“All great novels concern themselves with life or what is described as the music of chance, our beginnings never know their ends”
I was the girl who decided to take Mansfield Park to be my transit companion. It wasn’t a specific choice, but Jane Austen felt the ideal, considering I was doing a solo trip to Bali on the occasion of me turning 24.
I know I am young, but for a while know I felt myself craving for something different. The line above is one of the first in the book and though it was meant to imply something else, I found myself relate to it in the moment.
I started visiting places and ‘traveling’ while studying and then settled down in a life I thought I was meant to lead, and now I am not sure. My partially imaginative mind likes to think that my live is a novel too, and while fate and the ‘music of chance’ would probably play a big role, I had to decide how the pages would turn out. I had to decide and make an effort towards a new beginning without possibly knowing the end.
Which is basically why this trip to Bali happened 🙂
And it was short but wonderful
When I landed in Denpasar I couldn’t wait to rush out and grab my bags and find the taxi waiting for me, but a dreadfully long flight might not show that excitement right away.
I didn’t have a lot planned for my first night in Bali, but I was staying in Canggu, Echo Beach and had made plans to meet a couple of girls from the ‘Girls Love Travel’ group. As expected it turned out to be a the chilled evening vibe that I needed, food, drinks and listening to stories.
My Bali ‘Darshan’ started the next day and I had 2 things planned, visiting the Suluban Beach Caves and the Uluwatu Temple…
I was lucky to find a wonderful companion (one of the girls from the travel group) and I loved that I got to enjoy a bike ride even though a part of me hated the traffic. We started with a nice lunch at a lovely cafe near the beach caves and then headed towards it with a little bit of help from Google Maps.
The Suluban Beach Caves were breathtaking, I don’t know a better way to describe it.
I’m no surfer, I’m not even a swimmer but the minute I climbed down those stairs and was surrounded by those natural rocks and caves I realised why this place was a paradise. I grew up near the Arabian Sea and love beaches, but watching waves tall as buildings in front of me made me wish just for a minute that I knew how to surf.
The beauty of the place comes from the water dripping from the caves, the giant waves and of course the numerous natural pools formed on the surface perfect for non swimmers like me. One would have to cross these to get to the waves. The water was clear and clean and looked like it could take all the stress away!
I mean …. just look at it!
After a while we had to look at our watches since we wanted to make it to the Uluwatu Temple to watch the sunset there, something that literally every travel blog, website and social media post recommended. My friend had also instructed me to watch out for a traditional music and dance festival. It was called ‘Kecak’ possibly because of A capella like soundtrack the performers make.
The temple on top of a gorgeous cliff was indeed the perfect setting for one of the most beautiful evenings I’ve seen. It obviously was a popular tourist attraction and was crowded, but for a change that didn’t seem to bother me. That is because I had a view before me that made me want to capture it on canvas if I could.
It was also my first temple in Bali and as a Hindu I started identifying the various similarities and differences that existed. Getting a chance to experience new traditions and other cultures is a great learning experience. I noticed everything from outfits, to rituals to even how their temples looked like from the inside. I come from a country that has some of the most beautiful temples in the world and it just made me realise how much more there for me to see and discover both in India and outside.
The Kecak dance was held in the amphitheater inside the temple grounds, and it took me a good 10 minutes to realise that the enactment in front of me was of Ramayan, a story every Indian must know by heart, and yet the differences in the narration made it seem like a whole new one! The performance was engaging, funny and even engrossing. It even had a toad providing an unplanned comic relief! 😀
It was a great day and on the ride back to my hostel I realised that I finally was breathing and smiling and was not thinking about the 10,000 different things that usually occupy my mind. Things that make me complain and whine and pity myself. I realised there was a life out there waiting for me… but meanwhile I had 5 amazing days to look forward to. 🙂
It’s not even close to a big victory but I felt little pride as I have at least become confident enough to travel and venture out on my own, at least I have become a better version of what I was before.
Even if I get lost, at least there is way to find myself.