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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Keeping track of the days

My last day at school ended on quite a high. There was a festival at a temple and a group of students had to give a concert, chanting songs. All the teachers had to be there too. They needed to be on stage, sitting like Buddha’s just like the kids, singing, swaying, clapping, chanting. It was quite an experience; the energy their volume and sound created, was massive. It felt like a perfect way for me to end my time at the school. There was also an audience of a few hundred people and an elephant was the star guest. Afterwards all the students and teachers were on such a high, as was I. We were brought back home in the schoolbus. Making our way through the tiny village roads there were more elephants being walked along the roads through the dark. Man, I was having those moments of awe: realizing… that YES I’m in India! I was then dropped back at the hostel, I said farewell to them all, gave them my best and funniest Malayalam and phrases (the local language), they all roared with laughter, I jumped out of the bus, skipped off down the lane to the hostel, only to hear the teachers shouting out of the window for me to come back soon. It was quite an exit… But I felt so great.

So, Saturday was the last full day in Kayamkulam. I was packing, posting, meeting, washing, ‘netting’ (online) and whatever else I needed to be doing. Sunday morning I set off to the trainstation. And I didn’t think twice about the fact that I was moving on. It was so strange. Leaving Kayamkulam didn’t feel like I was closing any doors. I just… left, without too much reflection or contemplation or sadness. All I heard myself saying was: ‘I’m moving onwards to bigger and better circumstances and accomplishments’. So how could a person be sad? I know if I miss Kerala and want to come back, the school will take me in an instant. I know how easily I can make it happen. Nothing is impossible and if I’m meant to return, then it will be.

Anyhow, I got the train to Kottayam on Sunday morning, to make a short stop. I was meeting with a teacher friend, from the second school I was working in during my first time in India (Ebenezer). I hadn’t seen her since leaving the school, but we’ve had a lot of contact on facebook and to meet her again on my last day in Kerala was quite a special ending. Having such connections will always be one of the things that will draw me back sooner or later. After our short but very sweet meeting I boarded the train; 40 hours of sitting and starting out the window, lay ahead of me. And wouw, what a trip it was! It was actually one of the most memorable ones I’ve had. I felt so calm and everything became so clear to me, as I gazed out the window, happy to do absolutely nothing for hours and hours on end – except for reflect and gaze at the scenery and people. It was quite a ride… I didn’t really sleep too much. Because the temperature dropped quite a bit during the night, and I was without a blanket. But, nevertheless, it was great. Coming into Mumbai at 5am, after a few sleepless nights, was something I wasn’t really looking forward to.

Actually, secretly I was dreading being in Mumbai. I didn’t want to be hanging around the city for 2 full days. I hadn’t even booked anywhere to stay. And I knew how much of a hassle it can be, trying to find a place to stay with 25 kilos of luggage weighing me down whilst trying to keep the men at bay who would be forcing overpriced taxi’s and hotels on me.

This morning, walking out of the station so early, the drivers jumped on me and I didn’t fight them off. I didn’t have the energy. So I went along with an offer one of the drivers gave me. He wasn’t totally honest and upfront and sprung some hidden charges on me, once we were in the guest house. These were charges he so conveniently ‘forgot’ to mention when we were getting into the taxi. But that’s my own fault and a lesson learnt for the next time. I’m over it. And I’m getting my moneys worth! Because, now that I’m sitting here, in a place that’s clean and quiet and permitting me to write (not like the other place I’d considered spending 36 hours – meaning the bench in the middle of Mumbai Central Station). And I feel like the luckiest person in the world.

Nobody from home knows of my plans. I’ve not had the time to contact them properly. And I’ve not known whether or not to surprise them… There’s one in the family who I’ll keep my homecoming from, and I might give the rest a little notice… But I know my mother has her suspicions… she knows me too well! haha… Either way… It’s all good, I’ll be welcomed with open arms and whole lot of love!

How nice to know I’ll soon be able to hug so many people who are close to me! I’ve missed it so much…

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