Prayers from my soul

From where I stand today; (huh) there is not turning back;

The road that I left behind has changed; I don't know it anymore

It turned dark and the path lights are now dim

From here on there is only one way the arrow points, to the hazy horizon

My heart is pounding , i can feel it in my veins

and my feet have grown roots into the ground i stand on

the only reassuring presence is my shadow

fleeting changing with the scorching Sun

the Me or I dancing holy chants

my leaves quivering


the words

 prayers of my soul

Why Do I want to be a Midwife?

Why Do I want to be a Midwife?

This is my little story, of the rivers I crossed and the mountains I scaled…

The journey into a new Paradigm had begun in 2002 when I was 18.It was first time I challenged to open up and step out. The youth group that I was a part of had offered me a window into a world beyond. I finished my schooling as fast as I could and turned towards a zone unknown. I started off with tutoring kids, volunteering at old age homes and foster cares. I also found myself working with a Public relations firm for a couple of months; and eventually transitioned to being a Flight Attendant with Air India. There was one commonality with every career I choose was, PEOPLE; I loved them.

A bright spring day, 17 March 2009, the Futane Farm, Maharashtra; a day I will always remember. A farm situated in a small hamlet of India. A bunch of us had gathered to talk about the rising rates of farmer suicide and experience typical village life. A picture quite removed from my immediate reality. All this was a bit overwhelming for me. Farmers dying due lack of money, debts, pesticides, no adequate food, schools and health care. Which century was I living in? Is this the same India that I belong to or had I and millions like me closed our eyes to this reality which is 74% or our land mass?

I never went back to Flying, I travelled from the South to the North covering as many Sates and villages I could. Absorbing like a sponge. At the end of a year I start working with Navdanya an NGO which works with farmers around 16 States in India. My area of work led to women, as they the primary seed keepers and the hands that toil in the fields. These were strong empowered women with amazing knowledge and wisdom. They knew the forests and streams like the back of their hands. The land was their mother and teacher. The use of herbs and plants from their farms and forests was an everyday affair. They used it as food and medicine.

There was always a sense of community and interdependence. If a child was born it was the community’s responsibility, everyone chipped in to care for the baby and the new mother. As I came towards towns and cities, this picture changed significantly. People where shunning the age old tradition of “Dai’s” (traditional Midwife’s) and walking towards a technocratic model of birthing. Maternity homes had mushroomed in every town promising a cleaner and a safer birthing environment. Mother’s travelling too far of places to give birth and cough up all their saving’s in the name of safety. The C-section rates have soared high as in every developing country. And inducing labor was becoming a norm.

The severity of this hit me when a friend of mine tried to deliver her baby at home with a midwife. The atmosphere in the house was somber, almost hostile as she tried to deliver vaginally. Her labor stalled she had to be rushed to the hospital; reason failure to progress. A baby who had not even seen the light of day was labeled as a “FAILURE” he didn’t have the ability to make in on his own. The fear around childbirth and its treatment as a disease makes me cringe.

The feminist and naturalist in me are struggling to bring about a positive change. Now I truly understand what it is like to be called to do something. And for me it is being a Midwife…witnessing nature at its best; miracle of life itself. Surrendering to the highest energies and being instrumental in bringing forward a generation, nurtured with Unconditional Love and Compassion. Me playing as life guard alert and attentive; in case an anomaly occurs.

Midwifery feel‘s like a natural progression, a pivotal event in my path. The woman in me is ready to take on this responsibility, , to choose this as a way of life. It resonates with my Philosophy of living simply and following the cues of nature. For me life is an ongoing cosmic dance one we bear witness to. My encounter with birth started form the earth. The simple process of sowing a seed and watching it germinate still gets my eyes rolling. I have complete faith in the design of nature and that each of us has a niche. It’s unto us to discover it. Midwifery appeals to the very crux of my being (feminist and ecologist/naturalist). I feel I have come full circle. The time is ripe for change.

I have always adored pregnant women, beautiful and radiant with perfect round bellies. There is a certain aura that they emanate. I almost feel protective towards them. Wanting to walk with them towards the sacred passage called birth. Letting them know that they are not alone in this journey. I want to them love and trust their bodies. To help them understand that if nature put their baby in the womb it has also ingeniously designed the way out. I want to work towards dissolving the fear and hostility towards birth.

