The air was chilly and the rickshaw and taxi drivers wore gray wool shawls covering their heads and necks. In a few minutes we were sitting in a dusty old taxi. The hotel was in the middle of an old Delhi bazaar, hidden in between other buildings on a narrow dark street. Our room, cold marble floors and one bed covered with a rough wool blanket, had no windows. We collapsed only to be woken up right after dawn by endless honking, yelling, and singing… This was my introduction to India – scary, unwelcoming, and dirty.
It took 3 days of emotional struggling, lots of disinfectant, and bargaining to start getting comfortable in the new country. After day 5, I was completely infatuated by Indian people, food, culture, and even constant bargaining.
Sitting in a warm cozy NYC apartment I am itching to get back to the colorful fun India. I decided to bring along several friends, students and my parents. I hope to present India to my companions without the unpleasant culture shock that I experienced on the first trip but like they say, man plans and God laughs.
Going as a group we are getting a nice discount at the hotels and on tours. Plus it is an opportunity to spend time with like-minded people and create new relationships, which is always exciting. Having visited most pilgrimage spots during the last 2 trips, I feel like making a one-stop trip in India, is a sad waste of great opportunities.
I chose Kerala for this trip because it is a motherland of ayurveda and has the largest selection of qualified practitioners and it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Eight adventurous yogis have signed up and we hope to explore the depths of ayurveda and India’s abundant spirituality, without getting too caught up in India’s famous craziness. Will it work, I will let you know. We take off on March 22nd and on the 24th our South India adventure will start full force: first we are going to explore Kochi, then take a houseboat to tour famous Kerala backwaters, and a week later settle in a cozy ayurvedic resort in Kovalam to rejuvenate and detox our Western bodies.
For now let me know if you have any ideas for souvenirs that I can bring back!
See you soon!
- Mini guide to Kerala, India (facebeyond.wordpress.com)