There is no journey without home…

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A  journey for me is something indeed very special.. For a few cherished days, I am an adventurer, a voyager, a romantic, set out to amass as many visual, sensory, spiritual experiences as i could in my little sac of life.  And yes, later,  this cauldron of wisdom, sensations and experiences  would suffice me, guide me into being  a more conscious soul, by  becoming a compass for the days i feel lost , blue or simply adrift. It is magical to explore a place with all my senses, my eyes, ears, skin, taste, smell..looking for yet another moment of serendipity around the block.

And lo and behold the joy of discovering something as simple as myraid coloured, tender summer blooms, being acutely sensitive to the magnificient art of the old masters, along with the colourful grafitti of street artists, tasting the local cuisines in cozy intimate cafes. One of my favourite activities is people watching and meandering like a nomad under the canopy of stars and witnessing some fine, innovative and edgy local bands..Soaking in some great music in the chilly evenings with a hot cuppa:)

Journeys often do that to us..give us vigour, sparkle, change our( or lack of ) perception of the world, makes us discover who we really are, appreciate the greatness of all cultures and even recognise how inconsequential and trivial our disputes can be and how unworthy mankind is of this beautiful planet that owes us practically nothing.

Travel does make us spend quality time with our kin ( or for some familiarity also breeds contempt ) and helps us rediscover the many joys we shared, to relive them fully again. To walk , on the road less travelled..initiates us on a journey without a destination…

Everytime I travel, I feel a deep sense of gratitude, I come back with a stronger and a profound  feeling of belonging, ever greatful for this window of wonder that life has offered  me..

and hence, there really can be no journey without home….

The elegance of the Hedgehog

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This exquisite book by Muriel Barbery, begins with Rene, a concierge who is short, plump and ugly. If that sounds a bit too banal, then the exhilarating part is that her mind is the antithesis of her body: brilliant, acute, discerning, enlightened and her heart, aching for a more organic, genial relationship with the universe.

In this humdrum existence, enters the wide-eyed twelve year old Paloma. Precocious but delightful, a deeply observant and an exceptionally intelligent child, who has decided to envision the greatest number of profound thoughts and formulate each one of them into a haiku or a tanka. One such tanka goes like this:

The strong ones

Among humans

Do nothing

They talk

And talk again

And thus begins their profound journey, a relentless search for beauty and the meaning of life. Beauty that is ephemereal, transient and yet, and a sublime level, it is an initiation to the way of consonance. Beauty is when everything is in perfect harmony, when one feels inspired by the greatness of small things. This luminous philosophy of the east  made a deep impression on both Rene and Paloma and is evident in their love of the tea ritual; its repitition of gestures and accesion to simple and refined sensations. Tea, says Rene, has the extraordinary virtue of introducing in our lives, moments of serene harmony.

Rene’s ruminations on language, her contemplation on the elevation of mankind and the profound thoughts of Paloma are interspersed at the most fortuitous juncture.

“Pity the poor in spirit who know neither the enchantment nor the beauty of language” and “pleasure without desire,existence without duration, beauty without will”, are some of the rare jewels which are timeless and have to be experienced intensively, for they rescue us from the boredom of everyday life and from human longing.

This novel speaks to us like a journal and one can feel the intimacy between the reader and its characters. If anything, this book is about searching for those moments of always within never