Sometimes being the centre of attention is rewarding and can give a sense of belonging. Like being with friends who love you, you can relish each other and feel a communal acceptance of the self and the other. Other times attention can be irritating, overpowering and definately uninvited.
And the latter seems to be included in the flavour of my days here in India. Luckily I have my arsenal to ward off such attacks and to recover from the onslaught. Mosquitoes and flies, they seem to love me.
Insect bite spray has been amazing. Easy to carry around and apply and has supported the healing process. I’m very susceptible to bites. Back home Horse flies can flare up into an itchy, hot mass that takes days to lessen.
Calendula Cuts and Graze Spray again had been a welcome relief for calming the heat of the bites too
On the homeopathic front I have Apis for bites, Nux Vom for any stomach issues, the ‘classic Delhi belly’ friend and Gelsinium to calm any anxiety around the travelling to different places, all exciting and fun yet an onslaught to the senses.
Acknedoron for cleansing and fresh ingredients from the grime of the day, combined with face creams to sooth and give a remembrance of home, familiar smells to calm the nerves.
India was a place people put me off travelling too. Noisy, dirty, squalid. Yes, there are those sights, the honking horns deafening your ears as you walk the streets or trundle along in a tuk tuk. The difference in temperature too and being in an Air conditioned room has not just be a welcome relief, it’s been essential to cool myself. Bites can quickly become infected and cause wider issues. Not just by becoming irritated. An irritating irritant.
So I recommend India as a rich, exciting, invigorating country to visit and advice you to make sure you bring those things you know you can rely on. Maybe I could have also packed a piece of wood, thus far I’ve not suffered any ill effects or lost days nursing symptoms.
While we waited to enter the Calico Museum of Textiles in Ahmedabad I saw this on a car sticker. The modern city was hectic, hot and frenetically challenging. Taking a Tuk tuk ride from our hotel I pondered on how few accidents you see. Traffic flowing like a shoal, moving as a whole, individual actions merging into a momentous throng of beeping horns. Tuk tuk drivers steer from their hips, navigating with expert skill round moving obstacles. Faith is mandatory, Prayer optional.
We hadn’t booked our tickets We were due to visit the next day however due to a change in travel arrangements, today was our only day. They limit admission to 1 group of 20, a guided tour walking through room by room, preserving the museum. There was a large party in front of us and we had the usual confusion of being told where to wait, how long it would take and to whom we needed to speak.
The train horns and car fumes surrounded our senses and I prayed. There were a few things I had been excited about for this trip and the Calico Museum of Textiles was one of them. To think we might not get in was heartbreaking. After what seemed a long wait we were ushered in, bags checked in, no photos allowed, we progressed into an oasis of calm.
The high walls surrounded a garden and instantly we were transported to the India I had dreamed about. Lush, green trees, abundant lush floral displays, water channels cooling us as we walked to the museum.
We had joined the tour with a group from Mumbai, fashion students, busy taking notes, drawing designs, intently listening to the guide. I choose to take in as much as I could just from experiencing the rich history. Every part of India is represented, stories told in colour, design and stitch.
As we turned one particular corner a vista appeared. Looking out from the veranda to a pond, a peacock on the lawn and the smell of pungent flowers I was overwhelmed with a sense of being connected to the beauty of nature. How we choose to live our lives contributes to the cure from the fever we have created by dishonouring nature.
Anne Morrell, the author of many manuals of stitch designs from the Musuem, has renewed my passion to continue my journey through the rich history of Indian design, where creating textiles as an essential part of life, taking inspiration from nature to relish in its beauty.
Photo of museum credit to