatha Yoga Certification program with AURA Wellness Center and is registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 500. She has been a Certified Meditation Teacher since June 2007 and has been an Usui Reiki Practitioner since 1989. Roberta's Personal Practice Philosophy: Health issues have changed and deepened my practice. You will see many photos of me using a variety of props. On days I don't feel well, instead of saying, "I can't practice today", Iyengar Yoga has taught me to say, "How can I practice today".
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