Holy Men and Ray Bans

India, well, there is no way to describe her really is there?

Won’t you join me?

You know that moment, when you’re walking through a busy market?

The stalls are buzzing.

The trinkets are looking tempting.

You’re wondering whether to go for (just) the bespoke tailor-made shirt for £1, or the full tailor-made suit for £5 (after much deliberation you think the suit is outrageously priced).

Then you spy the fresh banana pancakes with sticky local honey.

Ah, and 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.

Then there’s the holy man sitting next to the shrine. A foot behind one ear, he’s proudly wearing his Tom-Cruise-esque Ray Ban’s on his white-painted face.

Oh look. There’s a cow, and..


Yep, the ‘blessed’ animal has just gone and pis*ed all over your leg!!!


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 hot passionate hatred, India is like no other:

More cultural diversity than Piccadilly Circus, more religious and 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).

India’s own unique style, grandeur, mountains, deserts, 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.

***quiet whispers**

“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”

And other whispers.

There are many reasons to visit India, but as a teacher, the new perspective on life that India may 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. Who can resist?

So, I hope you’ll join me.

We’ll be visiting temples and projects, checking out the latest Bollywood movie, cooking ‘momos’ and meditating in Dharamsala (not at the same time), riding trains to Shimla, marvelling at the Amritsar’s Golden Temple and cheering the ministry of silly walks at the border closing ceremony.

Won’t you join me?

It’s bound to be more fun than a cold rainy April in the UK.

Spaces are limited, and flights are getting booked very soon.

More details over on the blog.

* my sister is not India’s greatest fan.