Sunday, 22 July 2012

A Passage to India

Sangam House Retreat

I've rhapsodized extensively about Sangam House on my own blog, when I was staying there in January this year, but I want to mention it again, because they're open for applications again and the deadline is very soon: July 31st, 2012. Sangam House is a writing retreat held annually at a dance community called Nrityagram, about an hour outside of Bangalore. They take about twenty writers (through a juried application process), ten from India and ten from other parts of the world. You have your own beautifully spartan room with windows opening onto gardens fragrant with bougainvillea and frangipani. In the coolness of early morning, hummingbirds and parakeets visit the trees outside the rooms. You share the open air kitchen and have the privilege to join the dancers each day for a homegrown, vegetarian lunch. Eating, writing, walking the red earth fields around the community, and at night, the stars throw you off kilter. Occasional power outages and the yelping of pariah dogs in the dark deepen the spirit of this peaceful place. An amazing place to get work done. Here's a comment from my new friend, co-retreatant and translator, Birgitta Wallin.

The best thing about Sangam for me, that was the peace of mind which I felt… I really enjoyed the listlessness which gave room for a kind of intensity of calmness and for sudden sights of green parakeets in the sky.
~ Birgitta Wallin

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