The last time I was in India was in the fall of 1988. I still have trouble finding words to describe the experiences of those 5 weeks. How can I describe the feeling of stepping back in time to the Victorian era when we were invited to tea at the home of a plantation owner in Darjeeling who lived like the British aristocracy? What words can convey the feeling of the cool marble floors to my tired and dusty feet and the serenity of our whitewashed room in an old palace in Jaipur? How can I describe the feeling of being overwhelmed by the sounds, colors, smells and movement on a crowded market street? Traveling as we did in India was challenging, marvelous and fascinating. India had made us more open to whatever might come our way. It had opened our eyes to so many new things and our minds to so many puzzles.
Years later my husband, an airline pilot, started flying international routes. He would call me from Rome, Prague or Cairo and I would tell him, “That’s nice.” But when he called me from his first trip back to India, I realized that I was finally jealous. I didn’t care about missing out on Rome or Prague, but I longed to visit India again. India is just so intriguing and evocative. And this time we’ll be enjoying some fine accommodation in a mix of comfortable hotels and restored palaces. We’ll also be meeting some fascinating people who will share their India, including a very special day with World Literacy Canada in the holy city of Varanasi.
I believe the diversity of our readings will give us a wider perspective on India. We’ll be reading non-fiction vignettes about life in modern India, a novel about the powerful connection between two women from very different backgrounds, and selected poetry that “transcend time and place” and encourage the reader to reflect on life’s joys and sorrows. I hope our readings will complement our daily experiences and will give us insight into contemporary India – its contradictions, its people, its spiritual heritage. I can’t wait to go back and to see both the changes taking place in India and to rediscover the “essence” of India.
I hope you’ll join me!
February 25 – March 13, 2011 (16 nights)
North India — Delhi, Udaipur, Narlai, Jaipur, Agra, Varansi
For more information and to register, contact Sue Skerbec at Worldwide Quest, 1.800.387.1483.