Friday, December 12, 2008

Back with a Pocketful of Little Tales

On mossy ground... (all photos by Eye in the Sky)

I am back! I have never felt "richer" with experience and frivolity and a dozen bags full of little tales. I would admit to having had difficulty with the food in India and Bangladesh - I am not into spices and my appetite is as unadventurous as my soul is full of curiousities. This is a fact! I tried never skipping a meal. I would EAT on schedule even without the hunger or appetite just to make sure I am nourished - but my constant mobility - one that allowed me to move from one city to the next every 3-4 days - had been a test of stamina and endurance! I lost 8 pounds and my skin proudly displays its sunkissed sheen.

I will never regret anything except that I lost my Warner Brothers' Max Payne cap and one of my credit cards (reported, blocked and with no untoward extra-curricular activities).

I gained 3 good friends and several acquaintances including 2 physicians, 1 flight steward and his siblings, an Almodovar actor and his girl-friend, and a delightful spice-trader from Mumbai. I have learned several things too about myself - I've confirmed that I am such a soft-hearted BIG tipper - even to those who tried squeezing money from me - haha! And I have learned that life in the desert is only romantic in novels! I will always remember waking up in the Thar Desert with jaws shivering like crazy! As I pulled down my comforter, I was able to gaze at a cloudless midnight sky that had thousands of bright sparkling stars - and a proud proud moon that wasn't there earlier! My rucksack had desert sand, but my spirit rode on some of the greatest tales of Lawrence of Arabia.

I am finally able to taste my packet of Kashmiri Tea - "tsai"! I've never boiled a "pot" for one before. I've lived in London for a couple of years. I've even taken tea-education and tea-tasting ceremonies in Hangzhou China, yet I never appreciated tea - until now! They are right! I loved the Massala Tea that I've tasted all over India - but Kashmiri Tea has to rank up there!

My brother - who isn't a tea lover - was asking if he could swallow those dark sediments settling down his cup. Of course he could - they are real tea leaves, after all! Not artificial tea-tasting sediments!

I have a charmed life.

And I am blessed.

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