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Lovely Planet: Lovely, #1

Lovely Planet: Lovely, #1

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Lovely Planet: Lovely, #1

Length:
135 pages
1 hour
Publisher:
Released:
Jan 19, 2021
ISBN:
9781393729310
Format:
Book

Description

What unites an angry teenager, a tramp with No Fixed Desire, a neurotic businessman and a mother trapped in her daily life?

All of them have held Indian wisdom, Wakanda-Adhita’s book, in their hands. It's something that goes beyond borders and triggers them to lead better lives.

Flamboyant characters meet in a multicolored universe where anything can happen.

Publisher:
Released:
Jan 19, 2021
ISBN:
9781393729310
Format:
Book

About the author


Related to Lovely Planet

Titles In This Series (1)

Book Preview

Lovely Planet - Mirelle HDB

Virgil-Sanjay

LOVELY PLANET

MIRELLE HDB

––––––––

Translated by

Angela Fairbank, M.A. C.T.

To Martin for helping me find the key.

Table of Contents

Prologue 4

Aphyllanthe 18

Thérèse Perséphone McKinley de Valmore 41

Calliste de Garamord 79

Lux 98

Pétrus 133

Fulgence d’Amour 143

Angéline 166

Virgil-Sanjay 186

Prologue

The erotic year[1] is barely over. Despite the emptiness I’ve felt since my husband died, I wake up this morning with a desire for adventure and travel and, above all, with no need to plan anything.

An explosion of colors―red, yellow, green, pink, blue, orange and purple―is falling from above onto the dancers, who are gracefully spinning to exhilarating music. The wind is blowing the women’s long hair and lifting their saris. Rose and jasmine petals are caressing the dancers and casting their perfume into the atmosphere. The show is hypnotic. I feel transported. It’s joyful, exciting and miles away from the life I’ve just left. I’m in a different world. I’m a different person.

Time is flowing in slow motion just like it does in a Bollywood movie. Images of my previous life, my insignificance as a quiet, well-organized, bourgeois European, pass before my eyes. My loving, stay-at-home husband had always taken care of everything. He tended to plan ahead and leave nothing to chance. He also hated to travel, and I, thirsting for adventure, distant lands and discoveries, never had the courage to go on my own. I’m a little sad to say this now, but it was his death that freed me. If he were here today, standing beside me, I think he’d have a heart attack. This country has too much of everything. I wasn’t disappointed by the very first images and scents sweeping over me. I was overwhelmed, moved, revolted, astounded and shocked perhaps, but never disappointed!

I left Paris barely a month ago with two of my daughter’s friends. My daughter worries about me too much. She would never have let me go on my own. The girls and I get to know each other better by taking turns driving. We sleep in locals’ houses and sometimes, weather permitting, outside in sleeping bags under the stars. I rediscover the carefree days of my twenties on the roads of Europe and Central Asia. We pass through countless villages, see vivid landscapes, and let children escort us with shouts of joy. We have a flat tire only once. Luckily, a resourceful hitchhiker lends us a hand. He then travels a long way with us and teaches us how to prepare a truly delicious mint tea. We drop him off on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Our adventure continues for several weeks until we finally arrive in India, tired but full of experiences. We fall in awe before the Golden Temple of Amritsar and stay a whole night admiring its wonder reflecting like a jewel in the basin surrounding it. Our souls die a little a few days later when we leave our contemplative state and resume our peregrinations.

Arriving in New Delhi late at night, we find a place to stretch out our bodies, which are exhausted after such a long trip. The three stars of our hotel have nothing to do with its very basic comfort, but everything to do with what we can see in the sky through the window in our room. Despite the fan’s constant whirring, I’m able to fall into a deep sleep, devoid of dreams.

The sun has just started to rise and appears as a magnificent beam on the horizon. Its heat is already intense. The commotion, which had eased somewhat with the darkness, has resumed even louder. Hunger drives me out of bed. My traveling companions are still sound asleep in their privilege of youth while my three-score years urge me to make the most of the novelty offered to me. It’s still early. Street vendors and hawkers are unpacking not only clothes, spices and jewelry but also donuts fried in a liquid so dark it looks like used engine oil. Since my hunger is greater than my fear, I taste one. It’s hot. Spicy. Good. A boy with a sparkling smile offers me very sweet tea with milk and cardamom. When I finish the drink, I toss the terracotta mug on the ground. At the end of the day, a pile of used cups will remain but the rain will then come and wash away the remnants.

