This Is India – Part 6

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January 18th – 19th, 2016 – Delhi, India to Ottawa, Canada

After texting with NJ a few more goodbyes I was at the airport in Pune ready to do my last internal flight before heading home.  I was an expert at stuffing as much as possible into my carry-ons to avoid the excess baggage weight.   Meanwhile, at the Pune counter, another helpful young man insisted he try to pack more things into my carry-on!  Oh my goodness not again, those unmentionables 😛  Maybe this was a way for them to see what foreign girls carry in their suitcases!!  So here we go again…apparently he was able to get even more things into my carry-ons so in the end, I was grateful and embarrassed.  This Is India.  Same security water bottle story repeats itself in Pune except this time they want to see what’s in one of my carry-ons.  Oh wow, I have to unstuff this thing and search for a little statue I bought.  All my things were everywhere and then they wanted to see what was in my make-up bag.  The guy was funny because he held up my eyebrow plucker and asked me what this was used for, I was laughing so hard he started laughing too.  Why is the airport such an adventure for me?

On the plane I sat next to a little boy around 4 years old and his dad.  The boy was pretty chatty asking me questions like where am I going, am I all alone, touching my hair and smiling.  I entertained this little boy for about an hour and then the dad said his son rarely talks to anyone.  I was shocked and happy at the same time 🙂  For some reason kids open up to me, I don’t know why.  Then….. in the aisle over was his wife and I only realized that when I looked up and made eye contact with her.  She was not impressed with me having fun with her son and talking to her husband so I had to stop talking and entertaining.  Is This India?

The eagle landed in Delhi and I was meeting another blogging friend before heading home.  I had many hours to kill so it was nice to have a visit with one more person, Srinath Krishnamoorthy from Kerala, India.  Please visit his awesome blog SrinathKrishnamoorthy because not only is he a fellow blogger, he is a published author and his book is flying off shelves and running out at book fairs across India!  The title is “Hope We Never Meet Again” I am currently reading it right now and it’s a great page turner.  You can buy his book on sites like Amazon and FlipCart and I highly recommend reading it.  Very big thank you to Darshith for introducing me to Srinath’s blog months ago because if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be meeting Srinath today.  Thanks Darshith 😀

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After getting my luggage and getting organized, I talked with Srinath on the phone to find out how we will recognize each other.  I said I’m the only foreign girl standing outside near gate 3 at domestic arrivals terminal 3 😉  Sure enough we found each other!  Srinath is a ball of energy with such inspiration when he talks.  He was at a Delhi Book Fair during the weekend and over 250 copies of his book sold out and he managed to save one just for me.  He gave me the book and personally signed my copy right there.  I was so thankful and happy to meet him and he said this is the first book which is leaving India to another country!  How amazing is that?  He also gave me several bookmarks that I could pass around to my friends and family which I am currently doing now 😀  We talked for almost two hours about life, quotes, tough times, writing, finding a publisher and I explained my reasons for coming and my personal history to him with tears of course.  Srinath is very understanding and also has a big heart just like all my other friends.  He said I need to write my story, get it out I can write a book about my experience and said it might be possible to co-author with him one day.  I was extremely interested and motivated when he said this and yes I still am Srinath!  I’m going to work on this and keep you posted for sure my friend.  Originally we were supposed to meet in Pune but couldn’t because of Srinath’s busy schedule with promoting his book but it worked out to meet in Delhi after all.  Srinath, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for meeting me at the airport and encouraging me to write my story which I will do.  It was an absolute pleasure talking with you and hearing your thoughts, feelings, insights and perspectives on life.  These are the types of conversations that I love because they connect us, we’re all dealing with something therefore we’re all connected.  We just need to show up.  This Is India.

It was time for me to check my luggage and Srinath had to go.  We said our goodbyes and again me being the emotional one, but by this point, it was ok and the people at Delhi airport were like family to me now since I’ve been there so many times in the past 3 weeks!  They knew me by now 😉

I went to the Air Canada ticket counter this time and checked my heavy suitcases in and when flying International with them, you are allowed 2 complimentary bags.  No more excess baggage and no more Rupees.  I watched my bags zoom across as I waved bye bye to them.  I saved my ticket stubs from most of my flights and had to take a pic to show you!  Here’s my famous luggage which is very flashy because I purposely bought something that would stand out so it wouldn’t get lost.  Mission accomplished on that one.

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I went to eat at a restaurant and then texts and calls were coming in from my India friends wishing me bon voyage which was so sweet of them.  I stayed in touch until I got on the plane at 12:45 a.m. on January 19th.  I felt sad leaving them but so happy I was able to have this lifetime experience full of great, great memories.  I’ve been enjoying writing about this trip and I thank all my readers, followers new and old for joining me on this trip via WordPress.  Like Darshith said to me, if it wasn’t for WP I wouldn’t have had these friendships, experiences or this trip and he’s right.  WordPress has changed my life and it can also change yours in so many ways because so much is possible.  If you want something bad enough and there’s a wall facing you, jump over it, knock it down do whatever you need to do.  When there’s a will there’s a way.

