As I sit here in departure lounge. Or is it the arrivals. Maybe there is a revolving sign. Everything is very new, clean and everyone smiling with crisp well ironed uniforms.
There is a mix of nationalities with a common language. Excitement. Making history. The first flight out of Jaisalmer.
Although I made the paper I didn’t make the first through check in. They got a photo and a round of applauds. And they were non Indian. Like peacocks with all their feathers fluttering, smiles and lots of happiness.
There is such a relaxed and calm atmosphere here. Children’s voices echo in the dome of the hall, alongside the breeze of the ever present fan. Freshly painted pots with plants start to adorn the space towards the departure gate. Or is that the arrivals gate.
And now the usual anxiety builds as people jostle to get through. A queue is forming and people approach with haste. We have 20 minutes before boarding. Where is the rush. Shanti shanti.
Jacques is on the flight now to Jaisalmer and it seems I won’t get to meet him. Maybe he'll see a random woman waving at him through the highly polished glass and wonder who I am. I hope in time I’ll get to meet him at the school. Next visit. As my article states. I visit once a year.
A private jet lands next to our plane and everyone strains to see who it is. Lots of handshaking and postering, minimal smiles from the man arriving although his wife smiles while chatting to the other lady on the flight. The second man stands to the rear of the party. I wonder who they are. Not Jacques and I can’t see him in the faces arriving from Delhi.
We board the flight and the peacock in all the postering didn’t have his boarding pass stamped and has to return to security. Twenty rows of double seats, 17A is my resting point for the next couple of hours.
We made our way to the runway after a slight delay for the luggage staff wrestling with a pushchair, which baffled them all and was put on board in the upright position. I watched the landscape around the airport and my heart rose with a longing, a desire to return as tears fell as an alchemical offering to the desert. Jaisalmer, I shall return.
Our journey to Jodphur had started.
After spending the day in Delhi, visiting a jeweller, having henna and a final dinner at the Krishna Cafe, Sonu helped us find a tuktuk driver to take us to the station.
Apart from ripping my trousers, clearly the tuktuk liked me and wanted to hold on, everything was going well. Just about packed all the luggage, more to come on what is in the big case, we hurtled thought the city traffic to arrive at the old station.
We didn’t realise how far it was to walk just to the platform, let alone the length of the train to find our compartment. In a way I’m glad I didn’t know at that time or I would have panicked that we didn’t have time. Without Sonu I’m sure we would have missed the train. He kept saying “quickly now” and gentle encouraged us to keep at a pace
Our tickets told us Colette had the top bunk, I had the middle bunk yet for now we sat on the lower bench, surrounded mainly by men, staring at us, either with smiles or blank faces.
Sonu bought us water and cake, we said our final goodbyes though the rails of the window. A woman sat in the corner smiled such a big smile with a sense of reassurance, any fears were averted.
Our journey to Jodphur had started.
Nothing to Declare, are you sure?
Nearly made it through security. Lip balms, hand cream, toothpaste, all Weleda of course, in the little clear bag. And then, a hold up. Called forward. “Is this your bag Madam”. I’d forgotten my Citrus Deodrant Spray, my alternative to hand sanitiser.
Shoes back on and body scan complete, rushed to make team training webinar once through security. Found a corner spot in departure lounge and got all inspired about organising events to show our Christmas kit off and introducing people to the new Autumn/Winter catalogue. Feels a tad strange considering it’s going to be 40’ in Jaisalmer. Yet such beautiful stories of where the raw products are grown biodynamically across the world and all the awards Weleda have achieved for sustainable supply chains. One of the main reasons I’m proud to be a Wellbeing Advisor.
Training complete, through to the wonderful world of smelly stuff and expensive purses, Gucci to the left of me, Clarins to the right, beaming with Weleda glow I sale straight through to the gate.
One thing I love about travelling is seeing all the many faces of the countries we come from, all the different ages of humankind yet to know how similar we all are. No wonder children were getting hysterical, it was surely passed everyone’s bed time by the time we d had late supper on the flight.