Dreaming of India

For many years I had a dream of visiting India.  Kevin & I talked about it a lot.  While it seemed impossible, in 2007 I decided to actually look into it and see if I could make it happen.  Six weeks later I was there!  (Kevin had to stay home for work, but he encouraged me to go.)  I went with an empty suitcase and purchased saris and salwar kameez suits there.  The entire month of March I spent at an arts center in Aranmula, Kerala which gave me the opportunity to learn various traditional Indian arts.  I took classes in dance, painting, Hindu and my favorite, woodcarving.

  

I loved woodcarving primarily because of my instructor Sha.  He would tell me the stories of the Indian gods while I worked in the shade of the porch in the 100* heat.  I could listen to him for hours.  I especially loved the stories of Shiva–the creator & destroyer, the ascetic on the mountaintop, he of the third eye for inward vision.

There are so many beautiful and amazing things to see in India.  Here are a few photos:

Girls getting off the train.
Mahout & his elephant.
Local traffic.
Rice fields.
Varkala Beach (Indian side).
Kathakali theatre.
Fruit market.
Regular meal in Kerala – vegetarian, no utensils, eaten only with the left hand.
Busy train.
Sari shop.
Fire ceremony.
Fruit bats filling the sky in the evening.

Aside from the classes, I also learned a lot about myself while in India.  And while taking a ferry ride through the Kerala backwaters I saw how simple life can be.  Just a small house on a narrow piece of land, a few chickens, family, friends–and the people seemed truly happy.  Happier than many Americans with our wealth of choices.  I’ve been aching to go back ever since.

 

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