Immersed in beauty

September 2017

By Nandini Sarkar

Nandini Sarkar enjoys nature’s beauty, idyllic vistas and moments of deep reflection as she traverses through bounty laden lands of Tamilnadu and Kerala in South India

Nandini Sarkar spends some fun and reflective time with her family in various scenic locales of South India

It had been more than a year that our family of four had got together. The children had moved away to Mumbai and Bhopal for graduation. Their college vacations too had been spent in corporate internships, away from home. “So, it’s time for a break! And retreat we shall, will and must!” said my husband, Sushobhan; firmly overriding my usual protest that there was too much work in the office. Sushobhan is a great salesman. His plan of going to God’s own country for a week, coupled with inviting pictures of amazing retreat places, melted my resistance. The children, who are now free-thinking adults, thankfully gave their nod as well. Courtesy Sushobhan’s meticulous planning and quick bookings, we were all set for an adventure through Coimbatore-Alappuzha-Thekkady-Munnar-Athirapally.

An initiation in Aum chanting

Our first stop was Coimbatore, fondly called Kovai by the residents. As we entered the portals of the gorgeous Yogoda Satsanga Society (YSS) Centre, we were warmly welcomed by an elderly lady volunteer. The delightfully cool wind, blowing at more than 32 kmph, refreshed us and marvelously lifted up our spirits. It was a first for us - this continuous whistling, cool wind! We were immediately offered piping hot coffee and cookies, and a generous invitation to stay for the dinner. The YSS Centre, Coimbatore, is an architectural and aesthetic delight while being completely eco-friendly. The centre-in-charge, Subbu, insisted we stay in the beautiful and clean rooms at the centre but unfortunately, we were already booked in a hotel. As we sat by the lush garden with varieties of trees and flowers, and watched multiple sprinklers spray water over the lush greenery, we were transported to a world of peaceful silence and deep contentment. As we joined the evening energisation exercises and meditation, it felt great to be alive and connected with prakriti in its serene form.

Our next stop was Sadhguru’s Isha Yoga centre in Coimbatore. Sadhguru calls the Velliangiri Mountains, the Kailash of the South. And truly so. As we stood in front of the gigantic 112 foot Adiyogi, with the great purple mountains surrounding us from all sides and the same incredible wind whistling through thousands of betel-nut
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