I flew back to Canada connecting in Toronto and landing in Ottawa.  The temp was -30C and lots of snow was on the ground.  Big difference from Pune at +30 C just a few days ago.  My great friend Helene picked me up at the airport with a winter coat for me to put on for the ride home which was so nice of her.  Merci beaucoup Helene!!

I messaged everyone back in India that I made it home and it was freezing here.  This Is Canada.

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Some questions I’ve been asked by my friends and family since I’ve been back:

Q:  How was the food?
A:  Amazing, I loved it all even the spicy food

Q:  Did you get sick?
A:  Nope.

Q:  Did you have a culture shock, you must have had that?
A:  No I just went with the flow had an open mind and heart because hey This Is India.

Q:  How was the weather?
A:  Great!  Always between +18 C to +32 C depending on where I was (jealousy…) and no rain

Q:  How was it meeting your blogging friends?
A:  So inspiring and so much fun, they were my highlight that’s for sure

Q:  Were you able to meet ChicWithMessyBun?
A:  No unfortunately not, her mom became sick so we had to cancel.  Both of us were sad but understanding.  Next time we will have to meet.  Miss you Bhavya!

Q:  How was the Retreat?
A:  Awesome, I loved everything about it

Q:  Did you take lots of pictures?
A:  Yes, probably close to 500

Q:  Would you go back again?
A:  In a heartbeat.

So Srinath, in honor of your book, I Hope We DO Meet Again!  When I come back I’ll visit you in Kerala like you insisted and I hope I pronounce it right!!  That was so funny learning how to say it like a local with you.  This Is India.

 

Much Love,

Jenny ❤
xo

This Is India – Part 4

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January 13th– 15th, 2016 – Bhubaneswar, India (again..)

The Dehra Dun airport is the smallest one I’ve been in so far.  The same procedures happen as far as paying for excess baggage, going through security in the ladies line up, watching my 2 litre water bottle go through the scanner to be photographed again.   BUT….this time when my bottle reached the other side, a guard asked me to take a sip of the water in front of him.  My jaw hit the floor.  Now I was feeling more Canadian having someone being suspicious of my water bottle.  I twisted that cap off with a huge grin and gladly took a big sip.  He seemed to grin back at me and waved me off like I had passed the test.  Yayyy!!  This is India.  There seemed to be more foreigners like me in this airport because in Rishikesh it’s a big outdoor adventure town and people from all over the world go there to do things like bungee jumping, white water rafting and more.

When I arrived in Delhi I wanted a coffee so I went to the food court on the upper level.  What on earth did I see but a whole lot of pigeons flying and walking around in the food court!  For a moment I felt I was at the beach with the seagulls back home.  Here is a picture of Mr. Pigeon strutting his stuff in Delhi Airport.  This Is India.

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My connecting flight from Delhi to Bhubaneswar was great and the thing about flying within India whether it’s a two hour flight or more, they feed you.  Not just peanuts in a mini bag, a hot meal with silverware and it’s included in the price of your flight.  This is India.  This also makes me very happy 😛

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to check into the Mayfair again because they were full, but I did stay at another great place called The Swosti Hotel.  The staff were great but nothing compares to the Mayfair.  I got in late so I wasn’t able to see Darshith that night but we were able to text so that was great.  He was working the next day anyway.

I woke up early the next morning and got ready to go out and be a tourist seeing temples and doing some more shopping, just to add more weight to my luggage!  The hotel hired an auto-rickshaw driver to stay with me for the day and be by my side while shopping.  Now I know how celebrities feel.  I have to admit I felt safe and nervous all at the same time but it was all good.  The driver was really nice and the first thing we did was go shopping.  It was a bit strange having someone watch and wait for me while I looked around in stores and he even pointed things out for me to buy!  Walking around with him produced many stares and gazes from people but there was nothing I could do.  After buying several things it was time to drive around in the chaos and see some temples.  After all, that’s what Bhubaneswar is famous for are their temples  🙂

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They were all very beautiful and peaceful.  I felt more spiritual and calm just being there, it was such a great feeling.  These were some of the reasons I chose to do this trip.  I found it interesting how serene I would feel while visiting the temples and then how chaotic I would feel getting back into the auto-rickshaw and the traffic!  This Is India.  Cows are considered Holy in India and they roam the streets in the traffic, I don’t know how they stay safe but they manage to do it thank goodness.  It’s really nice seeing them like this.

After a day of going around, I went back to the hotel to eat and rest.  When Darshith finished work he came by for another visit and we picked up our conversation where we left off and laughed and talked a lot which was so great.  It was nice having a second chance of meeting again but we only had that evening because I was leaving the next day already.  It was time to say good bye again and we all know how good I am at that!  Not.  This time I was actually better than the other time so I was slightly improving.

