I walked down the busy street to my hotel.
I was drawn in to a temple with the percussion of a table and the stare of a guru. I sat cross-legged on the ground on a rug over the marble floor. I closed my eyes and listened to the chants echo off the marble and through my head.
Oh the dulcet chants.
I sat like a buddha with my eyes closed and my ears open.
And I played the day through my head: of women in colorful saris wrapping red string around banyan trees as the sweet incense burned.
The sweet song ended.
I opened my eyes and gave namaste to the musicians.
The guru, with piercing black eyes and a soft salt-and-pepper beard blessed me with a saffron tika on the center of my skull.
A saffron third eye if there ever was one.
The guru sent me off with a handful of crystal anise sweets and boulder sugar candy. And he bade me take a bowl of lentils and rice in a bowl made of leaves.
And I carried my leaf bowl of dal and my handful of candies into the white lights of the swerving traffic of the night.