Tuesday 2 December 2014


I am so pleased to be able to present to you Jenny Hill's guest blog. Jenny is a member of Juncture 25 and as well as being a talented poet, has begun to write a wonderful blog about her trip to India. You can read it here.I am going to let Jenny speak for herself.

They say that India gets under your skin. That it will lie low in your memory for a while, then slowly begin to tug at you, easing itself into your conscious mind until it becomes imperative that you return. I know of one man who has gone back twice a year, for eight years, and is currently planning his next trip.
Before we went, I fully expected to fall in love with India. After all, my family had lived there for generations – it was my great-great grandfathers who went out there in the mid 19th century, married out there, had children out there, worked there and died there, as did their children and their children’s children, right up until my father left in 1935. Surely, I believed, I would find a connection with the country and the people, a reason why it had beguiled so many of my ancestors.

I loved it – don’t get me wrong. The people we met were, by and large, the gentlest, friendliest, kindest people I have ever come across. The country in the North-East was spectacular. But there was no connection. I had expected to belong, and I didn’t. I left, thinking I could draw a line under that part of my history. It was done.
I was wrong. Already I am beginning to yearn for India. For the smiling people of Kurseong and the gentle people of Gangtok, shaking my hand, taking my photograph. For the monasteries and prayer flags. For the clarity of the air and the way the clouds swirled over the foothills of the Himalaya. For the mountains themselves – at dawn, at dusk, revealing glimpses of impossible peaks through the cloud or clear and sharp and magnificent.
I want to walk again in the places where my father and my father’s father walked. To look down on the backs of eagles as they glide on the thermal currents. I have to explore the plains, the vast river deltas, to picnic on the Rangpo and see Changu Lake covered in ice and snow. I want to follow the journeys my grandfather made as he went about his work in Sikkim.
I long to sit and look at the foothills, to breathe in the shape of them swathed in acres of tea gardens. I could do nothing quite easily there, except look and sigh, then look and sigh some more.   
I find I am missing the crazy driving on impossible roads that make your teeth chatter for hours after your journey is over. Incredibly I miss the streams full of litter – England is so clean - and even the sheer numbers of people in Kolkata, the dirt and the smells are beginning to exert a strange, compulsive yearning.
I have, to all intents and purposes, gone back to who I used to be before I went to India, but deep within me something has changed.
India is calling me. I will have to go.

Thanks Jenny.

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