Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Ananda in the Himalayas...A world above worlds!

Delhi Airport!
As I prepared for our descent into Delhi, India, I subconsciously surveyed the British Airways business class cabin that had catered to me the last eight hours.
Breakfast had been fresh fruit, always a favourite. I thought about my onward flight and wondered what India would bear a semblance to. My vivid imagination failed me, I quietly took in my co-passengers in the hope that they would offer a clue! alas! even that did not help, they were an outrageous mix. My onward flight was tedious, extremely turbulent,  a propeller plane! It was painful!
I had engaged the flight attendant for all of 10 minutes , question after question poured from my being, in answer, he repeatedly uttered the words… ‘It’s the safest aircraft ma’m'; every word followed with a vigorous nod.
My Driver!
Relief flowed through the very core of me as I sighted my driver, his placard boldly inscribed with precious words ‘Ananda welcomes Miss Adeyemi’. Once I was firmly tucked into the back seat of the Range Rover. I called my mom, we’d last spoken before I left London, she was always there for me! Always!... I’d probably not be able to accomplish half my life if it wasn’t for her.
Dehr Duran! India!
As she ended our conversation she said ‘God has written that today you would be in India’, I laughed  for her words were cast in resilience, as though she’d just had a conversation with God himself and he had assured her that this was the case.
I wouldn’t have been surprised, India was never the plan, I had planned to be in Barbados today with another however that didn’t happen... thankfully! I had indeed flirted with the idea of not taking a holiday. However my going away had never been dependent on anyone and besides I could afford to go … so I looked to Google for wellbeing holidays and she so graciously coughed up Ananda in the Himalayans (! (In my head Google is a she, perfectly carved by fine minds to answer my every question).
The drive up the mountains left me feeling queasy, sharp bends, potholes and insane curves marked the path, cows cat-walked majestically on the streets, leaving even less space for already crazed drivers, I took picture after picture, parts of india were indeed like my ethnic Nigeria but there was structure. 
Where Cows are gods! hehe!
Unlike Dehr Duran, Delhi was beautiful, the airport organised and huge. Rishikesh was different, poor but there were decent roads and projects going on!
As we approached the luxurious gates to Ananda, I saw them; beautiful monkeys had come to bid me welcome, they were gorgeous. The most beautifully dressed guard I’d ever seen, his hands held to prayer as he greeted ‘Namuskar’, opened the gates. 
We drove in, my bags taken, I was checked in with a mug of fresh ginger and lemon. My schedule for the next seven nights presented to me, seven nights of blissful treatments, a rejuvenation of mind, body and soul. 
My simple goal was to take stock, rest, pray and seek God’s face as I led my team through the next eight weeks, as we transitioned through to reality.
Lunch was brown rice and lamb in oyster sauce combined with the best assortment of fresh vegetables I’d ever tasted, my body relished and then abosrbed the freshness presented before it. I had meant to sit for a quick minute, it was quite shocking when I woke up at 1830 with a start.
Damn! I had missed my  ayuverdic consultation as well as my Abhyanga massage (I had no clue what it was but it sounded lush).
My Ananda Whites!

I hurried into my slippers and ran to the spa, thankfully in Ananda the white pyjamas were adequate, no frills, no pretences and no extras. It was just peaceful and gorgeous and the most non-judgemental, most calming place I’d ever been to.
Love permeated the atmosphere and everyone here smiled.  Thankfully I had taken out my signatory long weave before I came.
The gasp that left my lips was unmistakable it was gorgeous! the spa I mean! the doctor was there, he had actually come to check on me until he’d seen my privacy tag hanging outside my door. I had to have it on there, for in Ananda someone was constantly knocking to see I was fine, catering to my every whim; spoken or unspoken!
 He explained that he had thought I was ill and had come to check on me until he encountered the sign.
I in turn explained that I was simply tired. 
He dutifully rescheduled my consultation for tomorrow morning after my private yoga session and then led me into the capable hands of my masseuse.

An Abyhanga Massage! 
The Abhyanga massage started with a prayer and then a head and shoulder massage as I sat upright my feet in a foot bath laid with soft smooth pebbles. It was administered by two of them. The ladies worked in sync. This was like no massage I’d ever had. The oils were warm, you could feel healing emanate as they coated my tired skin! It wan’t until they laid me on my stomach I understood why I needed two of these magical women.
One on the right the other on the left they massaged every tired bone, every tendon, every nerve, every sinew! This was no posh city massage... 


Ananda was after all; a glamorous , boutique ashram. I smiled as the revelation met my mind. I had really wanted to visit an ashram and thought I wouldn't find one. This was perfect for me.
These women had the hands of angels, they prayerfully tortured tiredness and aching out of me, they were truly blessed!… an hour , a steam and a shower later, dinner was pan-sneered chicken on the bone ,and fresh vegetables.
A satisfied smile lit my face as I remembered instructions I was given not to leave my balcony doors open as the monkeys sometimes climbed in, in search of food.
The view from my room was unbelievably breath-taking, it rested right on the valley, the Himalayas looming ahead…Only the fool says in his heart that there is no God!’ The hand of God was unmistakable here...
At some stage during the day I asked what Namuskar meant as it was constantly said to me… my replier explained that it translated to:
The god in me bows to the god in you
I’m trying so hard to get enough work done so that I’m in bed early enough and can get to morning yoga at 0700, the amphitheatre looked gorgeous as my golf cart drove past it earlier on.
I don't make beds and I declined house-keeping's
 evening service...haba!