India: Shake, Rattle and Roll

November 4th, 2011 · Lisa · Travel · Comments
I’m in India!
I’ve been shaken in my bed by thunder and lightening,
I’ve been rattled by the intensity of the traffic here,
I’m learning to roll with it all.
I started the epic journey on Emirates. What a wonderful airline! Even though I was sitting in economy I felt like I was in first class. The seats are big and comfy, the food is ample and amazing and customer service is stellar. I was very impressed. After thirteen relaxing hours I landed in Dubai.
Dubai airport is shiny and beautiful. There are palm trees, there is a caviar bar, there is a gold bar. Incredible. I found some soymilk there that I added to my raw granola before I boarded my flight to Chennai. I arrived at 2:15 am in a blur. I got off the plane and walked out into the parking lot where a gentleman was holding a welcome sign for me. We then drove three and a half hours to Auroville through  the monsoon. I kept falling asleep so it is all a bit hazy but I eventually reached my room and slept on till noon.

I’m staying in a guest house in a retreat centre. It is a great quiet space when the thunder isn’t rolling in. Auroville is a very interesting place. It was established as an intentional community. There is a very strong sense of shared ownership here. You need a Auroville card to purchase items at the grocery store, at the bakery and to participate in the tiffin delivery. Because of the unique history there is large international population. I’ve met people from all over Europe and North America who have lived here for decades. Sharan has worked hard here and it shows – walking into the bakery to discover vegan brownies was quite a delight.

For lunch yesterday we all went to Satchitananda a raw, vegan restaurant in Auroville. The owner and chef trained with Gabriel Cousins at the Tree of Life in Arizona. I was very excited to see a kitchen filled with Excaliburs and Vitamix blenders. We enjoyed quite a feast, fresh green juice, a creamy squash soup, spicy raita, italian pizza and pumpkin pie. Just as we were reaching our limit we sampled a few sweet chocolate and mango bars. It was an incredible meal and truly a treat to experience while in India.

After lunch three of us headed off to Ponducherry. It was just a taste of what I can expect from the bigger cities in India. The traffic was intense, the streets were filled with people and the stores were stocked floor to ceiling with fabrics, jewellery and stainless steel kitchenware.

The tiffin selection was extensive – although my collection at home is already full.

It was the first sunny day since my arrival and I really felt the change in the heat and humidity. I’m sure everyone at home is grumbling about the snowy weather so I won’t complain about the heat here.

Before we left we went for a seaside stroll. It was wonderful to feel the cool breeze from the ocean, to be greeted by Ghandi and enthusiastic merchants along the coast.

Today I will be recipe testing in Auroville to finalize everything for my presentations next week. The registrations are starting to fill up in Auroville, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi.

I hope all is well at home. Take care of each other and I’ll check in again soon.

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