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Entering an Indian Palace

Jan. 29, 2023

by Luba Nikolayev, text and photos

My husband and I are on our first date since moving to San Miguel. I'm more than ready for some adult time. We're attending an Indian classical musical concert followed by a catered banquet at a private home.

We enter into the expanding courtyard and notice my energy immediately shift. I'm calmer as I inhale deeply taking it all in. With the sounds of the sarod inviting me, it feels like I've stepped into an Indian palace. I walk by white tables decorated with flowers, sending their floral aromas through the air. Sunshine grazes my face as I dance towards the Indian melody calling me closer.

Ross Kent is playing lead on the sarod and Nam Simran accompanies him on the tabla. The men are performing in a courtyard sitting upon rugs, in front of a sold-out show, with a vine covered 30-foot wall behind them, encapsulating all of us together with Indian classical music.

I've never heard this kind of music live before. Everything is new. The sounds of the sarod soothes me. The music seems to have a handle on time, sometimes it feels slow, like everything is melting, and the next moment it speeds up, taking my heart rate with it.

It is a joy to witness the interactions of the two musicians as they compose on the spot. The sincerity and dedication of their devotion to their musical journey is contagious. It moves me. I ask myself, what am I devoted to?

My devotion is my family, my love and this Earth yet I wonder what are my practices within my devotion. Am I contributing to the betterment of this planet on a daily basis? We do eat organic food and try to always bring our own bags shopping, but I'm sure there is so much more. Can I make a bigger impact?

Thankfully I'm not alone in this quest for cleaner food and a conscious mindset. Delani, the organizer of the event, is also the owner of Hecho Con Amor. She is also helping with her two hands to create healthy food that is saucy, colorful and mindful. Hecho con Amor translates into Made with Love, and I can taste the love in the delicious meal that we enjoy after the Indian melodies.

In business for over ten years, I can taste the passion and dedication that Chef Delani puts into what she serves. The last bite of dark chocolate covered dates sprinkled with almonds makes me crave more. Thankfully she offers food delivery, catering and event planning, so I hope to taste more of her delicious recipes soon. For now, I'm left with the inspiration to act on my devotion and create a world around me that celebrates love and unity.

Hecho Con Amor Catering


Luba Nikolayev is a mother, dancer and writer, who is reimagining herself in San Miguel after her recent arrival here from the jungle of Costa Rica. She has travelled to over 40 countries, learning about different cultures and what unites us all. Through her partnership with Lokkal she hopes to encourage readers to explore their brilliance with a playful and curious outlook.


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