Day 38 - Poondi to Thiruvaiyaru
I had a restless night's sleep - so close to the finish and have picked up a ripper of an illness. The mocker is always real - I only bragged on my birthday about keeping my health relatively together during the walk - having not had any real sick days. Sure enough the next day I come down with something. Surely it couldn’t of been the swim in the Kaveri? The mother god was meant to look after me!
The morning prayers echoed through from the Basilica. It was time to brush aside any pain I was in and get on the road ASAP - it was even more imperative today that I tried to find a spot to rest before the heat of the day kicked in to gear. It was the perfect morning - I took a deep breath in to calm the mind to enjoy the blissful surroundings - rice paddy fields and banana plantations - I will never tire of this landscape.
I arrived into a small village to see a man cooking up dosas (rice pancakes) and omelettes. Nothing more appetising in my current state than a curry… I still couldn’t resist the temptation as they brought the ladle out to scoop on the various sauces (sambar) and curd onto my dosa. Is there anything else I eat other than curry? Quite simply put - no! I eat curry for breakfast; I eat curry in the scorching heat; there isn’t a meal that doesn’t go by without a bit of curry. Meals are generally served on banana leaves or in tin thali trays. I eat idli (steamed rice cakes), dosas, rice and more recently parathas have come onto the menu. I never really know what I am going to get and I don’t ask questions - just enjoy the pleasant surprise on offer.
I crossed over to this little island and the kids at the local school were enjoying their lunch break. Hundreds of kids ran over or jumped on the fences to gain a vantage point to greet me. It’s hard to imagine what this might be like for them, but its a reminder on the joy that kids look for in the simple things in life. Kids operate in a different paradigm… even more so in India. Exuberant energy and pure joy as they are blissfully detached from the realities of the world. They view the world with a curiosity as they enjoy life far more intensly than adults. There are so many lessons I believe we can learn from children. In a Benjamin Button way it is like we spend our lives trying to return to who we were as children - embrace life with all there has to offer with open arms. Whether it is finding the beauty in the simple things through a curious mind, to trying something new for the first time, kids can help us adults return to some of the basic and healthy values that we have forgotten along the way as the world told us who we should be.