I’m half-way through my NeuroLoveology seminar tour in India, the land of the Kama Sutra, where 64 arts are to be studied that include singing, dancing, playing musical instruments, writing, drawing, spreading flowers upon the ground and 58 other ancient arts of love.
Here the people are friendly and cows are sacred as they roam the streets with total abandon. While being driven from one city to the next, I saw a myriad of dogs and monkeys as well as cows enjoying their lifestyle side by side with the locals going about their businesses. So a shift in mindset is necessary in order to truly appreciate its culture and spirituality with historic monuments in every city where traditional festivities are celebrated often. I was lucky to be here during the Krishna, aja, Hartalika and Ganesh celebrations.
Rich in arts and crafts there are shopping opportunities hard to resist and the prices are really low compared to what we are used to in Western countries, so I bought clothes, jewelry and statues that I knew I would not find anywhere else in the world.
I’ve already had some memorable adventures and met some fascinating people that I will remember for a lifetime.
The New Delhi organization created a beautiful and romantic environment for my inaugural talk, with red satin ribbons on the chairs and a stunning stage for me to present. They dressed magnificently, some women in gorgeous colorful sarees, while others in designer clothes looking elegant. Most of the couples were in long term marriages, some of which were arranged as part of the Indian culture since the fourth century. All had children and wanted to know how I could help them to reignite passion in their relations.
They were a gracious crowd who helped me to understand some of the key differences between American and Indian couples, and their feedback has been so valuable to tailor my presentation for the next four cities.
They put my friend Paula and I up in the spectacular ITC Maurya hotel in the Diplomatic Enclave, where many presidents stay when they travel here. I was able to indulge in an Ayurvedic massage with a therapeutic scented oil drip on my forehead. It was an incredible experience with two therapists working on me at once in an elegant stone chamber adorned with ancient Indian metals and woods. My favorite part was the breast massage, which I don’t get in the USA spas as many women don’t realize that it helps to remove harmful toxins, breaks up benign cysts, strengthens the muscles and can even make your breasts look and feel firmer.
I was also excited to see that our room came with a vibrator! They called it a massager, but I know better.
Passion in the Punjab
From Delhi we flew to the Punjab state capitol, Chandigarh, and met our very surly driver who took us to Ludhiana for the next seminar. This was our first taste of Indian highway driving, and it was definitely an adventure! We shared the road with trucks, three-wheeled taxis called tuk-tuks, scooters with entire families aboard, bicycles, horse-drawn carriages, cows, dogs and monkeys! I was so scared that I must have sworn a hundred times while Paula was trying to film our rugged ride. The weather was hot and humid as it is monsoon season, so I was constantly drinking only bottled water to stay hydrated. The problem was that it made me want to pee and there was nowhere to go, so I had to exercise my Kegels all the way until my bladder nearly burst.
I got a warm welcome as soon as I arrived at the Radisson Blu in Ludhiana with two dozen red roses and photos with the staff of this brand new luxury hotel, so I soon forgot about the scary trip. It’s amazing how beautiful fresh cut flowers can suddenly change your mood. Our room was stunning and I hurried to pee, when I suddenly heard disco music in the toilet, which was unexpected, but not a bad idea to mask the sound of tinkling.
The participants in this seminar were quite rowdy, living up to their Punjabi reputation across the country as the most sexually liberated Indian state. They also created a lovely setting in the banquet hall where many couples shared their experiences and hopefully learned a lot from me. We had interactive fun with blindfolds and finger foods and they taught me a new expression for the woman-on-top postion, which they call ‘Top-Riding.’
Magical Mystique of the Taj Mahal
After Ludhiana Paula and I had a few days off to ourselves and our first tourist stop was to the magical Taj Mahal in Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh, approximately 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Delhi. We were told that it would be an easy three hour drive, but soon found out that it was a terrible eight hour drive that I wouldn’t wish on my worse enemy. I am still thankful to be alive!
When we finally arrived in Agra, we were exhausted and hoped that the Taj Mahal, wonder of the world was going to be worth it.
After a good nights sleep, I can tell you that The Taj Mahal is a beautiful, unique architectural monument that has to be seen to be believed!
The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built this enormous symbol of enduring love for his third wife Mumtaz Mahal who died giving birth to their 14th child in 1632. She certainly deserved it!
It took 22 years to build with over 22,000 workers and 1000 elephant’s, including many talented artists and architects whose work is still considered superlative.
He must have been a very romantic man, and perhaps got a little bit carried away with the tax money of the people, causing his eldest son to imprison him in a tower before he could realize his next dream, to build a black Taj Mahal right across the river from his beloved where he himself would be buried.
We rode in a camel-drawn carriage on the way to see the Taj Mahal, which was very memorable, as I immediately felt motion sickness. Once we arrived at the entrance of the great palace, security was tight and women had a separate line where female guards touch your body to make sure you are not hiding any snacks, cigarettes or lighters as they will be confiscated. Our guide told us to hold on to our bags as we jostled in with all the other tourists in awe of the sight of the Taj Mahal in all it’s glory and perfection.
I took a video of Paula wishing her five year old daughter Violet a Happy Birthday and she took one of me sending love to my husband, but we were surrounded by guides blowing whistles in our ears and groups clambering to take their own videos and pictures.
We had to take off our shoes before we entered the palace to see the tombs with our guide, who managed to avoid all of the long lines to get us in and explained the history to us as we held onto our purses for dear life.
Two hours later we were famished, but our guide insisted on taking us shopping first. A good lesson for men is that women are not interested in shopping when they are hungry, so I convinced him to take us to the fabulous Oberai hotel for lunch, which boasted incredible views of the palatial monument. Rated amongst the leading resorts in the world, The Oberoi Amarvillas had a buffet fit for a king and it was the best meal I had in India so far.
Feeling fulfilled, I’m ready to continue my journey through India and the Kama Sutra’s Four Kinds of Love.
1) Love acquired by continual habit
Love resulting from the constant and continual performance of some act is called love acquired by constant practice and habit, as for instance the love of sexual intercourse, the love of hunting, the love of drinking, the love of gambling, etc., etc.
2) Love resulting from the imagination
Love which is felt for things to which we are not habituated, and which proceeds entirely from ideas, is called love resulting from imagination, as for instance that love which some men and women and eunuchs feel for the Auparishtaka or mouth congress, and that which is felt by all for such things as embracing, kissing etc.
3) Love resulting from belief
The love which is mutual on both sides, and proved to be true, when each looks upon the other as his or her very own, such is called love resulting from belief by the learned.
4) Love resulting from the perception of external objects
The love resulting from the perception of external objects is quite evident and well known to the world. because the pleasure which it affords is superior to the pleasure of the other kinds of love, which exists only for its sake.
The Kama Sutra of Vatsayayana, Sir Richard Burton, translator (1883)