Barefoot

When lost,

Go back to basics.

Fresh grass under your feet,

Your feet will find the way.

 

Whether it’s cracked summer soil,

Or muddy in the monsoons,

You can still feel the earth,

And it will always be yours.

 

All you love is within you.

And you’re still here.

You need no museum.

You are all you need.

 

I wander, and I wonder.

When I find you,

will I find the answer?

Or must I first find the answer,

and it will lead me to you?

Or are both paths the same, that I must walk,

and the pursuit of one, is also of the other?

 

Atlantis

In you I see

all that I can be.

You take me back

home to me.

If you are possible

I realize I am possible.

If I am possible

how can anything else I be?

You are all that I ever

had to take seriously.

Rishikesh

While trying to write about Rishikesh, I kept drawing a blank. How exactly do I describe it? I spent a week here, yet didn’t see most of the tourist sites. I attended a few yoga classes, kept thinking I should stay in an ashram for a while, but never really got around to it. In part, because I doubted my ability to wake up at 4:30 am in the winter, and in part, because I was so content with what I was doing.

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I spent most of my time either sipping coffee and eating chocolate balls in a cafe overlooking the river, or taking long walks.

Countless hours of just watching the river. Sparkling in the sun, its surface rippling with the breeze. Calm and serene for the most part, gushing over rocks in places, always flowing. The sound of the river is like music. Nestled snugly in the hills. The hills feel like guardians, making me feel safe and comfortable.

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I read a lot, wrote some, and thought a lot. My mind felt calm, and I felt light. Life felt simple. Wake up, warm bath, hot coffee and chocolate ball and breakfast in a bakery close by. Sit either in the balcony and enjoy the view, or enjoy the cosy warmth inside on very cold days. Share the table with friends or friendly strangers. Then walk, for the sheer pleasure of walking. Find a sunny spot, sit, laze, read, soak in the sun. Watch the monkeys play, and the adorable furry calves. Have lunch whenever hungry. Enjoy the very simple things. Being bundled up in the cold, waiting for the sun, some foggy days, and ofcourse the rain! Everything looks just wonderful in the rain. The river, the hills, the streets washed clean. Walk again, or read, or think, or write, just be. Have a green tea and gaze out of the window at the bakery on the other side of the bridge. Feel the gentle sway of the bridge when crossing it. Have an early dinner and snuggle up in bed. I might not be able to do this always, but for a week, it was blissful.

16245025_1356747884367373_1472979721_oMy trip was so enjoyable also because of the people I met. Warm, happy people, who it was a pleasure to get to know. Listening to travel stories, getting to learn about different parts of the world, new ideas and a fresh perspective. It’s amazing to meet people who inspire you.

I also loved being around so many animals. The baby monkeys playing and the big ones jumping on the roof. The monkey who decided to join me for dinner and took off with the jar of sugar and the bottle of sauce. The cow who wanted to shop at the souvenir shop and the dog who snuggled up in the other chair as I enjoyed my chilli mushroom. The best part was that the animals there seemed healthy and well fed.

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I feel strangely at home in Rishikesh, and I know that sooner or later, I’ll go back.

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Notes –

Rishikesh is famous for yoga. If you would like to learn yoga, there are some great options. And some not so great ones. Please do some research before you join any classes. It’s a great place to be even if you have no interest in yoga.

I stayed in Shiv Shakti Hostel for the most part. It’s cosy, comfortable and has very friendly staff. I also stayed at Bunkstay for two days, a good option too.

White water rafting in Rishikesh is a lot of fun. I didn’t do it this time, but have done it before.

January in Rishikesh is not tourist season, which is a good thing. I think it would be best to avoid the tourist season.

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Lessons from Goa.

 

Watch sunsets on the sea every time you possibly can.

Meditate to the sound of the waves.

Trust in what makes you happy. Trust more.

Laugh more.

Trusting more will actually lead you to laugh more.

If you grow old, make sure you grow old like the man playing frisbee on the beach.

 

New month resolutions.

I don’t generally make new year resolutions. Mainly because I am horrible at keeping them. But this year I think it might be a good idea. With all the confusion in my mind about the big things, a little order and discipline seems appealing. A full year seems scary though (and impossible), so I’m going with new month resolutions!

  1. Write everyday. Two lines or twenty, just write.
  2. Study two hours everyday.
  3. Eat a fruit everyday.
  4. Cook once every week.
  5. Once a week, try a completely new dish.
  6. Listen to one new song everyday.
  7. Read one new book. Mysteries don’t count.
  8. Go to one new place.

Of course, with all of these things, the more the better.

Wildflower.

There are those sights and those sounds that change the way I see the world. Seeing a wildflower bloom in the midst of mess, I realize the mess never defines the wildflower. All the hell’s on the outside, none inside.

Where does strength come from? Where does courage come from?

Sometimes seeing something so pure, it makes me worry that it is so vulnerable. Light and happy, standing erect and free. All that I desire. All that I respect. So gentle and unassuming.

I feel like it has to protected. A desire to shield that which is lovely and true from a very messy world.

But does it need any such protection? Where does strength come from?

I think it comes from happiness deep within. It comes from integrity, love, and light. That which is pure has such tremendous strength.