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5 years ago…

 …I arrived in India…

 Here are 2 dialogues quite typical when non-Indian people ask me for how long I have been in India. The 1st one is usually with a non-Indian who 1. has never been in India, 2. visited India on holidays and 3. has just arrived in India. And the 2nd is with a non-Indian person who has had some brush with India…


-          5 years?? You must be in love with India no?

-          Euh… No. I don’t adore her, I don’t hate her, I have just found a (small) place here.


-          5 years?? How did you do it?? (meaning, how are you still holding on?)

-          Euh… I have found a professional and affective balance here. And after 5 years of introspection – I spend a lot of my time with myself! – I think I may have even found some kind of inner balance!!

To celebrate, I decided to select a picture of every place I have been to during my personal trips. It took me a lot of time but gave me the opportunity to kind of travel there a second time and moreover to realise that I have seen some out-of-this-world things!! Maybe it is also why I have been staying ;)

So here is my patchwork (there is an album (see on the right) where the detail of the places where the pictures were taken is mentioned); there are pictures that meant something to me, not necessarily very touristic and none has been photoshoped:



Click on the picture to enlarge it.



Places I have visited out of personal interest...


Uttarakhand, what else?? Garwahl

We left Kumaon from Kathgodam and embarked on a night train journey to Derhadun.


(On a side note: the 4th passenger of our cabin came in at around 20:30 when we had already switched off the lights. He settled down, had his food and then lied down. Half an hour later, he received a phone call and talked for like 20 minutes, totally undisturbed (but damm disturbing), comfortable on its berth. My mother finally asked him “hey, you could be polite??” Obviously the type did not give a shit and went on talking loudly for the next 10 minutes. And I think he did not even understand the remark of my mother!! Where in the Western world, “our freedom stopped where that of the other starts”, in India, our freedom does not stop…)


And here we are, catapulted on the heights of Rishikesh, in a “trendy” hotel-spa, Ananda in the Himalayas. With a program: spa treatments, yoga, meditation, pramayana, ayurvedic consultation, healthy food and green areas as far as the eye can see. The children below 14 are not allowed: calm guaranteed!!

It is a little odd to see all the guests walking around in white salwar-kameez provided by the hotel to ensure a maximum of comfort. It certainly is comfortable but you feel like you are in a psychiatric hospital!!


My pictures are below:  


Garwahl hills, Uttarakhand - Août 2011


Thank you Ananda!!


Uttarakhand, what else?? Kumaon

As soon as we left Kathgodam station – my parents slowly recovering of their first night train journey in India –  and began our ascent (in the car) towards Ramgarh, I felt transported to the universe of Tarun Tejpal (see in my list of books The Alchemy of Desire). And I was not mistaken! When I checked this morning, I found out that Ramgarh is just about fifty kilometers of Jeokilote…

I wish I could quote the book here, but I read it in French…


The head in the clouds…

With 1.700 meters of altitude, our bungalow, perched on a hill, offered a view from above on the valley. With white clouds as cottin balls coming up and invading us every here and then we really felt “cut from the world.”


Rest of the soul…

Nothing else to do but eat, play, read, practice yoga (I am quite focused when I start something), trek – with the risk of getting caught by a torrential downpour. What more serene and beautiful than rains in the mountains??


Incredible gardens and orchards (peaches, apples, apricots, strawberries, plums, pomegranates and many more fruits), an exceptional flora, superb odors after the rain… “We were smelling, we were looking around, we were listening, we were existing.”


My pictures are below:


Kumaon Hills, Uttarakhand - Aout 2011


And since Tarun Tejpal recommends to go up there listening to Mohammad Rafi, here is one of his songs: Aa Zara Mere Hamnasheen : 



Thank you Neemrana !!