High Tech to Higher Conscious


December 13-14, 2013

jain temple with some light

You will find happiness in accepting an apology that is never given.” At the time I read that quote in the New Delhi airport, I didn’t know I’d be moving from High Tech to Higher Conscious and surrounded by such reminders my entire stay in India.

Dupatia veil
Dupatia veil

On an average, 75% of the Indian population is Hindu and an additional 5% is Buddhist, Jen, and Sikh, which are considered offshoots of Hindu.  Muslims, many from Bangladesh and across adjacent borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan, make up the remaining 20%.  Religious clashes in India are like race problems in the US, except you can’t tell a person’s religion from their dress.  

Saree
Saree

Men wear dhoti pants and women seem to float in beautiful saree and dupatia veils (note saree refers to dress that is wrapped whereas sari is one that is stitched to shape)

dhoti

Recently, in Uttar Pradesh, a young couple, she a Hindi of a middle caste and he a Muslim of a low caste fell in love.  The parents found them together and in a rage killed both.  The parents were given a jail sentence of 14 years. 

sari
sari

The Hindu religion is very complex and the deities are not only numerous but also humorous: an elephant with a gift for doling out wealth and a woman with multiple arms stabbing a demon child are a couple of their most revered deities.  But who am I to pass judgment on their gods?  I’m sure they would question why we honor a man who’s pictured with his face full of blood from a crown of thorns.  

           Shiva
Shiva

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India or Bust

December 11, 2013

Why am I writing One Step Ahead of Disaster? I traveled the route of my characters in my to-be-published book: Behind the Forgotten Front to provide the reader with visuals of unfamiliar terms and places. I’m not sure if I should characterize my trip as an escape from reality or trip to another world.

AA Flight from USA to London
AA Flight from USA to London

In American Airlines business class, I had a private movie screen, charging ports for computer, mp3 and phone, more alcohol than my body can tolerate and the luxury of stretching out for a comfortable night of sleep. I slipped into that comfort zone too quickly and found my five hour layover in London expand into twenty four hours.

Travel luggage: 21 inch carry-on, day pack and purse

For luggage, I used a 21 inch carry on that could be converted into a backpack, duffle bag, or roller.  My day pack carried all my electronic gear, such as chargers and cords and plenty of water.  The purse carried ID and money but like any seasoned traveler I had copies of everything in both my other pieces of luggage in case something was lost or stolen. I also found travel slippers (or flip-flops) great for when  you couldn’t use your shoes inside – I’ve been in too many gyms and did not want to get athletes foot.
Gel, wipes and toilet paper
Gel, wipes and toilet paper

The worst thing that could happen would be to get sick.  So I took a peptobismol tablet each morning to coat my stomach and carried both immodium and cipro but didn’t need either.  Having gel when I needed soap, wipes for washing my face or after getting muddy and there was no water around, and a roll of trusty TP kept me a happy camper.  You may want to check out Jodi Ettenberg’s site, Legal Nomads. She has a lot of good travel tips for out of the way places. I was ready for everything, except Heathrow.

 Heathrow’s World Club lounge makes up for their terrible food by offering every type of liquor imaginable. After a shower at the club’s facilities and with the help of a few glasses of wine I was soon in the swing of things.

World Club Lounge
World Club Lounge

While I relaxed and let my high tech gear do its cloud communicating I observed the travelers. A man in a smart business suit facilitated a Skype broadcast,  A salesman using Power Point presented a packaging company software program.  The movers-and-shakers of the world are truly on the run. Do they even need to be “in touch” with anyone anymore?

When I checked my British Airways stub for boarding time to India, I saw they had posted “gate closing” time. So I dashed out of the lounge, ran the length of the concourse, caught a train to the gate and as I arrived watched the plane taxi out to the runway. Was this a nightmare? No, it was real. But as I found out shortly, the plane was taxing away because there were mechanical malfunctions. In the first of more to come “steps” ahead of disaster, I was shipped out to a local hotel for the night.

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