Bali

A place blessed by happy spirits. Imbibing in it’s soul an attraction that compels and propels one to stay and come back. Bali goes under many names. Some call it the ‘island of the gods’, others Shangri-La. The ‘last paradise’, the ‘dawning of the world’ and the ‘centre of the universe’ are yet more names for this truly beautiful tropical island inhabited by a remarkably artistic people who have created a dynamic society with unique arts and ceremonies.  I remember watching this episode by Anthony Bourdain where he declares he has finally found a place he would like to stay back in. Maybe its owing to the friendly folks, the art in every object you see, the sheer beauty of the place.. It’s owing to what its sheer soul has become.

Bali has the strongest most developed, dynamic yet traditional culture I have encountered. Tt is in it’s music which besides Balinese music incorporates tunes from around the world. It is in it’s art from its sculptures, wood work, paintings to regular objects such as door knobs, cafes, ambience of places etc. It is in it’s dance, the free spiritedness of its various dance forms..

The only Hindu island in Asia, with majority of it’s people following Balinese Hinduism the subtle contrasts with their ideologies to the form of Hinduism made it’s culture even more interesting. For instance, It was amusing to see their physical representation of Ganesha in a slimmer and sterner form. Regarding the folks their curiosity, genuine interests and fascination is reflected in how they talk to you, treat you and respect you. It is not the plastic smile that customarily greets tourists, it is that of an honest genuine and fascinated islander towards a familiar foreigner.

From mountain ranges to paddy fields, from the vast sea to the wild river, from the vast expanse of beaches to tropical forests stretches, from Goa/Miami/Barcelona kinda parties to the Kurseong/ Niagara Falls/ Venice kind of quiet evenings, from intricate sculptures by master artists to charcoal or woodwork of a street artist, from traditional folk song and dance to the contemporary music and dance forms, from swanky world class resorts hotels and cafes to small quaint shacks shops and set ups I have reason to believe Bali is a cross section of so many landscapes and experiences. A slice of life literally for a true traveler. I for one fell in love.

I had seen such natural beauty after a long time and after Europe and NZ. I will go back.

“For I cannot be part of the cocktail generation: Partners waltz, devoid of all romance. The music plays and everyone must dance. I’m bowing out. I need a second chance.” Don McLean

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