Indian holiday

Indian holiday

Well, I said I would let Paul H and all of you know how my nostalgia trip to Calcutta went. There were many surprises, health wise...for one, twenty minutes in English sun inevitably brings migraine, vomiting and the dreaded purple red face! So, I went armed with loads of anti migraine meds....but the surprise was that I didn't get one! Calcutta is very humid and whether it was that or whatever, I found I could sustain the heat with very little discomfort, apart from the red face. In time, I was named Laal Memsahib, or the Red Mrs...which was quite sweet. Calcutta itself was very changed, but there were enough recognisable landmarks, and the guide who ferried us around put himself out of the way to find my former doesn't exist..but there was a wall plaque still in place, declaring Tivoli Park, which adorned the wall by our bungalow. He also took me back to the Calcutta School of Music; my intitial music training college. I was treated like royalty and taken round various classes, to the consternation of the students!

The highlight of the city was a trip to the St Paul's Cathedral...loosely modelled on the London architecture, which is where my sister married. She died three years later, so it was immensely moving to see the place again and, although we weren't allowed to take photographs, once the situation was explained, I was given free rein.

After three days, we transferred to a river cruise ship, which took us to outlying villages and temples, etc, on a daily basis. I opted out of two trips, listening to my body, but sustained enough energy to walk on flat ground most days for an hour or two. It really seems that the Indian climate suits me...weird!

However, the return flight damned me. The cabin was over cool, people coughing and sneezing all over the place. I returned home, both my husband and I developed chesty coughs and a week ago I was diagnosed with pneumonia. I am being treated at home and it's a bloody bore, but I am now beginning to take light food. I know I wanted to lose a stone, but not like this!

All in all, I would not have missed this trip for anything. I didn't get bitten once...I didn't get headaches...I could sustain walking and the hats/sun cream/parasol worked a treat. There is one point...I realise I don't sweat like others. Even the Indian crew were drenched in sweat, but I just went malar. Is this a known factor?

I hope I haven't bored you all and that you are having a good day. Air hugs to all. Xxx

21 Replies

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  • Not boring at all! I'm so glad you had such a wonderful trip, and were able to do so much. I've no idea about the sweating thing. I'm sorry about the plane back. Even the most healthy pick up rotten bugs that way. You have some wonderful extra memories now x

  • Exactly, Lupiknits! It was all worthwhile and what amazed me is that I remembered a lot of Hindi, which impressed the locals. Odd, when I get lupus fog and cannot remember everyday words!


  • Brava on a courageous decision. You were rewarded by such a memorable trip.

    Curious indeed your many reactions absent over there. Have you tried a humidifier? They can be inxpensive. Just an idea to moisten your atmosphere at home.

    So helpful and uplifting to hear your great story. It raises hope. Thanks for posting.

    As to communal air on aircraft. You know that has only happened since the stopping of smoking? They used to have to have air intake. Now they recycle the air. Basically one poison for anothet!

    Thanks again. Get well soon


  • Thank you, Footygirl. Great minds think alike...we bought a humidifier three days ago and it is making a great difference at night, especially! All my family were totally opposed to my going, all expecting me to die in some little Indian village, I think. But it was top of my bucket list and has been achieved. From now on, I think it will be trains or boats..I am completely put off aircraft!

    I hope all is well with you

    Carol x

  • Glad you had such a nice trip Musicteach. Pity about the return flight!

    Lack of sweat can be a Sjogrens thing, something to keep in mind.

  • Thanks, 1985mum! I have been diagnosed with mild sjogrens, which affects my eyes and mouth, but never made the sweat does make sense! Hope you are having good days...x

  • I loved reading this post! It's wonderful when people here do things that show we can overcome the obstacles that our diseases can present, in order to follow through with a heartfelt ambition. Well done you!

    Yes Sjogrens can cause dramatic alterations in the amount of sweat produced - either by us stopping sweating entirely or the other way round - leaving us inappropriately drenched. The lack of sweat is much more liveable with I have found, but can be dangerous if we overheat as there's nothing to cool us down naturally. I have experienced both - presently going through a relatively sweaty phase!

    Good to have you back.

  • I honestly thought that my post would come across as self indulgent, so I am very happy that the positives have cheered people up! I am actually feeling more human today....the pneumonia paroxysms have subsided and I feel more alert. I shall check out the sjogrens/sweat thing when I next see the medics. I have been overwhelmed with cards, flowers, texts and the like and realise how fortunate my life is. I returned to the sad news that a friend and music student of mine had died whilst I was abroad. She was asymptomatic until three months ago, when she collapsed and was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour. She died within ten weeks. It makes one realise how very precious each day is and how to grab each wish and try to make it reality, if possible.

    I have had to cancel all lessons for this term, but my students...bless 'em...are willing to wait. I am blessed.

    I wish each and everyone of you a good, healthy day.

    Carol xx

  • I'm glad you enjoyed your trip, it sounds fascinating. I love India, but tend to go to chennai and the partner has family there.

    I would love to do more travelling around India. I always feel better there too, but the best I feel is in Spain. I think the drier climate suits me....still I'd rather be in India.

    I've been offered some work there next year when I finish my I'm hoping my health with let me go.

