Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Third Duenna

Remember that I once mentioned the third in the terrifying trio of Dogmatic Duennas? Apart from our oh-so-straightlaced Sober Sophia to the wildly bohemian Marvellous Mabel, there is also Yoga Ysabel.

If there ever was a cliched stereotype for the Eat, Pray, Love missionary on the ever popular Banana Pancake Trail, that's Yoga Ysabel for you. Originally hailing from Italy which somehow never seemed to be her spiritual home, our Ysabel found herself wandering adrift meandering down life's torturous paths into the sweltering heat of the Maharashtra in India where she finally found herself.

Her soul. Her head. Or whatever.

Perhaps the burning sun or the crazy monsoons transmogrified her for Ysabel barely has any trace of her Italian ancestry in her anymore. Chappatis, jalebis and ladoo have become a part of her, along with daily yoga, ayurvedic home remedies and glittering sarees. When she speaks with her accented English coupled with dramatic gesticulations and well-timed eyerolls, there's an immediate vision of the heated plains of the Indian plateau with the teeming overpopulated cities redolent with the heady scents of exotic spices, the malodourous stench of ever-present refuse and the humid heat of man.

Even the infamous Indian headshake has become ingrained in her everyday behaviour.

Care to enter my inner self? 

Even so, occasionally her boisterous Italian side does come crawling back to haunt her - which causes Ysabel to be a study in peculiar contradictions in her personality. Like the time she insisted on turning vegetarian.

Ysabel : I am vegetarian this week. 
Paul : You just put a piece of pork in your mouth.
Ysabel : Oh that's alright. That doesn't count. 
Paul : Well you still have a salad. 
Ysabel : That's not a salad!
Paul : What? 
Ysabel : It has a leaf!
Paul : Salad has vegetables. Vegetables have leaves. 
Ysabel : Vegetables don't have leaves!
Paul : What?!

Since she did the headshake wobble right at that moment, I got quite easily distracted - which easily left me open for her next surprising comment.

Ysabel : I need to find an ashram. 
Paul : Unlikely to have one here. 
Ysabel : I need to find my inner self. 
Paul : You misplaced her? 
Ysabel : No, I haven't been taking care of my inner self so it went away.
Paul : You have been abusing your inner self? 
Ysabel : In a sense, yes. 
Paul : So you're now a dead shell?
Ysabel : Yes, and a few days of deep meditation in a retreat should help. 
Paul : Couldn't you just call and ask her to come back? 
Ysabel : It doesn't work that way. 
Paul : Man, what a difficult inner self. 

I couldn't make up this conversation even if I wanted to.

1 comment:

Anonymous Esq. said...

She alright? (in the head)