A cup of fragrant chai…is it possible that soon I’ll be drinking this in its country of origin?
Very true and the way in which most of us get through life. There’s wisdom in being able to accept this and be in this moment.
I’ve been quiet lately as life has been, as I’ve been putting it, ‘colourful.’ I find myself back in the world of legal matters, this time to do with estates. It’s extraordinary to me that my life, not one of criminality or of wealth it has to be said, has been replete with lawyers, legal papers and negotiations and lodgings not of accommodation but court. I’ve had a lot of work to do compiling papers, pouring over family letters and history, financial or otherwise. What has come out is just short of revelatory, the pain that’s hidden between the lines of people’s lives.
Many years ago in my final year of high school, the counsellor who in a state of exasperation with my continued out of the boxness, attempted to guide me. I took a lengthy test to define what sort of career I’d be suited to and if memory serves, lawyer came out top of the list. (The other two were editor and writer.) Perhaps there was more prediction than guidance in that exercise.
I’ve been working hard on finishing the book and have completed the first edit. I was elated with this progress, for about three hours that is, until doubt crept in. Will it be appealing to anyone? Is it too lyrical, verbose, not subtle enough, immature, and on the crucifying questions droned. I have another edit to go and hopefully, that will silence the questions.
I’ve been planning a trip to India with a friend. With everything else that’s going on, excitement came only in intervals when I stopped long enough to feel it. Still, a dream coming true is no small thing. We reached a sticking point this week when the friend was compelled to change the plan, without consultation. For a short time the kick in the stomach felt unpleasant but very quickly, I became aware of a lightness, a feeling of lifting off and soaring…. Without realising it, I’d been set free; free of obligation and anyone’s agenda. Now I’m traveling to India on my own. I’m grateful for this and the excitement has expanded, filled with possibility.
I don’t know what’s beyond the headlights but I’m really enjoying the journey.
P.S. I came across this and liked it’s poetic description to the question, “Who is India?” (Yes ‘who,’ and I think that’s very apt.) Here is an excerpt, click here if you wish to read more, and hover over this spot and select, if you wish to see the previous posts on the subject.
“Who is India
Who is India and what is her claim? Is she as elusive to find as the insides of a seed? A mere country cannot assume the bewitching charms that hang on her slender wrists. Who is India?
Sit by the ruins, and see the inscriptions carved on the walls of caves, and listen. Listen to the seers and the folklorists, to the waters of the perennial rivers and the echoes from the immortal gigantic mountains. Look at the personifications of prayer carved out of marble or stone, and lie under a banyan tree, and listen - Listen to India.
India is the name given to the vast peninsula which the continent of Asia throws out to the south of the magnificent mountain ranges that stretch in a sword like curve across the southern border of Tibet. Shaped like an irregular quadrilateral, this large expanse of territory, we call India, deserves the name of a subcontinent.”
The last part of the India adventure came to me in a dream. My friend will be on her way home at this point and with the vastness of the country and the overwhelming multitude of choices, I was lost for a decision. I wanted to spend a week or a little more somewhere and finally it came to me in a dream - Rajasthan. I had no idea what this region looked like or had to offer, but I decided to go with my dream and so I’ll be spending the last of my time in Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan.
It will make a change from the south and I know it won’t disappoint. With hill forts, the renowned grand pink stone structures and colour and life to fill my senses my time will pass quickly. What a way to begin the new year and who says dreams can’t come true?
For the other posts in this series, click here.
After the week of yoga in beautiful Goa, we’ll fly to Bangalore (Bengaluru) which will be our base for the next week. This city has gained a reputation for being the third most popular city in India, a technology centre of the country. This is not what draws me to it though. It’s also the known as the Garden city, with miles of beautiful parks but it’s what lies on the periphery that interests me. The 25,000 acre Bannerghatta Park is one of the richest natural zoological reserves in the world. Also out of the city lies Vijayanagar at Hampi, seat of an ancient Hindu empire which I’m told has a profound atmosphere. In nearby Coorg (Kodagu), the landscape is mountainous and full of coffee plantations and we hope to stay a night or two on one. It’s known as the ‘Scotland of India.’ There’s the very famous Mysore and it’s remarkable temples and I’m quite sure there’s much more. Mainly, despite all these attractions, I will be happy doing none of it. For me, it’s not about what I do but rather, how I do it. I just want to absorb a tiny amount of a people and a country that have long interested me.
For the final post on India, click here.
This is where my next adventure begins, one I have dreamt of for too many years and as with so many things, came in a different shape and time than I expected. There’s a lesson in there somewhere about expectations I’m sure.
I’m going to India. My friend asked me to join her on a week long eco-yoga retreat in the southwest of the country and that would be exciting enough. We’ll be staying in comfortable tents, on the balmy and exotic coastline of Goa. We’ll begin our day with a cup of tea brought to us, meditation, yoga and then breakfast. There’s more yoga throughout the day if we want, massages, ayurvedic treatments if we desire and more. We’ll have time to explore and to unwind too.
But that’s not all, click here for more if you’re intrigued.
I posted this picture over a year ago and it proved to be a popular post and it’s easy to see why - his smile is contagious. The photo seemed to say something about a very complex and fascinating country, a country that is the definition of diversity, colour and life.
This post and the next number of posts are part a small story, click here if you would like to know more.
(I haven’t posted photo credit as all the photos were taken from tourist websites either by googling ‘India’ or the specific areas represented. You are welcome to do the same if you’re curious.)
Sometimes images symbolise something profound, and this is one of those. It seems to express a freedom, something I have in abundance and which I’m very grateful for, and also a deep love of place. I’m very fortunate to enjoy health that allows me to travel and lead me to my place, the Isle of Skye.
(Photo credit to T.Hope, taken at Bride’s Veil Falls, Near Storr, Isle of Skye. Number two in a series, click here for more.)