The day dawns with a bit of trepidation - today we meet our classmates and having heard of how some previous classes failed to gel there is a bit of concern. But the excitement (and determination not to let that happen) takes over - plus there's the fact that we're meeting Claudia for the first time too.
Which is an interesting experience in itself - not that anything out of the ordinary happens, quite the contrary. It's just so strange how we met via the Internet and immediately get on so well together.
So just before 4pm we head over to KYM for the introductory meeting. Most of the teachers and students are there, and the place is buzzing with subtle anticipation. I pay the remainder of my fees by banker's draft, only then realising that it is possible to pay by credit card (which would have saved some minor hassle). Admin over, we head upstairs to the practice room that is to be home for the next four weeks.
The sea of faces there tells us how International this course truly is. Soon we are asked ot introduce ourselves, and we find out the countries of all our new friends - USA (one originally from India, one from England), Germany, Israel, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Chile, Australia, India, Costa Rica and, of course, Scotland. Colin, I notice, seems to forget he is a Scotsman when introducing that he comes from England so I let everyone know that when I introduce myself, just to be on the safe side ;-)
The feeling in the room is very comforting - an amazingly accurate precursor of how well we gel together in days to come. Everyone seems so fascinating, with a real story to tell. I know that my focus is the course itself, but it seems such a wonderful life opportunity to get to know all these fascinating people that I won't be stopping myself from that distraction for sure.
Little Rosa from Portugal (there with her mum, Ana, who is doing the course, and dad, Gonzalo), who is three years old and has the clearest blue eyes you ever saw (and impish smile to match) steals the show and earns not one but two garlands of flowers from Desikachar himself. "Sir" (as he is known by staff here) talks briefly to us before handing us back to Shridharan, who is to be our philosophy teacher. After our introductions we each receive a bag full of books and CD's from KYM Publications and a garland of flowers. Then it is over and slowly we begin to drift away.
Claudia and Pedro are thinking of going back for some sleep, but jump ships when they hear our plans to visit the beach. So off to Elliott's Beach we head again, to another beautiful sunset, though not quite so special as the day with Navin and friends as it has become slightly familiar now. We spend an hour there chatting and taking in the ambience before heading off to Hotel Bharani (see "Conned in Chennai") for another excellent dinner.
A brief browse on the net, and then it's off to bed once more with thoughts of the possibilities of next day and beyond filling my mind.