INDIA …. plans to return

India, 
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,, the movies …supposedly taking place in Jaipur India. Fantastic actors… fabulous lines of description of India.   
“The challenge is to not only cope, but to thrive.” “All the street kids smile at me”. “Why would you not go out? There is so much to see. All life is here”. “I got a job. A kind of cultural advisor”. 

“She wants to thank you for your kindness …. 

But, I haven’t been kind”. 

“How can you bare this country?” “What do you see that I don’t”? “Light. Colors. Smiles. The way they see Life as a privilege and not a right.”

The hug …. the two men who see each other after 40 years. It brings tears to my eyes. The flight of the snowy white egret. “The top of the mountain.” The body being consumed in Udaipur. 

“Most things don’t work out as we hope. Sometimes the things we don’t plan … are the good stuff.”

“The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing.”

I long to return, even now and I left there only earlier this year in February.  

The head bob. Calling respected persons “uncle” or “auntie”. 
Movie Number two. “If not now, when? If not us, who?”

I am preparing my return to India. Still Rajasthani province but not the bus tour repeat from earlier this year. 
 In February 2017 I am planning to fly to Delhi with traveling friends (you are invited!!) on a direct flight out of Vancouver. Upon arrival to be met by a wonderful tour guide who will escort us by rail to Jaisalmer, in the desert. We will stay a week in a local living scenario, MAGIC time. We will enjoy activities, such as dining, spa, walking, shopping, talking and exchanging cultural experiences with locals.

We will return changed. I hope you consider this trip for you. Contact me for more details, dates, costs and to place your name on the list.

And read back in this blog for my descriptions of India ….

Namaste,
Pamela

************

More of India, some weeks later ….
I was prepared for difficulty, dirt and disease.

I found love and the soft spot of human existence.  I found acceptance and desire. I was not prepared for luxury and ease.
As with most of what I saw and photographed, India is surreal for the foreigner.  It’s as if it floats, almost disconnected … Like in a cloud in heaven.  Yet … It’s all part of and interconnected with the rest of the universe.  Spiritually, it may be the center of the the globe, beating with the blood of the worlds people’s.

I did not expect to be blessed, accepted and especially not celebrated, just for being me and showing up.  I believe this is how humans should feel, every day.  In familiar or unfamiliar lands, we ought to feel privileged and among friends and family every moment of our lives, in every place we venture.

Standing on a ghat along side a body of water, I felt akin to the people everywhere.  It is not in the water itself, this life’s blood is just one of the ways in which the pulsing energy is transported to connect the creatures that share the bounty.  A great conductor of life, the water assists me to feel the connection to nature and all that is live.

I did not expect the simplicity of life.  Almost free of longing or striving to be “other” than what is.  I found a land of healing, magic and mystery .. For and from all the senses, emotions, spirit and the precious body.

How did this gal from the ocean waves calling deep from the extreme high and low tides of Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia Canada, fall in love with a desert in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India?

With my antennae tuned to receive the negative, I found only love and joy.  I found colour and life.  I found a simplicity previously unimagined.

I found it all on a short camel trek to see the large orange sun ball slip gently behind the massive glorious sugar soft sand dunes on the other side of the planet Earth.

I fell enchanted with the women of this country who dress in spectacular colours and flowy silky fabrics.  Women who carry heavy loads of history along with bundles of sticks or large containers for water, carefully and with seeming ease upon their beautiful heads.  Their tasks are simple, important and immediate.  No question or resistance can be seen on their faces.  Life is what it is.
 

Excerpts from a blog: Song of India, Tales of Travel and Transformation. By Mariellen Ward: “I don’t entirely know why this is true, but India is much more than
a travel destination. I wrote recently in a magazine article that: “People don’t go to India to experience India; they go to experience themselves in India. They go to pit themselves against the crowds, chaos and poverty. They go to experience the open and unabashed spirituality. They go to test their egos, which India alternately builds up and smashes apart in the blink of a street child’s eye. People go to India knowing they will be forever changed … and not knowing how. But India is a master, a guru, who takes people where they need to go, and teaches them what they need to learn.” ”
***********

OLD DELHI, still assaults my memory
Old Delhi, an explosion and assault on all the senses.  

Breathe. 

Loud and smelly, fast paced, hard working labour of men carrying heavy loads down narrow alleys in the wholesale market, animals including dogs sleeping, piglets rooting through refuse between car tires, and cows with right of way and holding their ground, colourful fruits and produce, grey and dirty roadways littered with debris and years of garbage left to sit… Spices, rice, nuts, flowers on display in burlap bags in small doorways.  

Breathe. 

Beep beep sounds of tuktuks and small cars, motorcycles passing each other on left and right. Bicycles jutting in and out. Large trucks squeezing in to small spaces, taking time to unload and reload wares. Smoggy grey air, toxic to breathe, many people with masks and or scarves tied around their mouths to filter the smells in the thick air.  

Breathe. 

Trying not to touch anything .. The walls look sticky and dirty, cracked and old … The walking surface makes you glad of closed toed shoes …. Puddles of unimaginable liquids to step over, and feces piles. Uneven surfaces of stone and curbs, and people. 

Breathe. 

People, people … Poor homeless faces, disfigured bodies, women clutching babies and begging for food, young children not shy about asking for money, trying to take our hands. We have been cautioned to hold tight to our bags, not give to beggars as people who do get swarmed by unlimited number of needy ones. So hard on the heart. 
 Breathe again.  
Enormous Indian flag can sometimes be seen from the hotel through the thick smog in Delhi. The struggle of India!
Namaste, 
Breathe, 
Pamela

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