Saturn Mall in Dusseldorf. Apoorva got a haircut and I bought a hair dryer.
To all things bare and all things lush.
Of derelict houses and brambles.
The Chateau du Lac.
Graffiti in Genval – introspective: retrospective.
Radhadesh is peaceful – all you hear is this gurgling stream.
Graffiti and life covered in walks around Genval.
There is something very magical about Radhadesh.
The Radhadesh gounds.
A walk after a very massive breakfast at the Chateau du Lac.
Genval — was very pretty.
Christmas tree in Dusseldorf – Altstadt.
Drive from Dusseldorf to Radhadesh.
And gates to who lives there? And why haven’t they cleared the Autumn leaves? Have they forgotten or been forgotten.
I clicked a series of pictures called – Gates.
Radhadesh – an ISKCON temple in Belgium’s Ardennes.
With the old fading, and the new gushing in…
Grilled skies and cold weather in Dusseldorf.
We drove from Amsterdam to Dusseldorf. From Dusseldorf to Radhadesh. And then to Genval. From there back home. It was an impromptu trip. I felt my creativity was clogged. I could smell the rust inside my head. And, I knew that all our friends would be away. We packed light, threw caution to the wind (not really – we do have winter tires but that term so aptly sums up the headspace) and galloped away.
I wrote more than I typed. I read more than I watched. The hills, a tiny town, a hidden lake, waiting, learning, talking, grinding the tip of the shoe into grey gravel, feeling cold till the bones and then hot in the head – eating and sleeping and waking up to eating. It was a sweet holiday. I got to know Bambi a lot better. His big eyes see bigger dreams, irrational ones, I stop myself from rationalising. There is plenty of time for that. I watch how he meticulously plans his day and I see me. I hear him hum and I notice Apoorva. Then I see him for who he is … the bit not like me, not like Apoorva, just him … like him.
I would advise going away to come back. To text friends from random locations. To tell them that however far we run they remain so deliciously close. I recognise my own need for isolation, for solitude, silence to hear my thoughts talking to each other, giving each other a good fight as my friend Natasha would say. Oh they fight and then they move on, just like you said Natasha. In ways that I still don’t understand I am finding myself.
I thank you 2013 – perhaps not as sincerely as Apoorva would but in my own way. You were a difficult year. I am glad you are over. I wish you peace. And I wish all my readers:
1. Spare me the India you see: it does not have hastily crafted Ganesh statues, bad ethnic prints and distastefully made Rajasthani dolls. Neither does it play sad Indian sounding numbers with too much sitar and flute, or ghazals (cliche fest), the decor is elegant, the music easy, and the Indian influences subtle, think a brocade cushion rather than a kitsch kitchen. Their house wine is served in beautiful goblets not silver harem glasses.
2. Food baby: A restaurant that tweets pictures of how the food you eat is cooked has my vote – also it lands up making me hungry on most days. Must try menu items: Momos, chai (I almost wept, a good steaming cup of desi chai as the snowflakes came down – how long I had waited for this taste on my tongue), Gurkha chicken, mutton biryani.
3. No, this is my table: You can have a conversation, unlike most Amsterdam restaurants, Surya has space, the manner in which they have set up the tables gives diners privacy and peace.
Surya is a pleasant experience,their staff has a balanced air about them – not brusque European ‘disservice’ nor the overwhelming presence of overdone hospitality. They give you the space, time, ambiance to enjoy a good meal. 4.5 out 5 stars. I remove .5 stars for them not delivering to my house. This restaurant is a ‘keeper’.
Average price of meal for one person with a drink: 30-35 euros Star rating: 4.5 out of 5