I can tell you that from Mamallapuram went to Chennai and you’ve had that post already Out of the world, liminal floating. In Chennai apart from walking on the beach getting lost, we did the usual tourist stops going up to Mount Saint Thomas where the Apostle Thomas is supposedly buried. Visited the cave where he was killed. Drove around town getting lost a lot, but it’s all a blur and only the beach seemed real.
I have to confess that I cried all the way from Chennai airport to Singapore. Maybe it was the idiot sitting next to me complaining about all the rubbish on the beach in Chennai, the beach I’d fallen in love with the two days before. Maybe it was leaving my spiritual home. Maybe it was that pained look in Karthik’s face as I hugged him goodbye, although it could have been that my bum bag got him in the nuts. But whatever the reason, I cried, and cried. The flight attendants moved the obnoxious man. And I couldn’t get a song out of my head
Close every door to me
Keep those I love from me
Children of [Kali] are never alone…
I promised Alison I would never contact him.
I am everyday inspired by the daughters of India, and
So I keep coming back to Kali, I’m always coming home
India is the land of my soul, the place where I feel so at home my heart aches with joy. No, you smarty-pants people, not indigestion, it’s heart-warming joy and belonging. I know every trip is different, it was just that leaving Brisbane this time was so rushed with preparations and distractions it hardly felt like I was supposed to be enjoying myself. But when the plane tilted turning to come into Bombay Airport and I caught my first glimpse of India, well my heart soared as Mata ji, Maa Durga, mother earth goddess, welcomed me back. I was grinning like, well a lot! Couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.
When the plane touched the tarmac I realised the random selection on my phone was colluding with the universe: it was Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral that was reaching it’s enormous, brass filled crescendo in my ears, reverberating in my being. I knew I was not alone.
After a couple of hours in Mumbai meeting a dear sister-friend in person for the first time, it was into a car for the three hour drive to Pune, and the 6th National Bioethics Conference.
No the traffic hasn’t become any less traumatic, I just photographed a quiet bit!
To be honest I didn’t see too much of Pune, and not only because of the terrible pollution that shrouded everything and made breathing a chore. I spent a huge amount of time eating dhosa for breakfast, preparing for the conference, or at the conference, or getting to and from the conference in took tooks. In some ways, after 12 or so trips to India, this has been a trip of firsts. It was my first time in Pune. It’s my first time here “alone.” I’ve always been here for work or as an affluent tourist, and in both cases have had a hired a/c car and a driver. And now here I was standing on the road flagging took tooks, giving directions in my limited Hindi. When I went out of the hotel there was no uniformed Karthik (name changed) waiting for me, I just walked off into the surrounding streets to explore. Continue reading “There’s no place like home… India”
This International Women’s Day I think of women I have loved and we have lost. Women who continue to inspire and whose memory we continue to honour by living in their style and with their bravado.
They are a vital part of our history but they wouldn’t have us look back, rather they impel us into our future. And so today I also think of the women I love who still walk, dance and play with us. Women who inspire me, hold my hand, laugh and cry with me. Drink with me, philosophise with me, are real with me.
Today I’m thankful for the women in my life, for the men who encourage us to be the best we can be, and for all those people the future holds in store as surprises along our way.
PS This logo is from what looks to be a fabulous session at a Hindu Temple next Saturday, if only I was in London… who knows maybe one of you can go and let me know what it was like 🙂
International Women’s Day 2015// //
BAPS Women’s Forum, UK will be celebrating International Women’s Day this year with an enlightening event aimed at inspiring change, raising awareness, and empowering women to make positive changes in their lives, families and the wider community. The event marks the beginning of a year-long initiative focussing on respect, independence, health and safety – all deeply influential for women striving to lead a progressive, more fulfilling life. The day will include prayers for world peace, an entertaining and thought-provoking game show, a dramatic dance rendition, and a lively debate exploring the views and challenges associated with the first component for the year: Be Respectful.
Every so often I will share my thoughts on the Parallel Truths I find in movies, song lyrics and books that I read. Today’s is a confluence of existential mystical magical angst and love laden thoughts. You see, at the same time that I was reading Jean Paul Sartre’s Concrete Relations with Others I read Laini Taylor’s e-novella Night of Cake and Puppets. An inspired combination. Like chili and dark chocolate.
So I read the dark, convoluted Sartre straight after enveloping my senses in an e-novella about a shy tiny girl luring a violinist to dare to love her. Enticing him on a journey to experience her by following a bespoke treasure map and magic puppets, a journey to love and Mozart and sacher torte in Prague, in the dark, in the snow: pure seduction, pure for-itself anxiety desperate to know how the for-other was seen by the Other and whether she/he could find freedom in being known, being seen and being loved. Oh the agony of fear, the angst when all is inverted and the observed twists the trap and lures his puppetess with music and desire.
A Night of Cake and Puppets had a happier ending than Concrete Relations with Others, but it is fiction. Delectable fiction, black chocolate, dripping fiction. Back to Sartre. Continue reading “Sartre and Sacher torte”
As you will have guessed from Walking in between, I decided to take a few days to let the wind, sand and waves leach the last few months into a new order, and to let the sun melt my bones. Lots to eat, read and better yet kilometres of beach for walking meditation.
One should be precise in the use of language and I did deliberately use the word “leach” hoping the stress and sadness would drain away.
One thanks the weather goddess for making real with adroit precision one’s desire to be leached, cleansed and washed.
One however wishes with due deference to point out that it was meant as a metaphor.
Within half an hour of standing in bright sunlight and expressing a desire to be leached, I was buffeted by a squall. Three guys raced past on kite boards, riding on the tops of great smashing waves, flying with the wind. I gazed seaward facing into the wind and stinging rain. Within moments I was utterly drenched, but smiling under a full rainbow. One cannot complain if the goddess is feeling literal, and your rainbow, well then I knew. Continue reading “Leaching”