There are lots of good reasons to go on a meditation retreat in India, but stalking your ex, I discover, isn’t one of them.
It all begins on Clapham Common, on a bench scratched bare by graffiti. “I’m going traveling,” Becca tells me. “To India. On my own.” Manfully, maturely, I take it on the chin and book a flight to Delhi.
I catch up with her at the Taj Mahal. Dusk descends, minarets purple, egrets blaze against the sky. Reconciliation beckons.
Metta bhavana is upon us. “Becca,” I stutter beneath the frangipani, “I love you.” She looks into my eyes and something passes over her face. A recognition, perhaps; an understanding. “Jez,” she says tenderly, “I love you too. We will always be friends.”
And in that moment, I am free of her. Friends? Friends? Sad, pathetic geek I could handle, but friends? “I don’t want your pity, Becca—I wanted you.”
Back in the dorm, packing to go home, I bump into Prem Shanti. “How was Vipassana for you?” he asks. “Good,” I tell him, “good. It changed my life.”