India – From A to B

November 11th, 2011 · Lisa · Travel · Comments
I finally moved on from the ease of  Auroville to bustling Bangalore. It has been quite a journey.
Before leaving Auroville, in an attempt to leave a lasting impression, I gave a raw food demo on Wednesday night for an enthusiastic audience. I’m sure I’ll be remembered as the cashew lady.

The team at SHARANworked tirelessly by my side for days to prep everything for our guests. I wish I had a shot of the night Nandita and I finished the shopping, picked up springform pans, and carried home our equipment all on the back of her motorbike. In that moment I felt like I was in India.

I don’t have a lot of pictures from the demo and they are a little bit blurry so I apologize but I wanted to give you a little taste of what we presented. There were smoothies, a salad, a zucchini roll stuffed with fermented cashew cheese topped with a red pepper marinara and two decadent desserts: date squares and a cheesecake. Everyone stayed around to ask questions, I was gift a beautiful table cover and people raved about the food. I love having the opportunity to introduce people to a whole new cuisine! I know many left feeling inspired to eat more raw foods and empowered with a list of accessible recipes they now how to tackle.

As soon as we cleaned up, I called my Mom over skype to wish her a Happy Birthdayand went back to my room to stuff everything back into my carry-on bag. We met a taxi at 7:30 the next morning and hit the road to Punducherry. There we navigated the never ending traffic of the bus station.

Nandita may look concerned but that’s only because she’s taking such good care of me and ensuring I always have everything I need. She booked us tickets on this sweet ride.

It promised I would sleep like a baby – but navigating the craters on the road to Bangalore made for a slow and bumpy nine hours. I didn’t sleep a wink. I found myself quite engrossed in the scenery. It was like watching a beautiful film, with monkeys playing on the street, temples in the distances and rolling hills of green. I also had the pleasure of my first squat toilets since my arrival. 🙂

Although I’ve been here for more than a week I’m still getting used to the frenetic energy that exists everywhere. At the bus stations, we never stopped. People jumped on or off when the bus slowed down. When we hit the highway – the transit buses had people hanging by their arms on the outside. That is a pretty extreme way to build up your upper body strength. I can’t even imagine holding my arm out the window on the 401 let alone hanging onto my car by my arm.

When we arrived in Bangalore we were dropped on the side of a huge highway and watched the traffic whiz by as we waited for our ride. Nandita and I soon found ourselves escorted to the In The Pinkorganic and vegetarian restaurant by its owner. There we worked on taste testing the recipes and finalizing the shopping list for Friday morning’s prep work. I snacked on some incredible, fresh papaya. I’ve never tasted anything as sweet and fragrant in Toronto. It was a wonderful treat.

We also sampled the red rice idli, spicy sambar and chutney the kitchen had prepared for Nandita’s Saturday session on Reversing Diabetes. This is a traditional breakfast in Southern India. The chef did a wonderful job but I’m still not used to eating something spicy first thing in the morning. But…I’ve had it a few days in a row and it is growing on me.

After a very long travel day we heading out to our apartment for the night. It is a lovely, modern space. We did our best to fall asleep with the city noise in exuberant concert all night. The dogs form a chorus, the horns blend in harmony and I try my best to drift into my dreams.

Before my arrival this article came out in the Bangalore Mirror.

I’ll fill you in on the rest of my Bangalore adventure soon. It is an exploding city, the technology hub of India. An amazing place full of contrast, beauty and chaos at every turn.

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