“Of the Good in you I can speak, but not of the Evil. For what is Evil but Good tortured by its own hunger and thirst? When Good is hungry, it seeks food, even in dark caves, and when it thirsts, it drinks even of dead waters.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

Mother India. I’ve said it before and I shall say it again, you are my teacher. Possibly one of my greatest.

For it is here, in this precious land, surrounded by the relentless sound of honking horns, never ending smells of sweet and foul, tastes that tantalise, sights that simultaneously shock and delight, and the constant presence of other bodies, that I find a sense of calm. It is also where I want to scream, shout and pull my bloody hair right out!

This being my fourth trip to India one might think I would arrive and simply accept. Accept the chaos, accept the tuk tuk driver always trying to get one over on me, accept the uncertainty of whether I’m actually going to get what I requested. Not me! Nope. India gets me every damn time!

It truly does bring out the best and worst in me. India pushes my limits and boundaries. It rips me out of my comfort zone and humbles me like nowhere else I know. It shows me what is real, what’s important and forces me to see what I can’t change. So to fight the craziness, the uncertainty and the frustration is utterly futile. India truly teaches acceptance.

I reached this realisation yet again (!) when Michael looked on somewhat surprised as I very firmly insisted that the poor little Indian man and his family were occupying “my seats” on board the Kerala express, only to realise I had stepped onto AC1 instead of AC2? Oops. In my defence, it was a 24 hour Indian train trip that had already been delayed two hours, so after waiting three hours at the station I was a little desperate and panicked that we might not make it down to Kerala.

Traveling with Michael takes me back to my first trip to Indian when it was Alex and I. The madness can get some people (not me of course) so wound up that one moment they are laughing and enjoying the experience, and the next they’re just about ready to gently nudge their dear friend/husband into oncoming traffic.

That said, there is one certainty, and that is impermanence. Everything must and will change. So for now we have a brief respite from the hustle and bustle as I sit writing this blog on a breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful houseboat, gliding through Kerala’s famous backwaters with nowhere to go and nothing to do but take in the beauty and wonder that is India.

Just relax.

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