Day Three — Fab India and Dilli Hut

The hustle of Indian life is so… relaxed and calming in a mesmerizing way. Today was a relaxing and calm day. We ventured out to ‘Fab India’ a rather upper class collection of stores selling clothes, furnishings, and other housewares. I bought a full outfit, including Kurta, Dupatta, and all. Hopefully we’re going to get to see the Karmapa and I really want to dress appropriately should that happen.

Dilli Hut is a wondefully vivid and bustling outdoor bazarre. It’s full to the brim of handmade items from all over India. Met a wonderful family from Bihar who made silk shawls. We bought several from them each and chatted for over an hour. Learned so much about their work, lives, and hardships. It was wonderful to be able to connect so readily with people–everyone here seems so open. So welcoming. So… nice.

Already I am finding myself very contemplative and thoughtful about the changes I would like this trip to bring. Close female companionship always brings up maternal issues and lack of a mother-figure in my own life. Since 7 of the 8 participants here are women and 6 of those are older than me, already I feel the pull. But that’s what this trip is about. Letting go, moving on, becoming, blossoming, blooming… saying goodbye and hello in the same breath.

One of the things I am quickly appreciating is the splendour and vibrancy of colour in this country. It is everywhere. The women dress brightly, the trees are vivid green and the flowers punctuate like precious gems. It is everywhere, colour. So different from our bland lives back home, where everyone dresses in muted colours and barely acknowledges one another… this place is so… full of life!

Later:

Now we’re finally on the train to Pathankot. It’s amazing; like something out of an old movie. The cabin is fair-sized with four bunks, a small table, and three windows. Luxury compared to regular class–where eight people squeeze onto a wooden bench made for four and some even stand for the entire overnight journey. It certainly brings perspective to comfort and privilege. Here even the train platforms are packed with blankets resembling discarded piles of cloth; however, they bare a startling resemblance to human form, and it’s not until they stir that one realizes they are men, women, children. People who have nowhere else but the train platform to sleep. There are so many of them. Horror turns to wonder and fear and then awe. The strength, grit, and damn beauty of these people is overwhelming.

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