Holy men and Ray Bans
I'd like you to picture the scene:
You're walking through a busy market...
The stalls are buzzing.
The trinkets are calling.
You’re wondering whether to go for (just) the tailor-made shirt for £1, or the full dinner suit for £5 (but after much deliberation you decide the suit is outrageously priced).
Then you spy the fresh banana pancakes with sticky local honey.
Next up there’s a man selling round silver ‘things’ that could be plates or, well, perhaps they are saucepan lids? Nope, turns out they are spare hub-caps. Interesting.
Ahh, there’s a holy man sitting next to the shrine - a foot behind one ear, proudly sporting Tom-Cruise-esque Ray Ban’s on his painted face and yammering into a bright orange phone.
Oh look. There’s a white cow, and...
*&%%$***!!! - beep - beep - *&%$**
The ‘blessed’ animal has only just gone and, err, 'relieved itself' all over your leg!!!
HA HA… HA HA….I can laugh as, fortunately, this is not a story I relate from personal experience, but it did happen to someone I know and they shall remain nameless*
WELCOME TO INDIA
Love it or hate it with a sizzling passion, India is like no other:
More cultural diversity than Piccadilly Circus, more geographical marvels than Gondwanaland. More chapattis and uber-bling buildings than you ever thought could possibly co-exist. More outrageous ceremonies than if Monty Python were to conduct a special Mardi-Gras version of Trooping of the Colour.
India is big, bold and a big blank on my personal travel map (unlike our Will in the office who has somehow managed to spend 14 months visiting all corners of this beguiling country).
The country’s own unique style, grandeur, mountains, poverty and sense of self has been quietly calling me for more than a few years now. And up until now, I’ve resisted.
But the nagging has continued.
“Don’t believe them, it isn’t that mad”
“Won’t you come and see for yourself, or are you too chicken?”
“If someone didn’t like it, then they didn’t see the real India”
There are many reasons to visit India, but as a teacher, the new perspective on life that only India can bring may be all the reason you need. Not to mention giving you the experience to organise a student trip there at some point. Then there are the banana pancakes. And who can resist those?
So, I hope you’ll join me.
7th - 15th April 2014
We’ll be visiting temples and projects, checking out the latest Bollywood movie, cooking ‘momos’ and meditating in Dharamsala (not at the same time), catching trains to Shimla, marvelling at Amritsar’s Golden Temple and cheering the ministry of silly walks at the border closing ceremony. (If you are wondering what I'm talking about, have a look at this).
Won’t you join me? I hope so.
Until next time,
Spaces are limited, and flights are getting booked very soon. If you're interested, please let me know ASAP.
More details on this blog.
* My sister is not India's biggest fan...
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