I want to be the hands that soothes the mothers aching back, the hands that hold the perineum to prevent a tear, dexterously catches the slippery baby, resuscitates a limp one if need be. I want to be the voice that will guide women to trust their bodies and help them surrender. I want to be a set of eyes that welcomes the newborn with love and compassion. I want to be able to care for the duo humanely. I want to be a witness to each Miracle that falls into my hands.

Every baby that is born on this planet is an essential part of Gaia. The way we welcome her in our lives molds her and prepares her for the life ahead. There is definitely a place for Obstetricians and technology but let’s save it for times of dire need. There is one thought that comes to mind at this point said by M.K.Gandhi, “Almost everything you do seems insignificant, but it is important that you do it”. The choice is ours to make.

The Call

The Wolf Tribe; this is a call to you.

This ever evolving organism/space which calls women together;" the wolf tribe " is howling and sending a cry to all the women to come  to heal, to spread love to remind the sleep walkers to wake up, to help them remember who they are and why they have come to this planet in this time/space reality.

There is going to come a time when I am going to howl for my tribe, "The Tribe"and the ones who hear the call will come to this time space reality and this gathering of energies will shape-shift as one being as one organism bringing about ripples of healing modalities and medicines, working like a Mitochondria a power house of sorts, these warriors, change makers, medicine women will help see clearly and lead humanity into a new dawn. They will create medicine wheels which will help spiral this potent omnipresent energy to go places and spaces as when required.

This new era will have its own story and that story will be written by these shape shifters who can teleport to where they are needed and will act as catalysts. The pulse of the earth is asking of these Amazon Warriors, these Peace Warriors to come forth in this time as their unique selves and with their unique gifts. This is it this is our collective dream. We have gone to the darkest of dungeons and the only way out of this womb is to be born, re-born as the peace warrior that each one of you choose consciously.

This is a call from Gaia and if you are truly ready to hear this call which i know in the heart of hearts, in my womb that you are you know the answer. You have heard this language before in past lives and we as sisters as one clan have run and played , touched and healed.


We are here born in this time/space reality to come together again as one being as sisters from different biological mothers; from different parts of this fragmented earth mother. But remember we were held together in the same sacred womb a long long long time ago and we died together fighting the same battle. She held our bodies for us till we were ready to be re-born, we were fed with the same pulse and swaddled in her gynormas heart.

This is the time to drop the masks to come forth from your hiding spaces and embrace the true essence of who you really are. A Woman, A Grandmother A Mother, A Daughter, A Sister, A Friend, A midwife, A Doula, A life giver, A life bearer, A Medicine Woman, A Shaman, A Shape Shifter,  A Seed Keeper, A Guardian of the Sacred Lands, The one who holds the sacred waters.


Yes you were raped and plundered,

Yes you were beaten and burned,

yes your throats were slit open

and your insides engorged;

Yes you have lost your unborn children

and you have cried a thousand tears,

Yes you have quested in my forests

and prayed by my fire.


Yes you have thrown rocks at me and even called me names

No It was not me it was all your own journey

You choose it all...

Yesssss you did!


And now I want you...NO you want me to remind you to re-write your story in a new light.

The story that you all have re-lived countless times as sisters.

This is a howl a cry to you all out there and I can't say it enough times; If you hear this please please please look into my eyes, acknowledge  me, acknowledge each one in this pack and break out of this body to be this being that you are called to be.

To walk this earth as a being of light, fulfilling your souls true purpose.


100th Anniversary: nacido un milagro de mi vida

It literally translates to the 100th birth: a miracle in my life.

This is the birth of Arpitaa Pandey. A STRONG woman. So beautiful, so grounded, so focused. I met her at a clinic in Mumbai. I had gone to meet up with the doctor when Arpitaa walked in with her husband Nitesh. She was very vocal and came in muttering about how she still had not met the midwife she was wanting. She saw me and instantly asked me to work with her. She was 28 weeks pregnant at the time flaunting a beautiful  belly and i fell for her. And thus began our saga.

1st July 2013: I get a call from clinic saying Arpitaa is in labor. I am super confused. I had just spoken to Arpitaa a few minutes back and she seemed nowhere close to labor. I keep my doubts aside and pack my bags and call Akshat to pick me to take me to the clinic. Arpitaa is all radiant with some mild contractions. (Dr.) looks at her and tells her she will have her baby by morning. I have my doubts but keep quiet as i did not have a strong basis to differ (I had not done a vaginal but i had a gut feeling she was too early).

