The Hymn of the Pearl

Black Pearl by Mbz1

When I was an infant too young to talk, in my father’s palace, Reposing in the wealth and luxury of those who nourished me, My parents equipped me with supplies and sent me out from the East, our country, on a mission.

From the wealth of their treasuries they gave me a great cargo, Which was light, so that I could carry it by myself – The cargo was gold frmo the high country, silver plate of the great treasuries, Emerald jewels of India, and agates of Kosan; and they armed me with steel.

They took away from me the jewel-studded garment shot with gold, That they had made out of love for me, And the robe of yellow colour (tailored) to my size. But they made an agreement with me, Impressed it on my mind, (so that) I might (not) forget it, and said:

“If you go down to Egypt and bring from there the one pearl, Which resides there near the ravenous dragon, You shall put (back)  on that jewel-studded garment and teh robe, which you like; And you shall be a herald for our kingdom, along with your well-remembered Brother.

So I started out from the East, on a hard and frightening road, accompanied by two guides; For I was unused to traveling on it. I passed the borders of the Mosani, where there is the inn of the Eastern traveling merchants; And reached the land of Babylon.

The Hymn of the Pearl

Dream Destination: Varkala, India

Dream Destination
Varkala, India

If it’s a chilled hippy hideout with a spiritual air and myriad magical charms you’re looking for, then Varkala in the Kerela region of Southern India might just be your dream destination.

I returned to this lush subcontinental paradise in late March, just before the rainy season, when the weather is at it’s most sultry and the region’s vibrant religious festivals are at the peak of their cycle.

First I spent a week at the delightfully eccentric (and at the time rather haunted) guesthouse, Davina Lagoona, which specialised in ayurvedic meals and massages in an animal-themed boutique at the edge of the Kerelan backwaters. After five days of green tea, delicious vegan dishes and early morning yoga in the sweltering heat, my wintery pastiness had made way for a light, sub-tropical glow.

For my next stop it was a choice between heading for the hills to a full-time yoga retreat and monastic regime, presumably with the goal of some form of enlightenment and/or levitation, or pack up and go to the beach at Varkala. As you’ll see from the picture postcard shot taken from my favourite cliff-top cafe, Varkala won hands down.