Friday – 4th March 2011 

We had a short time in the morning for some shopping to check out some clothes for Zoe and me. We were delighted that Gaurav’s mum came along to help us by translating. We were interested in looking at buying a salwah kameez. The salwah is a loosely fit pair of pants where the legs are often wider at the top and narrow at the ankle. The kameez is a long shirt of tunic length which goes down to just above the knee. On a female the salwah kameez ensemble is completed by wearing a loose scarf around the shoulders. The fabrics are often embroidered or beaded and with sequins. 

Gaurav's sister Rachna is wearing a salwah kameez with a cardigan over the top...

We were amazed to be shown many wonderful colours and patterns – or maybe it was just me who was amazed as Zoe has done this before and already has a fine collection of different types of garments – and Zoe found another one to add to her wardrobe and I got many ideas for when we return in October. Unfortunately I didn’t have the camera with me. The range of colours and materials and patterns and textures were extraordinary.

It wasn’t long before we needed to say our goodbyes and be on the road again to Delhi in time to catch our late evening flight to return to Australia via Singapore. On the way back on our drive we had many hours for discussing the wedding and first of all was choosing the date. October 6th was chosen as the date which works best – it is one of the dates that has been offered by the priest as one of the auspicious and optimal dates for their wedding, it fits our work schedules and an added bonus is it Vijayadashari or Vijayadashami which is a festival day that is celebrated as Lord Rama’s victory over the devil and evil….. the age-old Victory of Good over Evil….seen as adding much good energy…

It was really great to have the wedding to plan so the long hours zipped by with Gaurav outlining the different ceremonies that will take place. I very much hope our family and friends are going to be able to make the journey to India to take part in this once in a lifetime experience. An Indian wedding means days of ceremonies, rituals, food and hundreds of guests…

Our journey back was more of the same yet the drive this time seemed to be split into two sections – as it was daylight this time we could notice the first 100kms was more rural so the roads were more rough and as well as the huge amount of cars and trucks there were more tractors on the road, bicycles piled high, people walking along the edge of the road, oxen pulling carts, auto rickshaws carrying people to the fullest capacity which invariably meant with people hanging out…the occasional cow,….the never-ceasing beeping of the horn which drivers do as soon as they get near another vehicle – usually indicating it seems – get out-of-the-way, I’m coming through  – irrespective  of how small the space is….everyone is zipping around trying to get ahead of the next guy….

Then suddenly after about 100kms there are really 3 lanes on the road and it is a reasonable freeway and we get to go at a speed of about 90 kms per hour….until we reach Delhi which takes us at least an hour to cross….an experience in itself….not recommended for the faint-hearted or for any westerner to drive.

I always have the feeling when I am in these different cultures of – ….there but for the grace of God go I…….…I am intrigued by the different life experiences one has according to where they are born and the family they grow up in. It makes me look at my life in a different light – to look through a different lens – the outcome is I end up always feeling grateful for all that I have.   

Question for you: What are you grateful for in your life♥ Who needs to hear that you are grateful for them♥ Who would benefit from you appreciating them today♥

I am grateful for you and thank you for journeying with me and believing in me, my love to you, Susie.

‘The difference between a flower and a weed is a judgment.’ Susan Hayward

‘The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes’ – Marcel Proust