We decided to stay at the clinic for the night and observe what was happening. Arpitaa was clearly in early labor, he contractions would stop when she laid down and she could rest. By morning the contractions had completely subsided so we decided to do a vaginal exam. She sure was closed. I advised for all of us to go home.

The following week was intense with loads of early labor contractions and intermittent rest. On the 7th night I received a frantic call from Arpitaa saying there was a gush of blood so we decided to go to the hospital to be safe. And within no time her water broke. I packed up and made my way to the home. By then she had calmed down and had felt her baby move. I got there and checked the baby's heart tones and they were about 140bpm (normal). her contractions had picked up and were 2-3 minutes apart. So we decided to go the the hospital.

We waited in the car till the room was set up and Arpitaa could no longer sit. We labored in the room next door till the pool got ready. It sure was a task to fill the pool with 14 bottles of Bisleri water and then warm it. All that took hours. Arpitaa was doing quite good outside. There were changes in her vaginal secretions (show) and her behavior. I was guestimating her dilation around 6 cms when she got into the pool. She labored in there for a good 2 hours. The pool had started to deflate and there was no way we could reheat the water. Arpitaa was getting close to transition when the pool had to be inflated. All this disrupted the peace and energy in the room. She decided to come out of the pool and was getting a bit pushy. So with her consent i checked her and she sure was 8cms. By this time she was visibly exhausted. Frequent motions and empty stomach had drained Arpitaa completely. The food that was brought in for her was way too spicy and so she could not eat at all.

Me and Nitesh gave her some healing Reki that calmed her for a few more contractions. Now i could visualize a pink lotus blooming. That assured me that all was well. I also got a vision that Arpitaa was going to squat and birth out on land.

I had lost sense of time by now but surely an hour had passed and her she was really getting pushy. But Arpitaa was all over the place now. She was having a hard time focusing and i new it was getting close to completion. To help her rest a bit Nitesh suggested 2 sips of red wine, which i agreed to. As she was a non drinker and also on an empty stomach she was thrown into a delirium for a bit. I assured her that this is all normal and that she was going to see her baby soon. She started requesting for a C-section. I convinced her that she was close to her dream of having a drug free vaginal birth and it was just around the corner. I asked her if i could check her for reassurance and she was complete with a slight cervical lip. Wow she was right there.

Another hour or so passed by and her surges got stronger but her energy weaker. I wanted her rest but nothing seemed to work. She needed the golden hour of rest before she could push. Absolutely nothing seemed to be working. I had reached the end of my resources as well and so i turned to praying. We almost had decided to go in for a second opinion and so called the She insisted to do a vaginal again. (Arpitaa was dead against veda touching her). As soon as the Dr. touched her (without informed consent) Apritaa flew from the bed on the floor where i caught her in time. Wow down goes all the Oxytocin.I lot of drama followed. She announced that there were no chances of a C-section and decided to give her some pain medications. By now I had no say in what was going on. We finally decided that the baby was low and Arpitaa was ready to push.

We got into a squat and Dr. was praying. The baby was moving down with each push. I asked for a birth stool which helped Arpitaa rest a bit and also helped her direct her energies. The prayer seemed to be helping as well. I could see gaping and after a bit a beautiful pink scalp emerged. Arpitaa slowly stretched her tissues and helped her baby birth. It was the most peaceful crowning I had seen.The pulse was good. A few more pushes and little angel dropped into my hands with a nuchal cord tight around his neck. I slid it around his head and the Dr. helpd me as well.

A gorgeous baby was born to Arpitaa and Nitesh.

Nitesh was like a rock through out. he was by Arpitaa's side all the time and amazing husband and father.


Patience, Perseverance, Faith, Fights, Tears all of this and 100 birth

Zamir ~ Conscience ~heart ~ for peace ~ a song bird

21 October 2013 @ 10.15a.m. placenta @10.55a.m.

Goa Birthing Sanctuary

Janey Nightangel~mother

Arif Lone~father




Assist~Pari (8 yrs old)

Janey had known the gender of the baby and very mindfully had chosen to name him Zamir~Conscience. Janey Nightingale is  a 41yr old first time mother from the U.K. She had been coming back to India and Goa for the past 4 yrs now.

In 2009 on her first trip to India she met partner and father of her child Arif, a handsome Kashmiri man. They were initially just friends and and over time their relationship developed. Zamir was conceived with a lot of love in Goa.His mother learned about the pregnancy after being back in the UK for a week.