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When I think about why I was in India, sometimes I have to pinch myself.  To get a new start and connect more with my blogging friends there.  Through blogging in WordPress you get to know people by how they think because it’s reflected in how they write.  Their thoughts and feelings dig deep inside you leaving a unique mark on you that’s just from them.  I have many of these connections and marks with all of you and I think it’s important to say that it’s a friendship kind of love because we understand and appreciate one another.  Being appreciated and understood are what we all crave and we can achieve that here.  Love is not always attainable; yes it’s wonderful to be loved but more profound to be understood.

The next day I am off to visit my lovely friend NJ and her hubby for a few days and I can’t wait 😀

I had a great time feeding my soul in Bhubaneswar again.

This Is India.

Stay tuned, to be continued in Pune….

Namaste,

Jenny
xo

 

Thank You For Being Such A Pain ~ By Mark I. Rosen

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Not only is this a catchy, punchy title for a book, it makes a lot of sense…once you read it.  For some this may trigger some laughter and for others they might find it offensive at first glance.  Personally, I found it funny and real. Little did I know it was going to wake me up to something bigger and better.

I was at a conference last year when I came across this book and after reading the description on the back cover and browsing through the table of contents, people around me started to ask me questions and we joked about the title.  Even when I bought the book, the volunteers working the table asked me to read it and come back to give them a report on it!  This was a big conversation piece and I could hardly wait to dive in and read it.

As it reads on the back cover, “With wisdom and humor, Thank You For Being Such A Pain offers gentle and compassionate guidance for understanding and healing relationships with difficult people.  The author Mark I. Rosen, Ph.D., reminds us that nothing in your life happens randomly and your pain has a deeper purpose; frustration and pain are as necessary for your personal and spiritual growth as love and joy; transforming enmity and completing unfinished business may be the most important skills you can learn in life; and when you make an effort to work on your inner self, your outer relationships will be transformed.”  The bottom line is that after reading this book, it can change the way you see the difficult people in your life as well as the way you see yourself.  The silver lining awakening is that over time, you will be able to thank the difficult person for what they said or did to you because it helped you learn something about yourself and it made you grow into a better human being.  Your higher self.

Everyone can relate to this book because there are difficult people everywhere we go and there have been times where we are the difficult person.  (I know, harsh but true…).  We can’t always point the finger at someone else, it’s important to take some responsibility for our own actions and how we may have contributed to the situation.  After all, nobody’s perfect.

Gasp! 

I really love how the author explains the emotional and spiritual side of understanding the difficulties, options for dealing with difficult people, why people are difficult, healing the difficulties, embracing the adversary and relating to difficult people overall.

I would like to share a powerful exercise from the book that I recently found to be helpful in my own life after being heart broken and it’s called Three Healing Letters.  The purpose of this exercise is to use writing as an outlet for emotional release, most commonly anger and sadness.  For all the writers out there, just remember do not send, post, give these letters to the difficult person!  This exercise is just for you and your heart.

Letter 1:

With pen in hand or computer in front of you, write a letter to the difficult person.  Feel free to say whatever is on your mind and in your heart, don’t hold anything back.  How were you hurt?  What was taken away from you?  How has your life been affected?   What do you think of the person?

Take your time when you write and there is no deadline so add to it as needed over how many days, weeks, months it takes.  Pay attention to how you feel in your body, what physical sensations are happening as you write?  These are your emotions being released, be kind to yourself.  Keep writing.

Read what you have so far out loud with all your emotion while imagining the difficult person is sitting in front of you not interrupting or defending.  Find a quiet, private area to do this… 🙂

When you no longer feel the intensity of emotions inside you as you write and read the letter out loud, the letter is finished.  Resist the temptation to mail it!

Letter 2:

Now you can write the fantasy reply you would love to receive to letter 1.  Take a different position by writing as if you were the difficult person.  What do you want to hear?  What would you like the person to say to you that would ease the pain and make you feel better?  What type of apology would provide some closure for you?  What would you like to be acknowledged?

Continue to pay attention to your physical reactions as you write, cry it all out if you feel like it.  Even though you may never receive a letter like this it will feel good to express it.

Letter 3:

As strange as it may sound, write the difficult person a thank-you letter.  Thank them for all the positive things they did for you in your relationship despite the wedge that sits between you now.  What might be the blessing in disguise here for you?

Thank the person for teaching you valuable life lessons that you wouldn’t have normally seen if it wasn’t for them.  Not only did they teach you about patience and compassion but also about sharpening your relationship skills for future use with others. You may even want to thank them for not seeing the real you because now you are free to find someone who truly appreciates you for who you really are.

If you are having trouble finding anything positive or unable to say thank you, then your anger hasn’t been fully vented or dealt with yet.  Please know this is okay and that you need to spend more time on letters 1 and 2 while reminding yourself there is no deadline.  Time is your friend.

When you have completed letter 3, you are finally able to forgive, let go and surrender.  You have healed from within because love replaced fear and gratitude shifted your perspective.  Burn the letters, shred them or even bury them in the sand and have them washed away for good.  Do something profound to mark the occasion of putting the past behind you where it belongs.

You are light and free.

Now you can say “thank you for being such a pain” with compassion for yourself…and mean it.

Hugs,

Jennifer  xo