As per a friendly recommendation, Jackie receives body work at Lakshmi’s ayurvedic massage parlor. Lakshmi is a talented masseuse, gifted in the physical and spiritual movement of energy. Jackies lower back receives much needed healing.

I must give Jackie , my star sister, a sincere holla! She is truly motivating, travelling alone in Brazil, China, Nepal, and now India, heeding the call of service regardless of the weather, darkness, expense of her own comfort, her biological family. Go goddess go!

Alas like many woman in India, Lakshmi braves a rocky road. A widow with two children, she is raising money for her daughter’s dowry and paying for her son’s education.  She works 7 days a week despite her hands being sore; Jackie, gods bless her, cries as she shares this story with me and wants to give her all of her money. When asked if she wants to marry again Lakshmi replies something along the lines that it would be more trouble than it is worth, for a wife to an Indian man is not only responsible for his cooking, cleaning, contentment but his extended family’s as well. Lakshmi shrugs and perseveres on.

All the souvenir shops in Varkala are either attended by men from Kashmir, often aggressively pushy salesmen whose wives are still up north, or very young girls (around the age of 12, no joke) whose families have sent them here alone to make money to send home. One girl, a slim beauty, shares that she left school at the age of 8 but loved it so. It is no easy life.

I sit in meditation and pray for a change for these women (and men). We all deserve education, shelter, clean water, nutrition, love. Let the redistribution of wealth spread now…there is abundance of everything we could possibly need on this Earth. We simply need to share.

My heart hurts.

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