The bhaav yatra continues...
The bhaav yatra continues. After last years 7 month yatra so many friends were asking about “next bhaav yatra”. The villagers from Somaj-Delwada were repeatedly calling and they wanted to host more friends. I had to give in to their bhaav and decided to take a few friends by the banks of Narmada from 24th to 28th Jan, it being a long weekend. The idea remained the same, going to the village and immersing with the eco-system with emerging bhaav, learning, sharing and of course having a good time. As we shared our intention there were quick registrations. It was decided to take a group of 15 and friends will contribute for transport and miscellaneous expenses to avoid taxing our hosts. As the day came closer there were cancelations and it looked like I should drop the plan. Then the voice within urged to go. So we; a healer from Egypt- Rose Marie and I; went on 23rd. She joined to be with nature and connect with locals. She was missing her country side and was longing to be in a space that offered her the chance to unwind, walk a lot and also have her inner time. We were hosted at Arunbhai’s home and the whole village was super enthused to see us, a little pained to know that a lot of people didn’t come. Rose seamlessly connected with everyone and by end of day she had offered to address a group of women advising them on home remedies. To our surprise not only women but also the male crowd joined and they did a satsang where they sang bhajans. Post which Rose explained the uses of onion as medicine and amidst a lot of questions, laughter and amazement from the group I tried to translate and share everything.
We took a walking tour to Nareshwar and pilgrim place 15kms from the village. About 15 friends became our co-pilgrims as we walked this path. They were in awe of Rose as at the age of 70 she was walking faster than all of us. When we asked her she shared that she walks everyday in the desert with her camels and this was a cake walk for her. When we made a stop at a random home to take a break both Rose and I were touched by the generosity of the family who openly allowed us to be in their space. It brought memories from the yatra and rekindled humility in my heart. At Nareshwar, we all sat in silence and prayed together. By night fall, we all had formed a strong bond with love as core value.
Next day we embarked on a journey to kabirvad. Two families joined us and to our surprise the women and children had never visited it. They joyously shared that as we became friends they took the liberty to enjoy this day out with us. Again we prayed, played and meditated at the place and returned by evening. In those three days Rose and I commuted in all transports starting a motorbike, boat, tractor to various public vehicles which was a new thing for her. The funniest of all was taking a 6 seater auto in which we were 11 of us! We defied all rules of safe travel and had so much funâ˜º
Next day was 26th January and the school kids, 30 in all, had planned a cultural program. We were invited as chief guests and Rose was enjoying being garlanded and welcomed by all. In her speech, she shared how she was moved to see a young boy dressed up as Gandhiji, till date she had heard, read and visited Gandhi museums but here she felt Gandhi came alive.
The day before we had also planned a village feast where everyone would cook and eat together. So khichdi was prepared in bulk and was served with butter milk. By the end of the program our time to depart had come and everyone was repeatedly asking us to come back again. They also promised that they will prepare at least 2 friends to speak English so next time we have a foreigner visiting it wouldn’t be a problem. For them it was a big thing that someone from Egypt came all the way to the last village of Gujarat. To Rose she felt the warmth of people and felt happy to be in the fields and shared about villages in Egypt. To me, Bhaav yatra was about connecting hearts and that happened. From the depth of my heart I felt gratitude for my family at Somaj-Delwada and Rose for their loving support.