Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The alternative resort

In order to give a better understanding about this curious place, I will attempt to show what one could expect from a stay here. There are no rules except to respect the sanctity of a fast disappearing patch of the wild and that is my primary objective. Getting the local people to appreciate that this goal is in their best interest too is a challenge, but worth trying.

The preferred music is that of the forest, always new and different, with never a repeat of the same sequence.No power generation or electricty is required to hear the sound. There is human activity, as this is an integral part of the village. The tank and the nearby temple also being an essential prerequisite for completeness, of a traditional village. There is even a monk who is at an isolated spot or cave in a patch of forest within earshot in the temple grounds living a life of complete isolation and meditation. The nights especially are full of sounds of the wild with the chatter of natures bounty going about their business unhindered by man.

The objective is to get inspiration to occasionally take a road less travelled in life and the courage to take that journey. This place is for those who want something different to what is usual. City types who live in air-conditioned apartments, used to sounds of gadgetry, music from elaborate sound systems, may prefer none of that in a retreat or vacation. Don't crowd your day; even better have no agenda and go with the flow. The flow will be unexpected. That is its beauty, especially in new events. For instance one can feel helpless if one is always dependant, not necessarily on others, but on say a switch to turn a fan on. When there are none, what do you do?. Just turn to your inner self to find a solution and if that does not help just a ring of the bell and a makeshift compromise.

For those who seek pleasure from observation don't bring noisy children or teenagers. However infants will find future inspiration hard wired into their brains from the unique sounds of the forest, much like having Mozart's music being played, when they are in their mother's womb. Its a place to sleep at anytime in the largest beds in the country. Its a place you can wander in all directions with no gates and fences to keep you in or out. Its everyones property so we don't prevent people from coming in or going out. You can go anywhere, but just be sensitive enough to announce your arrival if you intend to walk in to someone's house as they are invariably unlocked. Front doors are usually left open. Please know what is cultivated and what is a useless weed as both seem alike to one not used to these surroundings. So don't destroy plants that have been carefully tendered for food or medicine.

All the people you encounter are more frightened of elephants than their own kind. So you know who you should worry about at all times. This has been and still is the land of the elephant. They have roamed this land earlier than man, so their right to exist has to be respected. I would not be here, this place would not have been built and you would not have come if not for them. Don't forget they are the largest living species on land in this fragile earth of ours and are endangered.

The creative mind finds inspiration in all places, but this place will provide that spontaneity of thought that is not easily replicated elsewhere, to photograph, paint, write or just think. If you cannot stop talking you will certainly shut up here. Just being able to hear you talk making statements that sound so silly will surely shame you into silence. That is what this place does to you.

You maybe inspired to write or draw, so bring a paper and pencil and create something from nothing!

There are places one goes where one looks forward to curling up with a good book for relaxation. Books are not advisable here as it takes ones eyes away from a constantly changing scene seated on the verandah. Not a moment will pass by without you observing some change. A change that makes you curious to continue looking and do nothing else. When you get tired of looking you will just close your eyes and fall asleep, perhaps dreaming of what paradise might look and sound like. You are in paradise.

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