And of course the lady selling them was indeed pleased to be making another sale. Perhaps as pleased as we were to having found her and to be able to enjoy the feast as a farewell and parting gift for a most enjoyable time spent.
And now to India.
We were met, by of all things by an ambulance from the Anbagam Rehabilitation Centre, an NGO in Chennai. I felt that the fact that it was for the mentally ill and retarded orphans was most appropriate, as many many feel that describes us to a tee. Travelling in an ambulance has certain advantages when travelling in traffic. Although with the chaos that is normal with traffic in India, I am not at all sure that this is really of benefit, perhaps a little more dangerous - if that could at all be possible.
We spent the day with the Director of the Rehabilitation Centre whose home is taken up mostly by the office of the centre.
That evening we set off by train for Sengotta, an overnight journey of more than twelve hours duration, sleeping in bunks with four people to a compartment. Any-one who has travelled on the local trains will assure you of the uniqueness of such an experience.
We had the company of interesting companions one of whom was the founder and president of another NGO set up for the development of humanity. A most interesting Tamil gentleman who invited us to his home to meet and talk with his family and participate in a meal. This we subsequently did, spend a most enjoyable few hours discussing matters of mutual interest.
The trains of India seem interminably longconsisting of 25 or more carriages with them always being fully occupied. In the past people even travelled on the roofs, although I have not observed this to be true today.
During our conversation with our Tamil friend, seen here with Dr K.V. I questioned him as to whether he came from Sri Lanka, believing, incorrectly as it turned out, that the Tamil people originated in that area. I was quietly disabused of that error, and informed that the Tamil people came from Kerala and those in Sri Lanka had emigrated there. So I continued to learn something new each day.
Our Tamil host with his family with whom we spent a most enjoyable few hours.
Our next port of call was the Good Life Ashram conducted br Dr Vazimi. The clients attending this ashram were exposed to raw food eating and fasting.
The Ashram was in a most delightful bushland setting which in, and of itself was very conducive to healing.
The present Director with some of his staff. The Director is the son of the original founder.
These are some of the accomodation units in which the guests stay.
After leaving the Ashram we continued our travels by car to the state of Kerala, and the home of my hosts sister. This gave me the opportunity to walk around the local village observing the houses in which the local people lived.
As can be seen, the houses are usually painted. The colours most commonly chosen are either pink, blue, green or white, in there various phases. Some of course, are not painted and left in their natural state.
As can be well observed from the size and style of the homes, that whilst Kerala is the most prosperous state in India, this area in particular is definitly so.
Amidst all this prosperity were to be found the one and two roomed houses of the poorere people.