Lessons from the Road

One thing you’ll always notice about India is there always noise. This isn’t just in the cities (where it is getting too much) but in the forests, plantations, on the beaches, nature makes her presence felt, birds, insects, animals, there’s always a symphony of sound. I’ve had conversations about this with many Indian friends. In the west, we find relaxation in peace and quiet, not so in India (generally speaking) and even my yoga instructor told me it’s the chaos, the noise in which she found her solace.

So it was one morning that I was at Johns Farm and Home Stay in Kerala, sitting on the verandah in the early morning, tea in hand, listening to the sounds around the farm, it seemed that all nature was delighted to be alive and to make her presence felt. George, my host appeared and I mentioned the above to him, that even in the solitude of the early morning, India was filled with noise. The conversation developed, as conversations will. He lives in a joint family, I’d had dinner with them the night before, four generations under one roof from 80 down to a baby. It was, as it tends to be, not as we’d expect in the west. People coming and going, filling my plate, sitting and chatting for a while, refilling my plate, nipping off to attend to something, someone else coming to see if food was ready/if I was okay/refilling my plate/asking questions/answering questions in a delightful, natural, easy flow.

I commented on this to George, how wonderful I’d found it, and how (with my single British lady mentality) at times, it must be great to have so many people around. But then I said I also really need my space, my peace and quiet, my time alone, which must rarely happen for him.

He smiled, time alone was something he never thought about, it just wasn’t a concept. Still being of single western mindset, I listened, and pondered, and then said, “Well, I guess it teaches you tolerance.” George, with the merest hint of a smile very gently replied, “We prefer to think of it as acceptance.”

And here endeth the lesson for this year! Serendipity led me to this place, in more ways than one.

Johns Farm and Home. 

For further information on travel to India: philippa@indianexperiences.com

My novel, Escape to India based is available on Amazon.

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