Monthly Archives: May 2009

On Standby – Back To Reality!

Since graduating just over two weeks ago, I’ve barely even thought about writing a blog. My relationship with my keyboard has changed perhaps. I spent many hundreds of hours, typing away on all of my essays and projects, and as soon as they were finished, I realised it was high time my computer and I took some time out from our relationship.

Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder – with my newfound apathy towards blogging, I’ve discovered that sometimes it’s refreshing not to have to update the world on your every rambling train of thought. It’s nice to just think things, without having to report them. It’s nice to just have experiences, without taking mental notes for dynamic summarisations. It’s nice to just be. Forget about the internet world, with its pop-ups, and requests, and demands, and politics, and advertising, and ‘pokes’ and people I’ve never had a face-to-face conversation with. Putting a pen to real paper feels like breathing a lungful of fresh air. Knowing that that piece of paper will not be immediately fed through to hundreds of eyes is so grounding.

A friend of mine persuaded me to join Twitter the other week. I reluctantly gave in – others had been bugging me too, so I tried it out. I quickly lost interest, after a few posts. Perhaps something’s changing in my life again. Where I once felt a need to share, I feel a return to my old diary writing days coming on. Sharing thoughts with close friends; writing letters; working the earth of our vegetable plot outside; taking time to read the Bhagavad Gita – it’s back to reality.

I spent last weekend in Birmingham, attending a 24 hour Hare Krishna kirtan. It was wonderful – so simple – 24 hours, and all cares left at the door. I won’t tell you all about it. I won’t even write about what else I’ve been doing, or about my summer plans. I’m sure you don’t need to know, even if you’re curious. It’s not important. I’ll start blogging more regularly again soon, but perhaps with a better eye for what really needs to be preserved online for thousands of years, and what can simply be thought, then thrown away. How refreshing.

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Kishori Yatra – Easter 2009: Day Five – Saying Goodbye

By the last day of our trip, I was exhausted! I never realised how much energy it took to lead a trip like this, and I was really grateful that I wasn’t doing it alone!

We spent the morning cleaning up the house we’d been staying in. Between all the girls, we managed to finish on time, and rushed to the temple to have one last kirtan with Pancatattva and the Swansea devotees.

We were due to reach Swindon by lunchtime, where we’d visit the home of Justin and Lisa – two wonderful devotees. Lisa runs a beading business, leading parties and workshops, as well as selling her own creations that often incorporate Tulasi wood.

After a delicious lunch, the girls went wild over the table full of beads. Hands reached, passing trays over heads – creativity was buzzing!

A few hours later, loaded with new earrings, bracelets and necklaces, we left Swindon for the final leg of the journey, back to good old Hertfordshire. Along the way Nadiya and I taught the girls some songs…

Home at last!

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Kishori Yatra – Easter 2009: Day Four – Jai Hanuman!

Our fourth day coincided with Hanuman Jayanti, so after a very short morning program at home, we made our way to the temple, where I gave a short presentation on Hanuman. We talked about what lessons we can learn from his exemplary character, then acted out a song about the time he tried to catch the sun. This song comes from a production of the Ramayana, performed by children of the New Mayapur (France) gurukula, about twenty years ago. I performed it too, when I was about nine years old – so it was fun to pass it on…

We talked a lot about Hanuman’s inexhaustible desire to serve Lord Rama, and before long, it was time to get stuck into some service ourselves! Armed with dusters and polishing spray, we started on the temple room ceiling, and made our way down to the floor. Even the picture frames got some much needed attention.

Afterwards we had some time to make thank you cards for the Swansea devotees. Their sincere care for us was really heartwarming, and all of the girls put a lot of effort into creating beautiful tokens of our gratitude.

Later, as the rain began to pour again we walked around the coastal village of Mumbles, just down the road from Swansea. Everyone’s favourite place was the old fashioned sweet shop, where Janaki decided to buy perhaps the most disgusting sweets ever made – sour lemons. We all tried to eat at least one each – some found it easier than others…

Janaki (and her moustache) survey the sweet selection…

Rosie passes the sour lemon test (then everyone had to have a go!)

In the evening, the girls took a (rare) quiet moment to write postcards that we’d bought in Mumbles to themselves, reminding them of important thoughts, realisations or goals that they wanted to remember from the trip – we’ll post them in a few months!

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