In the street, I’m offered the world―all my desires on a silver platter. I politely decline and continue wandering. I circumvent a cow lying across the road. The large animal blocks the rickshaws and taxis, preventing them from passing through, but as it’s sacred, we leave it to ruminate quietly, and the traffic circles around it, as if its presence were nothing unusual.

"Iska kya daam hai[2]?"

I ask the price of a salwar kameez[3] in Hindi. I want to dress like a native but I don’t feel like putting on a sari. I haggle a bit, since it’s the custom, and leave with a magnificent garment that cost me only a few euros. I meet a number of Americans and Europeans who have come to rebuild the world into artificial paradises or seek an ashram to soothe their souls.

After a week of playing tourist, I leave my car with my friends so they can travel on to Varinasi. They feel guilty about leaving me on my own, but I tell them with a smile that I’m old enough and have had all my vaccinations. I just need some time on my own. We part with a few more laughs and warm hugs.

Getting a train to Agra is not an easy task. I try to buy a ticket in a huge station swarming with people just like an anthill. Some travelers stay there waiting, and even sleep on the floor. Time and train schedules are not an exact science in this country. I’m not used to seeing people with physical deformities on the streets. In France, we’re ashamed of them and hide them. It’s difficult to look at resignation reflected in the eyes of very young children, who are hungry, abandoned, wandering and desperate for something to eat. People have told me I shouldn’t give them anything because ‘it’s their karma.’ They pass by in their beautiful clothes with indifference.

Arriving in Agra, I can’t wait to see the Taj Mahal. Unfortunately, when I get there, it’s closing time. How disappointing! I check into a luxury hotel because I need a comfortable bed. I sleep until the next day. My dreams are full of images of all those children. I wake up crying. I’m more upset than I dare to admit. I enjoy my breakfast immensely. I devour everything like a glutton and tell myself I’m lucky, at my age, to be in such good shape. Dressed in my salwar kameez, I find myself inside the Palace with a knot in my stomach. Perhaps I’m afraid of being disappointed. The long path that leads me to the Taj Mahal allows me time to contemplate the building’s magnificence. Walking beside me are families with children, who are running around and brightening up the atmosphere with their laughter. Their mothers are dressed in saris that reflect all the colors of the rainbow in a flamboyant call to life. Once inside the mausoleum, I’m overwhelmed with incredible energy. It’s as if its beauty were palpable. My eyes start tearing up. I don’t know if I’m mourning my husband or feeling lonely. Perhaps it’s just the joy of being alive and having the chance to visit such a fabulous place. Suddenly, I feel a comforting presence beside me. Someone hands me a handkerchief. I meet the radiant and benevolent gaze of a woman in a white sari. She holds out her hand: Wakanda-Adhita, she says. I believe it’s tea time. I must look confused because she smiles at me and wraps a protective arm around my shoulders. She seems barely thirty-five years old, but has such a maternal air I’d follow her to the ends of the earth. As we leave the Palace, she tells me the story of Emperor Shah Jahan who had the mausoleum built out of love for and in memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth. Seated with a cup of tea and a plate filled with deliciously sweet, colorful cakes in front of me, I am informed by Wakanda-Adhita that we already met in a previous life. This concept of reincarnation was very fashionable in the hippie movement that appeared a few years ago. I had never really thought about it. It’s true; we’re talking to each other as though we’d known each other forever.

The next day, we leave Agra in her beautiful Ambassador car. This woman has two amazing names: Wakanda meaning ‘inner magical power’ in the words of the Dakota tribe of the Sioux people and Adhita, ‘the educated one’ in India. I’ve never met anyone so aptly named. For the first time in my life, I fall in love instinctively at first sight. She exudes such serenity. Due to her affluent and multicultural background, she’s had frequent opportunities to travel. Much of her wisdom and many of her secrets are derived from her rich heritage. She has her own way of enfolding people into her sweetness.

Wakanda-Adhita suggests I visit a few places before joining her ashram. We go to the Palace of the Winds and admire the meticulous work of Jaipur’s artisan jewelers. Arriving in Pushkar in time for Holi festival, we spend two days covered in multicolored powders and joy. In Jodhpur, we gaze at the Blue City from Mehrangarh Fort. I eat my first dosai[4]. My

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