Entry 28: Arriving in Singapore
We were to board the largest airplane in the world, an Airbus 380. Mom was a bit anxious about the idea. We breezed through security and enjoyed our time waiting to board at the new international terminal.
Once in Singapore:
The first destination was the Marina Bay Sands Resort with its famous pool on top of a boat-like structure which is itself on the roof of three skyscrapers.
The Rain Oculus at the Marina Bay Sands – The Shoppes
Entry 29: Rain, Sun and Orchids
The Botanical Gardens’ main attraction is the Orchid Garden – I must say, I had never seen so many different varieties of orchids in a single place.
Entry 30: Honking and Guilt
As the day was coming to a close, we went to the beach next to the Ashram to see the sunset. The sun was red as it bled into the horizon. From what I have witnessed, the sun doesn’t set into the sea in India since the air is too hazy.
If you have not met Amma yet, you can find out more about her by visiting Amma’s official website: Amma.org (which also contains an events page with dates and locations for her tours, including trips to the US, Europe and Japan – other than India). Amma has also received many humanitarian prizes for her charity work. She has recently given a talk at Stanford University about compassion, which is available on YouTube:
Entry 34: Feeding Lakshmi
Lakshmi is very sweet. She was extremely patient with all the pictures and allowed us to touch her belly and head. Naturally, we also brought plenty of fruits to feed her. I brought a few bananas and apples. She was not very pleased with a single banana or apple. She wanted it all at the same time. It was incredible to see her eat a watermelon – she took the whole thing and dropped it in her mouth. As for a pineapple, she used her skills to break off the top and eat just the fruit part. Very smart!
Entry 36: Boats and Bliss
Entry 37: Less is More
Our room is probably 10 by 10 square feet including the tiny bathroom. We have two mattresses on the floor. We bought some lines to extend our laundry on the roof of our building as well as some detergent to wash our clothes and a few plastic hangers.
Entry 39: Chaos, Beauty and Lessons
There were buses, cars, motorcycles, people, and lots of honking. We managed to get going, though. The road leading to the temple was decorated beautifully with strings of different colors.
Entry 40: The Sky as a Roof
As we moved closer, we realize this was an open-air Catholic Church. Underneath the concrete slab, there was a poster with a picture of what the church will look like when completed. But, for now, it sits atop the channel, and it uses the sky as its roof.
Entry 42: Tour Time
Two days before the departure, buses painted with Amma’s name on them started showing up everywhere around the Ashram.
In the afternoon, we decided to go for a stroll at the University campus. Amma created this school from the ground up. It is on the other side of the bridge, close to the town of Valliklavu (where the main attraction is the Church in the Sky). The campus is a gem. Its buildings are beautiful, and the grounds are extraordinarily clean and well-kept.
Entry 43: East Meets West
We are in Varkala today, a beach town just two hours away from the Ashram. I had seen pictures of this place but didn’t expect so many little shops, restaurants, Ayurvedic clinics and yoga studios. Very relaxing. I have never been in a place as laid back like this.
Entry 44: Lulu Mall