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Home Again
January 2, 2016
Many people embrace my visits to India.  In fact, I have had the great pleasure of visiting most places and friends more than once, which has contributed to forming close relationships and valued friendships. My current trip focused on that purpose; revisiting and catching up with now well established relationships. The great fun of this trip, however, has been how the revisits have played out.
My initial visit took me to Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa state, to spend time with the Natya Chetana Theatre Company, with whom I'd spent just a little bit of time several years ago, but have had the good fortune of encountering the company's director in other places during other trips. Joining them at Natya Gram, their Theatre village on the outskirts of town, was a little like a homecoming as I had been there before and seen the company in rehearsal previously. However, this time I accompanied them on a week long journey as they performed at no less than 4 national festivals in as many days.

The greatest joy for me was the fact that the last festival was in Shantipur, West Bengal with the Rangapeeth theater company, a group I worked and performed with several years ago.  It was a surprise for me that we would end up there... And we made it a surprise for them. We did not say that I would be accompanying Natya. 
The day we arrived, our eco rickshaws brought to the very facility I had directed and performed with Rangapeeth. They company was lined up at the entrance with music and flowers to great the Natya company.  Then they saw me.  Laughter, a scream, hugs and unbelieving stares met my appearance.  It was a indescribable experience to be so welcomed, a coming home, so very far from my own. For the few days I was there, the words surprise and wonderful were well-used and often.

After some time, a few train rides and flights, I shifted to South India, to (re)visit Isha Home School, where I spent three weeks in July, 2014.  Although a year and a half had passed, the school was only in the midst of the next school year from when I visited.  I am hear to do workshops with teachers and children.  Of course there were many wonderful greetings and glad to see you back again comments, but most lovely for me is that I will be teaching different demonstration style sessions with the same class of students I worked with in 2014, although they have advanced one grade level.  The first day we met, the students broke into applause when I told them, truthfully, they are the very first class of students I have ever visited more than once in subsequent trips internationally.  Between 2014 and 2015 I will probably meet with this particular class more than some classes I work with back home.

On a simple note, it is very touching to have some of the students approach me asking, do you remember me, and being so pleased when I can tell them not only do I remember them, but I remember the role they played in a 2014 show or what class they had with me last time.

To leave home to end up feeling like you are back home is a joyous adventure.