Leaving the bustle and craziness of Bombay for the tranquility of Vana might have foretold nervous system tremors, but the adjustment was welcome and instant.
Bombay is the city of my heart and will always remain so though I find I cannot live here anymore. Excitement pulses through my veins as the plane touches down at Sahar airport and a frisson of excitement overtakes my senses as I absorb its smells, sounds and feel jostling in the taxi wending its tortuous traffic clogged path to my childhood home. I love eternal India and wish I had the patience and fortitude to live here longer after 34 years in the States.
We arrive in Dehradun delayed, famished and exhausted as fog in the North has created delays and backups all over the country. Additionally Republic Day Airforce rehearsals do not help our cause of a speedy arrival. Revival is instant as we drink in the beauty of verdant wheat fields, old villages, clear fast running streams and the Garhwal range of the Himalayan foothills.
And then Vana!! Nothing has prepared us for its stunning, minimalist simplicity. Dazed by its tranquillity, I try and absorb as many facets of the place before we walk into our gorgeous abode for the next 5 nights.
Vana is a wellness retreat that I read about a year ago and was determined to visit on my next trip to India. Though its not far from the bustling city of Dehradun I enter a world created by man to evoke unspoiled nature. Cameras and phones are strictly forbidden and though that is an adjustment for connect-phobic MOI! I slowly adjust and let the place take over. For a day we have Vana to ourselves, a heavenly experience, and sink into Ayurveda, Yoga, Tibetan healing, accupuncture, water Ai Chi and Vatsu (an experience that is similar to sinking into the womb and created by floating in warm water) and the best massage I have ever experiences at the masterful hands of multiple synchronised therapists.
The cuisine is either grown on the extensive grounds or locally sourced and is delicious. Though I eat all day long 😁, I have not put on a single pound (thank you!!!!) and that makes sense when every delicious meal is 100-300 calories.
So, after five glorious nights and six healthful days where my cervical disc issues and lower back pain have abated, I will regretfully leave Vana for the reality of Bombay, but with the vision of sunrises that I am normally never awake to see and the view of Mussorie, my nostalgic childhood hill station getaway in the Himalayas.
Adios till next time!!!