The main part of the pregnancy was spent in the UK as that was the most practical decision at the time.Janey had a very supportive community back home.She also kept working throughout the pregnancy and was able to keep up her boxing classes and yoga which kept her active and healthy.It was necessary for Janey to return to India to birth to enable Arif to share in this event as he did not yet have a visa for the UK. It was impossible to imagine not sharing this experience as a family. Luckily the Birthing Sanctuary gave them the ideal way to achieve a natural birth experience together.

Janey traveled at 36 weeks from UK to Goa. After hours of sitting on the plane she made her way to the Birth Sanctuary in South Goa. She was exhausted the day I peeked my head into her room, barely able to talk or make conversation. But our eyes had connected and made conversations our bodies could not.

The next night Arif comes in with Janey dancing with each surge. The hours of travel and the couple making up for lost time had helped Jane get into early labor. Despite it only beingher second evening in India and it being a month from the due date she was doing really well.

I made her a cup of chamomile tea and asked her to soak into a hot shower. The surges continued into the earlymorning but faded out and she went off to sleep.More than 10 days passed after that first bout of practice labor. By this time the birthing center had become less of a center and more of a community. Each day was consumed by child birth education classes, cooking, gardening and loads of talking.

Mornings would roll into evenings within seconds. There was barely ever a chance to hit the beach, but we did savor such evenings when all of us walked on the sand gazing at the enormous redness of the Sun.

One day I get called in by a very anxious Arif that Jane was bleeding (they had just made love and Janey had lost her mucus plug).  I rushed into their room to check in and all was normal and I advised Janey that the labor could be any day now.During the time at the sanctuary a lot of changes came about in the community, especially as far as communication was concerned. It is a part of every community and we were working on it.

Before we could resolve the differences fully Jane went into labor. I was woken up by Arif at around 5.30 a.m . He had the most anxious expression.Janey had puked and pooped a few times and within 15 minutes of waking  was in full blown labor doing great. Just by the noises she made and her facial expressions I knew the baby was coming soon. Her surges were also very strong and rhythmic. I woke everyone in the house up and gave them very particular chores which they did very devotedly. I got all the equipment i could need to the birth room and started working on the pool.

Janey worked well with Arif they would dance through each surge while all of us got the rest of the things in place. Within no time Janey wanted me to check and see if she was ready to push so I did. She was almost there and i asked her to blow through a few more surges.

In the next few minutes I could see the head on the mirror. The head of the baby was dark and I cried out Zamir has the fathers hair. I called in Pari and Rashmie as they wanted to witness the birth as well. The head had started crowning and we could all see it so clearly. We chanted mantras to welcome little Zamir. Janey looked into my eyes and said she felt really afraid and i reassured her that all was well. She gave out a loud cry and out came Zamir into my hands. He was born in the caul (amniotic sac), I gently peeled it off. He had a nuchal cord which I undid very easily. Janey birthed squatting holding on to the bed with Arif besides her. There was no time to even fill the pool ;). The babies have a mind of their

As the family took in the first few minutes of the new life we gave Janey some herbal tea to help with the bleeding and the placenta. After a good 45 minutes came the placenta. All this time we left the baby attached to the placenta.It was a very natural, fast and peaceful birth which lasted less than 5 hours from the get go. Janey had totally tapped into wild primal feminine.


* making love releases a lot of hormones especially the cocktail of love hormones Oxytocin, Endorphins, Dopamine and Serotonin which help one get into labor.



This is Ischel's birth: Ix Chel the Mayan birth Goddess

I have only heard stories of her, the jaguar goddess of midwifery and medicine, the goddess of the moons and making children. I had the honor of meeting her face to face a few day's ago, she birthed her baby in my sacred hands and reaffirmed my faith in miracles.

jewel whispered in my ears that night as i was rising from my sleep, there was a mom waiting to be attended, as i rose i had this feeling of calm and bliss, i stepped down and even before looking at her chart or her knew that she was going to birth soon. I affirmed this with Lilly who was going to be my midwife that night.

As i entered her room she looked at me and held on to me, i told her i was going to be her midwife and with a childlike innocence she asked me if i will be by her side the whole way through and i said yes i will.

we then moved to the tub to take a shower, as i bathed her i said prayers for her and her little one. Her rushes ebbed and flowed making space for more, as she rode with them she opened; her cervix a gorgeous flower. We came back to the bed after a while and i asked her to rest. Her body had other plans; her water broke and a midst of taking heart tones she asked if she could push and we said she could if there was no pain in her lower uterine segment; and there was not. She kept saying the baby was coming, so Lilly did a vaginal exam and she sure was complete.