    Nice to hear that someone else has better health there too. All the best

  • I think what I love about India is the sweetness of the people, who are so willing to put themselves out. There is a spirituality about the place...witness...on our last night, we stayed in a hotel which I knew well from my living there. I mentioned this to the front desk man, who listened politely. Later, we had a call to ask if someone could come up and see us. What had we done wrong! It was the front desk man, who said that he had gone away and thought how special it must be for me to return after so many years, so he then presented me a book about the history of the Grand Hotel, beautifully wrapped, a series of postcards with drawings of old Calcutta and a tray ful of Bengali sweets. I had only met him for ten minutes!

    I sincerely hope you will be fit enough to go and work there. I love many places, but India has my heart.

    Love, Carol x

  • Hi, that was beautiful of the desk an man!! What a lovely thing to do. Your right, the people there are so sweet and gentle. I've always felt such kindness there. I always feel a sadness when it's time to leave.

    I'm so glad you had a lovey time and some lovely memories of the place.

    thanks, I'm trying to keep myself as healthy as possible for going....though with these illnesses it doesn't always work out that way.,,,but I'm determined to give it a try.

    All the best

  • Its always nice and kind of you to share your experience. Its not at all boring, It will inspire people and gives hope to do things. I am glad it went well. Unfortunate you have to come back in flights sometimes act as bug incubators. Wish you recover quickly and best wishes.

  • Thank you, Myncare! Still, I used to say that if you never had a day's illness, you would never appreciate how it feels to have good days! Shall stop there, before I turn into Pollyanna! (Ugh). I hope you are doing well. X

  • Hi Musicteach,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences from your recent trip. I'm so pleased to hear that your lupus didn't present as many problems for you while you were there. It sounds like you had a really amazing trip and it was well worth it.

    Sorry to hear that your health hasn't been great following the return journey. I hope that you are recovering.

  • Thank you, Paul! I am slowly getting better, long haul....but how dare Hillary Clinton do a copy cat on me!!!

  • Dear Musicteach I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts & their responses. My sister in law has been to India quite frequently visiting her in-laws & I felt I could relate to you having heard my sister & brother in law discussing India & the kindness of the people. Thank you. I do so hope that you are improving day by day & will be deciding where your next trip will be. I also admire your courage in travelling those roads less travelled !! Very Best Wishes Pixiewixie

  • Thank you so much, Pixiewixie! I got up for an engineer, as our oven gave up the ghost on our return, but after an hour, I was sick and exhausted...mind you, the hot weather doesn't help...I am amazed that I sustained a half hour walk in Plassey (Clive of India famous battleground ) in temperatures of forty degrees, with much less bother than today. Unknown India is wonderful and the village children all adoptable. Rest, rest and more rest and I will soon be back on my feet. Trying to keep the glass half full!

    Actually, during my enforced rest, maybe I will start that novel everyone has in them.........

    Very best to you, too.

    Carol x

  • GRRRRREAT post carol + GRRRREAT discussionπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ am sorry to find this late, but was happily distracted by visitors

    Am SO HAPPY for you: what a WONDERFUL & VVVVV special journey: nostalgia + discovery πŸ‘

    We're hoping to do the long haul flight back to my childhood stomping grounds in New England & Appalachia...I haven't flown long haul in nearly 10 years due to health issues...and for decades before that all journeys back were fraught due to health. If my immune dysfunction remains as 'relatively' responsive to therapy & as manageable as it seems to now, this could be such a wonderous return...feeling more stamina & resilience + less pain at 63 than I'VE felt since my early 20s...your wonderful post & discussion are encouraging me to go for it πŸ‘ŒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ

    Hope your recovery goes smoothly

    Thanks so much carol

    πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€ coco

  • Thank you, Coco! My reasoning was that if I didn't return to my beloved Calcutta, I would always regret it. Risks were taken, yes, but the alternative was to spend the rest of my life wishing. I confess that I thought the problem would be dysentery, so am astounded that it proved to be flights. My other reason was that my son lives in New Zealand and I wanted to be certain I could manage a long haul flight. A little less sure now!

    Go to New England/Appalachia if you feel you can manage it. I was decidedly wobbly before we went, but dear old Dr Theatre/Excitement coped with a lot of that. As I see it, we have to live and store up happy memories, so the risk is worthwhile.

    Think I might actually try to draft a book whilst convalescent.

    I am slowly improving...stupidly weak, but I am getting up for a little longer day by day.

    All these positives really help. Love you all!

    Carol x

  • Please do draft that book πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ and let us know how the writing goes...I'll buy it to minute it's available‼️

    As best anyone can, I do feel I understand your reasoning re the journey...and I feel sure I'm not alone in this

    My 95 year old mother (she had kept my infant onset lupus diagnoses secret until 6 years ago when my deterioration had become so bad that the NHS finally recognised the immune dysfunction underlying my multisystem conditions) and I need to see each other at least once more....and there are other people & places close to both my heart & my husband' is what it is πŸ˜‰

    πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€ coco

  • Go, and persevere with the really seemed crucial to me to visit the last place I lived with my beloved sister as siblings. She died of meningitis, along with her near full term baby, just short of her twenty third birthday. Just treading in her footsteps in the cathedral where she married in Calcutta brought me closer to her. I shall try to be disciplined and write book notes...after all, I have a full term of not teaching to get my act under way!

    I don't think you will regret giving your Mum an overdue hug, and, honestly, even if there are days of suffering later, it is totally worth it!

    Thank you for your understanding and start making travel arrangements!

    Carol 🌹

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