Travels / April 24, 2016

The Light Within

The first week ended on a high note. On Wednesday morning, the school administration turned on the TV and allowed us to watch the results of the US elections. Students and administrators from all over the world celebrated when they heard of Obama‘s victory. I went to my first restaurant called Cool Land. When the owner found out the we were from the States, he yelled out, “Obama, yeah” and congratulated us.

In India, every table has a container of hot water for you to drink before your meal. This is to aid digestion. The food is good. Kerala is famous for its fish and I finally got to taste it at Cool Land. It was my first non-vegetarian meal. We took a rickshaw back to our apartment. Rickshaws are pimped out golf carts. They whizz through the streets. The wind pummels your face and every bump of the road vigorously massages your butt. I would love to take one home.

In the evening we got a sample of the Monsoon. The rainy season is over but nevertheless the skies opened up and sent rain in all directions. The thunder, not to be outdone, rippled and roared across the darkness, bold and unafraid. The rain was perfectly coordinated (at least I think it was) with our nightly scheduled power cut. Every night from 8-830 pm the lights go out. The power cut happens three times a day. There is one at 6 am, 3 pm and 8 pm. Why? I have not gotten an explanation. But the darkness is absolute. I reclined in my bed enveloped by the softness of the night that was completely uninterrupted by the harshness of light and listened to Monsoon Returned Symphony 1. Beautiful.

This was indeed a divergence for the regular weather. Kerala is hot. Seven thirty in the morning and sweat is rolling down your back. The school picks us up and we zip to classes in our van. There seems to be more motorcycles on the road than cars. Motorcycles sometimes carry three generations… grandfather, daughter and grandchild. The women often sit sideways and I marvel at this every time. By the way, no one wears a helmet. There is not one in sight. The roads are a maze of buses, cars and motorcycles all converging at once. Yesterday, Kerala was a little calmer.

It was the first day of Diwali or the Festival of Lights. There was a small parade and the people marched through the streets singing and lighting their neighbor’s lanterns. The lanterns symbolize our inner light. We are more than just a physical body. We are light beings and during Diwali we take the time to remember that the light within can triumph over all else. Happy Diwali. In Love and Light.

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