Greetings from magical India.
It rained through most of the night and the streets are flooded with water. Internet connections and power are on and off. When the clouds are overhead, things do not look as nice as when the sun is shining. I know I can change that perspective too. It is time to leave this seaside village Mamallapuram for further adventures.
After an invigorating yoga practice, I was packing my things when the manager of the hotel knocked at my door. Turns out he wanted to hang some new curtains. I asked him to wait until I was gone. “Where you go, to another hotel?” he asked with a smile. “No sir, I am leaving town.” “Where you go mame, do you want taxi?” “I am not sure where I am going, but, sure, where is it going?” He looked at me with a funny grin. They figure that everyone knows where they are going. "We have one going to the airport leaving in 30 minutes” said the man with a nod.
The Indian people nod their head from side to side when talking.....it is very expressive.
The Universe is pointing the way. A quick pack and an unload of things not serving me - especially the honey jar that spilled in one of my bags. I figure the orphanage and Tanya could use some clothes and food and the ants that go with the honey. A few good hugs, waves good bye to friends that I had quickly made in town and within the half hour I was travelling the 56 km to the airport. Ok, Universe, where will I be today? What a free feeling. I am on a magic carpet ride. Once at the Chennai airport I would head north or south depending on a few things.
The deciding factors are: When and how much is a flight to Kerala, southern India or could I get a flight to Katmandu via Delhi. I still had the chance to join a group heading to Everest base camp. It turns out that the flights would work going north, leaving the next morning. The fly in the ointment is that I will lose my 50% deposit on the 16-day Ayurvedic program in the south. The north is frigin' cold and the south is over 30 degrees with sunshine every day. Hmmm...I choose south. There is a flight going to Thiruvananthapuram also called Trivandrum. You think the name looks long…try saying it.
Turns out that Jet Airways is connected to Air Canada so I got some airline points…bonus. Plus the flight was half price for me that day. Not sure why, but I was not about to enquire. I had some over baggage weight but they waved that cause it was a beautiful day and I looked like a nice lady. Cool! The flight was late leaving and ended up at my destination at 4:30 PM. Still did not know where I was going or where to stay. It is the 8th of January and tomorrow is my 50th birthday. I think I will just allow space for magic to occur.
My friend at the Sri Aurobindo ashram told me that Kerala is a sliver of dense greenery, sandwiched between the Arabian Sea and the forested Western Ghats (where the spice and teas come from). The state of Kerala stretches for 550 km along India's southwest coast, and is just 120 km wide at its broadest point. It's blessed with unique geographical features and the lush tropical landscape, fed by two annual monsoons, together with the beautiful backwaters, is sure to intoxicate me. Equally, he said that it is very clean, people are very educated and Kerala has many interesting rituals and spectacular festivals, which stimulate even the most jaded imagination, continuing centuries of tradition that has never strayed from the realms of magic. I'm in on this one. Magic is my middle name. I am holding the vision that I get to see the backwaters, Amma's (the hugging mother) ashram and the Kathakali performances.
Once at the airport, I saw a sign from the Kerala tourism agent. Figured I would give it a try. I used to volunteer for our local tourism association so wanted to give back some business. Turns out the guy was great. He hooked me up with my own rice boat for the backwaters for my birthday and a home stay. I did want to check one of these places out. The price was lower for a deluxe room since I booked last minute and the manager just happened to be in the city. He only comes to the city one time per month. I got into a taxi and was dropped off at some bizarre area where a nice man met me with a chauffeur driven car. We traveled 2.5 hours north of the city to Kollam one of the oldest sea ports, and to this amazing home stay called Valiyavila Family Estate located on a peninsula and surrounded three sides by water. Joseph as we call him, asked me how I planned to get to his place and I said…."The Universe." Putting out deliberate intention, asking and creating space for magic to occur works every time.
My deluxe room with its own private balcony is facing East overlooking the water. The next morning I was awakened by a beautiful sunrise, the sound of monks chanting the long mythological story "Mahabharata" (a great Indian epic where the main gods and goddesses became embedded into the Hindu religion), the palms swaying in the sea breeze and a warm bed. It is much warmer down here. Over 30 degrees Cel. I have been in the cold weather of the north for some time now.....and now in the privacy of my own domain I can strip to the bare skimpies along with the fan going......when there is power.
Kerala is a wide range of Hindu and also the Catholic faith. An interesting mixture. This photo is taken of the boat house in front of my room.
I have more clothes on now as the local fishermen in their dugout canoes are coming closer to fish around the house. Normally, here in India it is very important for women to cover up their legs and shoulders. Very traditional. I have seen though in some places where there are western tourists on the beach they do uncover but still make sure they cover when coming and going.
My yoga practice is very sweet today. At the end of my practice when I was sending clear white light, love and peace to family and friends, I suddenly realized that it is my 50th Birthday. Wow! I could not actually believe it.
I got to check out emails. Thanks everyone for so many wonderful birthday wishes.
My hubby Clayton wrote, “I hope you are with people that love you.” I went to my room and while getting ready for the day, started to wonder..."What am I doing here by myself? I should be surrounded by friends." CB sent me a photo from the 50th birthday and going away party back in October when I left Canada. Thanks for the cake.
A knock on my door and the manager appeared with a bunch of wild flowers and others from the area that I had met came to give me hugs and well wishes. The emails that I received all came with such love that I truly felt that I am with people that love me.
At 11am, my beautiful rice boat came to pick me up for the wonderful journey into the backwaters. Here I go all smiles. I will let you know how it goes.
Shaa la la la la la la la la......live for today!
Om Namah Shivaya
In happiness and appreciation - Valma ji