India 2016: 76 Years Young in the Scindhia Guest House – 23 March

Sometimes all you need to do is offer up a book.

“Who wants this big book about India?”

And that’s how we met Ernie.

After another amazingly wonderful vegetarian dinner on the covered rooftop of the Scindhia Guest House, we found ourselves in a captivating conversation with our newfound friends, all of whom met each other just a few hours before we met them – Komiko from Tokyo, Yang from Gang Zhou, and Mark from Winchester. Then there was Ernie.

Ernie was a 76 year young gentleman from Vancouver, having been in India since January. Ernie had a big smile, the kind that welcomes you into a conversation, and a hearty laugh. Wearing a pair of khaki shorts, a madras shirt, barefoot, and suntanned skin, he belonged in India. Extremely fit and I swear didn’t look more than ten years older than us, he seemed to have life figured out. Traveling two or three months out of the year, he enjoyed life in all its places at all her paces. He was an adventurer.

Most of his stops centered around Mexico, but India had a special place in his heart. How could it not? India was one of those places that assaulted all of your senses, and yet its spirituality permeated every fiber of your being. It didn’t surprise me how much the Beatles’ music changed after their first visit here. I think it’s why I keep wanting to come back, and it has nothing to do with being born here. I look at it through Derek’s eyes, who’s now a veteran of two visits, and DaveRisner, the virgin in our current adventure.

We live and yet sometimes I wonder if we are living, let alone loving. Ernie had an energy about him, impressive and seemed to be drinking in the life he was living. His aura was most definitely palpable. We could touch his awesomeness. We could all feel it, as we all talked till almost midnight about our perspectives on life. We were adventurers.

Ernie left us with a few thoughts. Are we going through life appreciating all the moments given to us? How often are we stopping to give thanks, even if for only a moment? How often do we give ourselves credit for where we are in life? Are we the creators of our destiny or the victims of our circumstances?

I know we will meet a lot of people on this trip; and some of them will be just brilliant. And some of them even more will be Ernie.

So Ernie left his big book about India on the table. Perhaps there is someone out there that will someday visit The Scindhia Guest House to take advantage of all the information written in it. Perhaps, that person will also be an adventurer.

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