Finally, I see the lights amongst the mist hovering over New Delhi, India. With anticipation and excitement I head to the baggage carousel with my new Indian friend Zubin. We decided that we would look out for each other along the way. Zubin is living in London - originally from Calcutta and now attending a friend’s wedding. A practice run since he is tying the knot in the first part of December. I was invited to attend. A great honor on my first day.
My luggage easily appeared (I love the motto - my luggage always arrives with me). Glad that I did not apply that to my driver because I got to hitch a ride with my friend Zubin in his private chauffer driven air conditioned car.
Everything went so smoothly and easily...nice comfortable car. Part way along the road to my hotel my driver did track me down...thus we changed cars along with way. Zubin was wondering if he should let me go after seeing the state of the car and driver. A little white car, with a dent the size of a large cow, the driver looked like he had just awaken in need of a shave and his clothes needed ironing.
Well, the fairy tale lasted and now I choose to get right into the adventure. Now this is more like it...India.
I did manage to arrive safely. Luckily I learned some Hindi on the plane, learned what to expect and after 26 hours of traveling arrived at my hotel to find my angel - friend Doreen. As I stepped into the foyer she was there with a huge smile and hug. My plane was to arrive at 445 am and it was only 2 hours late.
We sat and drank chai tea, which was filled with caffeine. It does not mix with me too well...I have enough energy already. Needless to say I was on a high for most of the day. A quick shower, a wash up and we were off to the internet cafe. I managed to purchase a cell phone and an internet quick stick and now online. I am amazed at how far they are ahead with computers, internet equipment, cell phones...you can get anything here.
Plus, there is so much abundance here...food everywhere, you can get anything. Of course there is also poverty. I saw more abundance in this city than I expected. After this it was fun to get acquainted with the metro, auto rickshaw and the rickshaws.
If have to say, one thing is for sure...I am very surprised that I did not witness anything that I had heard so many other people speak about. Cows! What cows? People, sure a few, crazy...well I guess I fit in so nothing different there. I had decided that I would come from a place of observation. Cool - like peace, love, dope and plastic flowers man!
It is like India opened up her heart to me. Like I am sitting on a lotus petal that is just unfolding to the new day. I love the sights, the sounds, the smells, the colour and the flavors. The people are so very friendly.
Young people especially. They take the time to find out about me...always smile, laughing.
Right away we went shopping and I purchased Indian attire. Beautiful tunic cotton colorful tops. They feel very comfortable and I fit in. Except for the blonde hair.
I spent 4 days in New Delhi with my friend Doreen and her son Lars. We had so much fun, traveling the metro, visiting temples, shopping.
We also visited a wonderful school for street kids. Wow, what a great gift to see so many talented children. They were having their 10th anniversary celebration of the school (Ravi opened up his apartment to street kids 10 years ago and now there are 150 kids).
The performance that they gave was incredible. Dance, music, song. If you have never witnessed Indian performance...make it a “to do”. They love performance, stage and they have confidence to just do it.
It seems that I am taken care of everywhere that I go. Only abundance of kindness, food, friendliness.
One day I decided to do the tour thing on my own. I wanted to visit the Red Fort - very famous. My driver dropped me off and said "ok you take rickshaw now" I will wait. Out the door I went into a throng and fury of rickshaw drivers. There I was with a driver...he started to go to the Spice Market. I told him...”sorry I am going to the Red Fort - how much?”
“Oh sorry mame...Red Fort closed today - it is Monday - closed on Monday.”
Well, I have heard this line before...they do this so they can take you somewhere else. I was firm that I wanted to go to the Red Fort. Every few steps he would stop and tell me it was closed. Also his price was "you pay me whatever you think I am worth". Going through a busy busy street by rickshaw...only white person around and it was true...the Fort was closed. My buddy and I then made a great arrangement. One of trust.
He then took me to a nearby Mosque and the Spice Market. Smiley, my rickshaw driver, made sure that he was always there for me when I returned. The spice market was my favorite. At first not easy because there were so many people, cars, bikes, rickshaws you name it all coming at you. The market is like the stock market. It is the place where every good comes into India and then distributed from there...wholesale.
Monkeys on the roof tops dropping banana peels, food being sold, people playing cards, saris and cloth prepared by the mile. Every smell, sight and sound you can imagine.
This was day 3, and it was the one day that did get to parts of me. I would see an old woman wearing my mother's face. Friends, relatives. I would just have to remind myself that this was just another part of me...an illusion.
I am now preparing for my journey north to Haridwar and then Rishikesh.
At this moment I am BEING with this thought - Life is truly a gift, full of abundance and every encounter imaginable. I get to choose what I prefer, like, love and desire in every moment of my breath.
As I model friendliness...it is what I get in return. As I model abundance...this is what I get in return. As I model love...this is what I get in return. As I model kindness...this is what I get in return.
Thank you to all of you that are witnessing this journey and sending me warm wishes along my path.
My stomach is well, my mind is well, my body is in perfect condition.
With light and love your way,
New Delhi, India