Tears and tenderness in Delhi

25.07.12 – 12.08.12

Our wonderful group parted ways on the morning of July 25th 2012. Swami came to pick me up and we all left Harish at Hotel Perfect while I got dropped off to Nita’s while they went off to do some last minute shopping …
I have to stay Hotel Perfect wasn’t exactly “perfect” but was a perfect enough place to end our long and special journey. We were in old Delhi but the heat was insane and I didn’t have the energy to go exploring in the oven that the city had turned into!
I was quite sad to leave my lovely group as we truly did experience a magical journey together and if life were so easy, I think we could have carried on for much longer…as long as the road would take us…unfortunately our road ended in Delhi…but we shall keep in touch…this I am sure off!
I wasn’t looking forward to what awaited me on this next part of my journey, a moment I had been dreading since Udaipur where I would spend a week with my love of two-and-a-half years…it was meant to be a week filled with romance and time away from our lives so we could share a part of India together. But what we shared was the pain of letting each other go as we came to the realisation that our paths were going in different directions…
I realised that as much as I may have fitted into his world in London and the Yorkshire moors, he did not really fit into mine. I don’t know if my world was too down to earth compared to his, or my blood was too wild compared to English roses…
As much as we love each other, sometimes love isn’t enough…I want to live my truth and as much as I can – live it always – and the truth is I don’t see my future in England…my spirit has too much fire to live in order and tradition, as much as I love him and his family and I gave the relationship all I had…as he did … but for whatever reason it wasn’t enough!
And as painful as it was and still is (as I write my story in the backwaters of Komarakom in Kerala on this sunny September 25th 2012)….I know the truth of my being and for this journey in India I need to walk it knowing I walk in my freedom…
I don’t want to share anymore and I have probably already said too much but it needed to be said as I have chosen to share part of this journey on my blog and if I am being truthful, this is the truth of my journey…
I don’t know what the future holds and how things will unfold…all I know is that as much as I hurt him and myself – we needed to let go and discover our own truths and stop living in the illusion that Africa and Central Asia with England as our base would work because England and I had also broken up.

My name is Natasha Elkington – my surname is British, I carry her legacy and her blood and yet for me to have any rights in the land that runs thick in my veins – I have to give up more than I have and as much as I am grateful for time spent there, I need to feel free and not bound by all the things I have to pay for to feel like I belong.

England and I will always be connected, she is my great grandmother that is too faraway to fully embrace but she has given me enough love for me to always love her back…

So apart from the pain of saying goodbye with love…

We spent the week discovering Delhi and all her little nooks and crannies from our wonderful Emerald suite at Amarya Villa’s in Safdarjung.

Owned by two cool French guys and lovely staff mostly from Manipur, our beautiful room gave us the space to have gentle moments together, perfect for him and I to share our last moments together and also to give each other space to mourn the end of our journey together….

Tenderness …
We discovered two cool bars, TLR (The Living Room), OTB (Out of the Box) in Hauz Khas – where we partied on humid rooftops until 4am that released all tension we both carried and for that night – life was okay and fun and in our happy drunkenness we could forget all our troubles.
Haus Khaz or Royal Tank is a cool little area with neat little shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. Also went for a rainy walk through the 14th century complex passing a mosque and a tomb from the Khilji Dynasty before we hit the “pricey” beer – about 300 Rs for a small beer rather than 100 Rs in most reasonable places.
We discovered Lodi gardens, Connaught place, ate beautiful meals at Blue Frog and Olive Bar  & Kitchen. A bit pricey but this was our week of luxury before getting back to my $20 a night budget travelling scenario…
We partied like rock stars one night with Nita at Urban Pind. The loudest club on the block, luckily one could escape to the rooftop if the noise was too much. First time dancing in India and just as we were getting into the groove the flipping DJ and his equipment kept crashing until it burnt, leaving us wanting more and disappointed as our dancing groove was still on a high!

Met my Polish friends from Vipassana who had returned from Dharamsala and getting ready to go home after a year of travelling most of Asia. We spent most of Sunday together, sharing stories around Haus Khaz but it wasn’t a free flowing afternoon, as energies did not completely gel.

It was a difficult day because my boyfriend wanted time with me and I was pulling away from him.

The day did end of a better note with some Chinese food and me getting henna painted on my left hand that caught beautifully.
Apparently, if henna goes dark on your skin it means your mother-in-law will be good to you…I guess I will have to wait and see on that one!
It rained for many days but the rain came gently, calming our troubled spirits and also meant we spent a lot of time in our room…I slept a lot, my body was tired from all the travelling and adventure overland from Nepal to Delhi…I also got sick, got a bad chest infection from the a/c in the room coupled with rain and heat outside …

We also experienced a historical blackout in Delhi. More than 30 million people affected but I was at the Amarya Villas with a generator so we barely felt the effects in our cushy hotel…no complaints on my end.The olympics had also started that week I spent with my soon-to-be-ex boyfriend and really did not get very involved as I normally would. What was more interesting is that India was also not very involved either as sport is not their strong suit apart from cricket and I think most Indians can’t wait for the week to be over as with over a billion people they can’t rock sports like the rest of the world..

India did make the headlines though during the Olympics opening ceremony when the team was joined by some Indian woman wearing who accompanied the flag-bearer with such pride, only to find out later no-one knew who she was and how she was able to bypass security and march with the entire procession!

When my boyfriend and I said our painful goodbyes, I went home to Nita to sleep and cry and hide from the world a bit … just needed home and warmth and am very lucky I have this haven in India…I think if I did not have my wonderful friend supporting me, I may have been much harder and more painful to face the truths that India was presenting to me.

I spent most of my week indoors while it rained outside for me trying to heal from my sickness and broken heart and of course sort out Coco (Nita’s crazy cocker spaniel) and her more pressing issues!!

I think Coco helped me heal too because as much as I was broken, she was trapped! This bonkers dog was on constant heat but was too skinny to be  mated as she had worms in her stomach with tics deciding to live on her.

She was very loved and everyone did as much as they could but her suffering was too great for any of us to heal except find a way to let her go for others to care for her by giving her round-the-clock attention until the worms and the tics left her body and she was ready for her highly sexualised body to be mated!

Played a lot with Shaurya and Vansh Garg his little brother friend. Nita, Shaurya and I went to a family wedding in Noida and she lent me a gorgeous sari for the occasion. After a couple of rum and cokes I was on the dance floor shaking it to some serious Bhangra with all the old foggy dudes, masis and the children who were breaking it down with no stopping.Spent time with our dear cameraman friend Maurya and Chris (ex-Reuters journo) who was in transit in Delhi on his round the world trip that had started and restarted a few times and he was just about to start again from Thailand. Watched Ice Age 3 one morning with everyone after a wicked champagne breakfast at Yum Yum Tree.

Nita also went off to Assam to cover the conflict between the Bangladeshis and the Bodo tribes people. Good job Reuters went there because after her article, more people and news agencies started paying attention to the humanitarian situation deteriorating there. 


I really enjoyed having some down time and chilling in Delhi, exploring it and getting to see it from a local and journalistic perspective…and mostly importantly to feel at home and heal my wounds from end of a beautiful and challenging journey with my ex. It would definitely take time to completely let go oh him and this pain would probably turn into a cloud that may overshadow the rest of my travels…









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Indian Maasai