There was no stopping her after that, she gave a few pushes and there was the Pablo's head, chubby and round, it restituted and as i waited for the next contraction to birth the body i saw a nuchal hand and i tried to birth the body with it, when Lilly just got in and birthed the hand aiding the body to slide out easily. We did active management as she had low hemo (9.7 on her initial).

The after birth came out easily after a few contractions, there was very little bleeding. her perineum was intact in-spite of there being a compound presentation. She had really stretched beautifully, she exactly knew within how to birth her offspring.

Miracles do happen, we just need to believe in them...

The Pilgrimage

Chapter 1

There are certain journeys which are drawn up for you and certain you plan intricately. I call this a pilgrimage. The only act I had to do was having faith and buying my ticket to Delhi. I have no memory of what happened after that.  I was lead from there on; the places and people were chosen. These strangers that I had known in past lives were there to meet me again.

Delhi has always been a blur; the early morning smog and the Aram Jawan Jyothi at India Gate always leave me solemn. The love hate relationship I share with this city draws me to its lanes and lonely monuments which I unearth ever slowly.

The people of this city have always intrigued me, their instinct for survival is one that of awe. The constant jugad, bickering at every turn and constant fights with the rickshawals, they love it all. Through this tamasha of every day rut people of Delhi not only survive but thrive to be artists and naturalists, politicians and simple human beings.

I happened to meet some of these divine souls who have not only made Delhi their homes but also embellished it with their songs and prayers. Delhi was wrapped in a different tapestry of colors and voices, the ones I have learned to touch and listen.

The day to leave for Kashmir has arrived. But there is someone I need to meet before I leave for the airport. The phone rang last evening when I was discussing the documentary with Ankit (a filmmaker). I had met Ankit the first time as well. The phone call was a pleasant surprise and so I excused myself and smiling at the screen answered the call. Janet Chawala ; the director of Matrika was talking to me. I recognized her in spite of never ever meeting her before. We spoke and instantly wanted to meet.

It’s the morning of 27th and I am hailing an auto for Sunder nagar. After going around in circles and being led to a couple of unknown lanes I reach Janet’s home. As I step inside I see an altar filled with dolls and artifacts from all around the world. There is also the Shiv Ling at the extreme right hand corner of the altar. Janet comes in a hugs me, we have known each other in some past life. We settle into her living area and start discussing this and that. There is just so much to talk about, we speak the same language and belong to the same traditions. Our eyes sparkle each time we share our journeys. There is so much to take in and hold. Time is racing against our stories. Janet asks her driver to drop me to the place I am staying at and hugs me. We part with the promise that we will meet again this time for longer.

My flight to Srinagar is announced. I board the plane. My soul is elated from the morning and at peace. I receive a text from a friend. There has been a death, one of our friends lost her father, cause of death not yet determined. The elation changes into a deep reverence for life. I say a silent prayer for the parting soul of my friend’s father.

The airplane speakers fill my ears with some announcements shattering my prayers and I turn off my cell phone. The beginning of a new journey is dotted with death. I reach Srinagar where my phone refuses to work. My friend and also my guide in Kashmir picks me from the airport. We head towards Ekta a theatre group where I would be staying. It is in the part of the city I had never seen before. I walk towards the doors with anxiety. The people inside are new to me as I am to them. But we are to walk together for these few days. I take a deep breath and step inside. There is a big poster of LAL DED as I enter the office. The two men in the office are trying to greet me and make small talk. They offer me some drinks which I subconsciously decline. All this while my eyes are fixated on the image of this girl who is an embodiment of Lal Ded, her hair over her face dressed in old rags wanting to fall off her bare shoulders. I knew I was in the right place. The sing had been revealed in yet another form. I humbly accepted the juice offered to me and started exploring my home for the next 10 days.

It was a simple room with little light. There was bed with a thick blanket and a pillow, it was someone else’s room, there appeared a cupboard out of nowhere and was also placed into this little room. The bathroom was huge with a boiler for hot water and the loo was Indian style. I had seen the sign and despite of knowing that I was used to more comforts accepted to stay with these simple Kashmiri artists.

They made some lovely warm food for me in the evening. It was humbling to sit and eat with these souls. I slept not so well that night. The morning Azan woke me up after which the dogs nonstop howling kept me awake. I woke up a bit disoriented and worried about the morning runs to the bathroom and the cold when it will be my turn to use the shower. As everything else up until now this also falls in place.

