A week earlier the plan was that I would have a few days at the school were I had been working in the past 5 weeks and then on the last Monday I would start a one-week internship in a much bigger school. An institute with more teachers speaking English, someone in the management devoted to spirituality and having more space for yoga and free movement, with the constant assistance of an English-speaker teacher. But then the demonstrations started and lasted for long days, we were closed in the house for a week. After the unexpected school holiday, I didn’t want to extend my stay in Punjab to spend the planned one week in this new institute. I was much rather tempted by visiting the art festival organized by my friends in Parvati Valley at the first weekend of September. So I decided to leave Punjab on Friday and on the day before to go to my former school in the morning to say good bye and spend one day in the other institute.
So, this Thursday morning started with a sudden good bye, pictures with all the classes and teachers and I even got an award of honour. Then I went to the other institute. I joined some English classes, was shown all around the school and I also gave a seminar to more than one hundred girls, where I was talking about my experiences in India. I was of course also talking about how I find Indian ladies at least as beautiful as they find me. I like their soft and shiny black hair, beautiful brown eyes at least as much as they like my blond hair an blue/green eyes. I was glad to share the positive energy in me, suggesting that everything is possible if we don’t close ourselves in the box of limitations and are open to all opportunities offered by life. And when it came to cultural differences, it felt so good to share one of the main teachings I received in Punjab: there is no such as good or bad. We can talk about Western culture and Sikh culture, living in a small town with a family or travelling all around the word on our own, everything has its own benefits and challenges.
It was also nice experience to sing a song in front of such a big audience. Even if it was just a simple song like the “Lion sleeps tonight”. This one became the ultimate song for me when I am asked to sing (this has happened so often recently, in so many situations..:-))
I was also granted an award for my one-day visit and an invitation to join the school for a few months. Not now.
After reaching home, a rain was about to come. Enjoyed the approaching blissful raindrops with the kids and then the time had come to visit a fellow teacher to get my salary. I visited their home. I had been quite a regular guest in this fellow teacher’s home but there were some neighbors and relatives who I hadn’t met before. So…we took the last chance. I couldn’t even tell how many homes I visited in this evening, how many photos were taken, how many cold drinks I had, how many times I said no to the dinner invitations. Since I resisted to accept food, at some places they gave me some fruits to take away, at some places they gave me some money as a blessing for my journey ahead. I felt like a little boy at Easter time in Hungary. Something I used to miss from my life as a kid. (At Easter in Hungary, the boys visit all relatives and friends, tell a poem, put some rose water on the ladies’ and girls’ hair and grab some money and sweets in return.)
After having a full bag and purse, I was dropped to the dance academy. This was the moment, for which I had been waiting and of which I had been so much afraid. Another meeting with the skilled Punjabi dancers, another occasion to face how difficult it is for me sometimes to dance when I cannot switch off my reasonable mind. But the the most amazing surprise was waiting for me here. One of the dance teachers was actually interested in free dancing. He was teaching a small group, to whom I was talking a bit about free movement, showing some hints of 5rythms and Skinner release practices. Dancing through the wave and our body parts. I even participated in a live stream but the best was the ending, when we were just dancing freely with all the dance teachers. Like dropping into a surprise party.
And then came the last stop of the evening. The dinner with the dance teacher’s family. A traditional muslim family, who made an amazing fish curry for me, on open fire. Haven’t had any fish or meat for such a long time… was really ready for this little retreat. Here I received another form of blessing. As I was sitting cross-legged on the bed, enjoying the fish, at one point the dance teacher’s parents were coming to me, sitting on my two sides, grabbing some food from my plate. I soon realized that they wanted to feed me. The mother put some cucumber to my mouth, the father gave me some chapati dipped in the curry. I love this Indian tradition, to give blessing to each other by putting some delicious bites to each other’s mouth.
We finished the dinner with singing together and of course with a promise that if I come to Punjab next time, first I will visit their home. How many times I made this promise…:-)
I arrived home very late. Finished packing my bag and soon the last day started. With a huge rain, and some members of my hosting family angry with me because I arrived home so late the day before. I felt also very controversial. Filled with joy and sorrow at the same time. The situation just got worse because of the rain. The plan was to go to my previous school for a small farewell party before my fellow teacher drops me to the bus stand towards Chandigarh. But in the huge rain my family didn’t let me just walk to meet the fellow teacher who would take me to the school. They wanted to take me by car. But was also not sure where they wanted to take me (whether they really understand what was my plan) and the father of the family refused to answer my questions about what was going on. I got stressed. At one point we stopped, the fellow teacher’s car stopping next to us. In the huge rain I just jumped out and took my bag from one car to another and left without saying a proper good bye and giving a proper hug to those beautiful people who had been my family in the past 6 weeks.
I burst in tears and well, tears followed me on my way this day. Until I reached Chandigarh, where I became the traveller again, going through the craziest emotions, being open to all adventures. And following the calling from the Himalayas.