The Kumbh and Love

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Text by Patty Simon | Images by Dick Simon


The Kumbh Mela would teach me a lot about what it means to be a traveler. Simply, a traveler goes from place to place. Sometimes it is researched and planned but for me it is all about the mystery – the “not” knowing.

The Kumbh is so BIG, so overwhelming to the senses, so mystical that even my photographs and my humble attempt with words and drawings seem inadequate. Little did I know that my path would ultimately be about LOVE.

I am an artist. For several years my goal has been to spread love all over the world through a project, “You are Loved /Pass It On”. I wondered if everyone truly felt ‘loved’ in a deep soulful way, how could that change the world.

I printed my cards in Hindi, packed my bags and set off on what would be a spiritual journey.

Arriving in Mumbai, I am overwhelmed – the population, the intense busyness, even the traffic.

I don’t know what to do with my Love Cards. It just does not feel right. The card does not make sense. It puzzles me. Everyone needs Love. Right?

But, I am on my own journey and I have learned to accept whatever happens.

I arrive at the Kumbh and finally, it a makes sense. I realize that who would better understand my project than all the holy men, the gurus and sadhus. So I begin to give a card to every revered leader riding on a palanquin, sitting by a fire or performing an Aarti ceremony. Despite a language barrier, I see each time, their eyes brighten, their facial expression turn into a smile, the sweetness of love permeates their soul and, one time – a very quiet answer back, “I Love You”.


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