I get dressed and after a modest breakfast sit to discuss the logistics of the trip with Arif. He seems to bit preoccupied with some thoughts that I fail to decipher. I tell him about the story I am thinking of and my requirement of a girl/ woman to help me with the camera and translation. We both agree to it. I get an idea that we could approach some mass communication students for help with the camera. The stars align and we meet Khaitul the following day.

Khaitul is a shy 20 year old studying at Art College. Her HOD happens to be a friend of Arif’s and apparently also claims to know me. He introduces me to Khaitul. As I look at her I have my doubts. But a few words and she loosens up. She tells me she has used a video camera in her cousins wedding and is good with a still camera as well. I talk to her about the nature of the project and hand her a bunch of papers containing the gist and the story line.

The following morning we leave for a shoot. We head to a small village with the name Chardora. One of the actors at the Ekta academy belongs to this village. He had overheard my conversation on Dais and had volunteered to take us to his village and introduce us to the Dai who helped give him birth. It is a beautiful morning, me and Khaitul are discussing camera angles when we come to a stop. In front of the jeep screen is an old battered house, the little courtyard is holding some almonds that are being sun dried.




The Pilgrimage continues...

Chapter 2

A tiny, unkempt lane leads to her home. I walk in with the tripod and camera. And behind me is Khaitul. I am wondering what is going on through her mind. She must have never even given birthing a thought and here she is by my side ready to explore the deep intimate secretes of childbirth. I give her a nervous smile and enter the sacred space of this old Dai. Mukti Vani walks into the living with the aid of a stick. She is so frail and yet so stunning, he aura fills up the room. The moment our eyes lock we recognize the other. We swiftly move towards the other, the old Dai fill’s me in her embrace. I stay there for what feels like eternity. She takes me by her hand and leads me to the other end of the room where there is a chair kept for her to sit. I sit by her feet; it seems like the most appropriate place for me. The cameras are set up and lights adjusted. I start with the first question and Mukti dai answers animatedly, not intimated by the camera or me an alien.

She tells us how she was initiated into this work. A Pir baba (Shaman) had given this work to her; she was blessed with the task of bringing new souls to this earth. The Pir had also asked her to be dressed appropriately as all times as there would be people knocking at her door at any hour. And she has been doing that since she was 30. She did receive some sort of training for the district doctor, but her practice was based on what she knew intuitively. To thank the souls that were protecting her and her work she would make an offering at the Dargah and also fed the poor.

This work had brought her a lot of respect in her village and villages covering a radius of 10-15 kms. She had made enough money to sustain and educate her 5 kids and marry them off and till this date Mukti Dai is living off on her own earnings.

As the hour passes by the conversations stir off to more intimate topics and the men are shooed off from the scene. Mukti starts talking about the births and difficulties that would arise, she spoke about potions that would help stop bleeding and bring strength to the mother. These herbal teas were brewed at home and given to the postpartum mothers. The purpose was simple to restore strength, reduce bleeding and replenish her body with warmth. These teas were served in earthen pots for its medicinal properties. And then after 7-10 days the mother was also bathed in this herbal brew.

All this time she held on to my hand, and spoke to my soul. Language did not seem to bother either of us. I and Mukti had connected in a different realm our souls were communicating through our eyes and hands. There was love and reverence for the others work.

As time passed she invited me to the more intimate corners of her life, she wanted me to share a kash of the hookah with her. Her daughter in law got the embers burning and prepared the hookah for this ancient lady. The glowing embers were placed in the sacred tobacco. And Mukti starts with one Kush of this glorious hookah. The smoke of the tobacco carries the prayers to the spirits and divine souls. I have seen this ritual before, in a circle of Native Americans. Mukti Dai passes the hookah to me and a take a deep kash. I have to learn the art yet. I choke on it and dismiss it saying that I have never tried it before. I my heart I know that I am still to be initiated into this tradition and when the time comes I will be able to blow rings of tobacco and communicate with the ancient spirits who will carry my prayers to the source.

Mukti Vani showers her blessing on me and inquires as of when will I be back. She walks to the courtyard to bid me safe journeys. She fills my hands with a handful of those drying almonds and kisses my forehead. This 90 year soul yet has so much to give. I leave her courtyard with a sense of abundance and honor, for her and for every soul that came forth through her generous hands.