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  • Writer's pictureJulie Stansfield

The fun of Holi Festival - laughter, joy, celebration, unity......Incredible India



Ahhhh India….you have the power to transform.


The sweetness, the innocence, the beauty, the chaos, the constant rush and busyness, the history, the ancient knowledge and wisdom, the poverty, the filth, the smells, the tastes, the delights, the colours, the intensity, the living pulsating vibrancy of its people and cities. So much to take in, absorb and allow to settle deep within. 

 

It all began with a phone call from my friend Ange only a few months ago…”you said you want to go to India, how about this trip?” Well, I did say India was on my wish list, but….all the questions and reasons to say no bubbled up - could I afford it (my little nest egg is dwindling), it will be confronting (can I cope?), I’d prefer to go north for yoga and meditation (maybe this tour is a good way to get a taste of India), I’m away so much in summer hiking it’ll mean more time away from teaching yoga, and the important one…am I ready to possibly be deeply affected by the energy of India and its spirit. Of course, the answer was yes, it was always going to be yes, as my mantra is….be open to any opportunity that comes my way.

 

I have been to other ancient sites such as Egypt, Jordan, Greece, Rome, Turkey, but there is something different about India. Or maybe it’s that I’m different. Maybe I just travelled to India at the right time in my life considering that I’m diving deeply into my yoga practice, especially Vedic meditation and knowledge. 

 

Whatever the analysis reveals, life is unfolding in the way it's intended to, for my evolution. The timing is perfect!

 

Here are some highlights of my journey in no particular order

  • my first view of the Ganges River 

  • Varanasi, the beating, spiritual heart of India in all its intensity (good, bad, confronting, colour, rituals, and shared questing with all who walked the same city lanes and banks of the river)

  • Walking the alleyways of Deogardh and staying in the old palace

  • Udaipur, a unique city in Rajastan, as opulent in its day as the other cities but with a gentler atmosphere 

  • The morning spent in Jodhpur visiting the homes of an indigenous family, a generational artisan potter and durrie weaver, providing a glimpse of an earlier simplistic way of living 

  • Having the privilege to be invited into a local’s home in Jaipur for a cooking demonstration and shared dinner. Looking through the hosts wedding album and admiring their traditional Hindu marriage ceremony. Again another glimpse into people’s life in India, this time of a middle class young family with 3 generations living together (it was 4 generations until a couple of months ago). 

  • The insight into current life in India from a young local woman's perspective. Our guide Anjali shared stories and examples of how life is slowly changing for Indian women. Business opportunities are opening up for women - such as the Pink City Rickshaw Co in Jaipur & the village weavers. Changes in villages (such a sanitary improvements) are being implemented as well, offering more levels of safety to them.

And of course there was the Taj Mahal. A powerful few hours spent wandering around in contemplation.The show of love and devotion....and the obsession, to the detriment of the Raj’s people. Was it worth it....to end up imprisoned by your son for your folly….I wonder?

 

We all have the opportunity to grow, evolve and transform….it doesn’t have to be a long-awaited trip to India! It may be a day’s journey away from home, it may be doing the mundane daily work, it may be the loving of and caring for someone close to you. Keep your heart and mind open…and say yes to every and all opportunities that come your way!

 

Namaste,

Julie x

 

 

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