The Days of Our Lives: Mela Joy, Touch of Spirit Tours

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In The Days of Our Lives we meet some fascinating and creative folk and take a look at what their typical day holds. Far from being about the mundane, it is a celebration of what it takes to juggle the day-to-day with big ideas, a successful business and a full home life. It’s about keeping all the balls in the air – what is important and what isn’t. It’s about (extra)ordinary moments that fill our every day.

This week, I’d like to introduce you to Mela Joy, founder of Touch of Spirit Tours. Having worked as an accountant for most of her life, Mela first visited India in 2004 and found the experience to be one of amazement, wonder and complete aliveness. Fast froward two years and she decided to start organising and running small group tours there.

Mela now spends eight months of the year in India offering 12 life-changing programs that have adventure and self-discovery at their heart. This is a day in Mela’s life as she leads her Beauty Unwound Textile Tour:

Mela Joy, Touch of Spirit Tours

7.30 am

Wake up in Bhuj, the textile capital of India.

 

8.30 am

Join the group for a yummy chappathi breakfast with fresh mixed fruit juice and masala chai.

 

9.30 am

Off for our first taste of the rich textiles available in the Kutch area. Our first visit is to Shrujen for a wonderful display of embroidered and tie-dyed articles. Shrujen employs approx. 3,000 local women in different villages to encourage and sustain the wonderful handcraft talents and traditions of the region.

Then to Ajrakhpur village to see vegetable dying of fabrics and hand block printing with a great explanation of the processes by Sufiyan, whose family has been involved in this work since the 17th century. We are ‘blown away’ by the intricacies of the dying and hand block printing processes.

 

1.30 pm

Finally manage to drag the ladies from the ‘home shop’ then back towards town for a delicious tali lunch, one of the best I have had…superb!

 

3.15 pm

Drive to Khamir craft facility to see weaving & other demonstrations. We also check out their lovely showroom and shop.

 

4.30 pm

Off to Bhujodi village to visit some spinning and weaving families and see demonstrations of pit loom weaving etc. Such nice hospitality including afternoon chai with a family.

 

6.00 pm

We head back to town to visit the gold and silver market. On the way we chuckle and are amazed by colourfully clad woman carrying big pots on their heads; herds of extra-large goats; whole families together on one motor bike; the ubiquitous wandering or resting cows; an impossibly large, bright orange setting-sun; strangely decorated and tassled trucks; chaotic darting traffic; funny signs; numerous roadside food stalls selling all sorts of unusual edibles. What is this crazy land?

 

7.00 pm

We reach the small stores selling beautifully designed gold and silver jewellery situated in atmospheric narrow winding alleys. Exquisite glittery pieces at local prices.

 

8.30 pm

Back to our hotel for another yummy dinner followed by a well-deserved sleep!

 

You can keep in contact with Touch of Spirit Tours on Facebook.

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