The Golden Simplicity of Friendship

By Navjot Randhawa

I was invited on 19th June by radio presenters Mary Flavelle and Geoff Motley of Marlow FM 97.5 (Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom) to talk about The Mirage. Geoff & Mary have never been to India but Geoff had once seen a program about Jaipur & was so touched by the love & respect of the Indian people that he wanted to pack his bags, sell everything & set sail to India with his wife right away. It is indeed the kindness and warmth of the village folk in Andretta that makes our village so special. Witnessing the beautiful chemistry between the urban artists and the rural folk is an experience that is undoubtedly special.

You can listen to the full interview here…

The radio show is called Mid-Morning Matters (9:30 am). I am introduced at the 38th minute..

Excerpts & photos below..

Mid-morning Matters, 19th June, 2019, 10 am, Marlow FM, 97.5, UK

Geoff: “We’ve got some guests...”

Mary: We have got guests..Are you going to try & do the introduction ?

Geoff: No, you are.

Geoff: I’ve had a go & I made a mess of it.

G: The young lady is now handing me a leaflet.

MF: She has given me a leaflet as well..

This is my name & this is how you pronounce it.

G: And she is going to tell us how we can retreat to the Himalayas.

MF: This is "Navjot"

N: Oooh, that was perfect. 

Geoff: Say it again, say it again.

MF: Navjot.

N: Perfect.

MF: You see..

N: I was at a party last night & 10 people tried to pronounce it. And I just gave up. I said "Just call me Nivvy".

G: Nivvy.

G: She is looking at me with these enormous eyes.

MF: I know, she has got beautiful eyes. 

G: And I am totally embarrassed now. And a little Intimidated.

N: Uh oh.

G: However..


G: Go on, ask her a question.

MF: Oh you are finished..I thought you were gonna ask her..

MF: Navjot, you're gonna tell us why you are here. Because you've got an amazing story to tell us. First of all, what you've got, why have you got it? And you've got a retreat...

Navjot: Yes

MF: We've all got retreats. Have you got a retreat?

Jeff: Well, they are chocolate covered, aren't they? Oh treat, treat, no retreat, ah I got you. 

N: I am already very conscious of my English. You are getting me even more conscious. 

MF: Listen, don't..Who is banging the desk?

G: Not me..Why are you looking at me?

MF: Navjot, tell us about this retreat you've got..We're dying to hear about this.

N: Well actually it's not very different from where I am in Cookham right now. It kind of feels the same but it's the Himalayas. 

MF: You know I get that

G: There is a similarity.

MF: I can understand 

G: But this is Cookham & they are the Himalayas. 

MF: we are not going to take you very seriously from now on, you know that? 

Navjot: Well they are covered with snow. they are very beautiful &...I live there. So

MF: You live there?!!

Jeff: You live there now?

N: Yes

MF: She is just passing through at the moment. 

G: Oh wow, I can only say wow. Do you have a beautiful view?

N. Yes I actually have exactly the same view as on the cover of the leaflet you are holding.

G: Is this the view?

What Marlow FM peeps don't know is that we are looking at a leaflet with a beautiful beautiful picture of the mountains.

MF: Oh my God. 

Geoff: Snow-covered mountains.

MF: Is that the view from your place?

N: From the verandah, yeah.

Geoff: This is the view from the verandah...It's a better view than from my back window..that of a broken fence..

MF: It's like a view from a plane.

Geoff: It is gorgeous..And is the weather...

N: perfect.

Geoff: is it always perfect?

N: Except maybe 1 month when there is just too much rain.

But if you enjoy the rain & if you can just sit back..

MF: Oh no, we don’t do damp.

N: well you can be assured that its not like the London rain. it’s beautiful monsoon rain with the smell of the earth. 

Geoff: Well, we’ve had that for the last week here. 

Mary, phone the travel agent.

Geoff: Have you always lived there?

N: No, i first went there to conduct a theatre workshop & I fell in love with the place. Just like you fell in love just now..