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Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono

Where you can be yourself and be at peace can be called the best holiday destination, says the Japanese artist

Aarti Kapur Singh
March 31 , 2014
03 Min Read

OT: What’s your idea of a perfect holiday?

Yoko Ono: One that leaves an impression or intrigues. There were times in my life that I was travelling for the heck of it. Now, even a vacation has a purpose. I need to take something back from it — either learning or experiences to mull over later, or both.


Life can be a vacation, if you live it that way. To me, the concept of distance is not important. Distance doesn’t exist and neither does time. Vibrations from love or music can be felt everywhere, at all times. I love travelling and that reflects in and moulds my work a lot.


OT: Which is your favourite holiday destination?

Yoko Ono: Any place where people are not judging you; where you can be yourself and be at peace with that. I have always loved Bermuda for that, and now I'm in love with India. These are two places where people are kind to each other and to people who are not their own. India is always on my radar — it just refuses to fade in charm.


OT: What was your first visit to India like?

Yoko Ono: I don’t remember exactly which year we [John Lennon and I] came here. It was definitely after the four men [the Beatles] visited. And we travelled a lot, taking in the sights and sounds — right from the railway stations to the rivers and the fields. I like discovering a place for myself — without the help of maps, rules, books, opinions or conventions.


OT: Lasting memories…

Yoko Ono: John and I had once visited the camp of Sai Baba near Mumbai. It was incredible. We felt it was important to sit in his lecture and John insisted that we sit together despite women and men not being permitted to sit together. He wanted to shave his head and become a monk here. The memory of it is very clear and lovely. The shining blue sky we had every day still lives in my heart. I have been here before... Half my heart lies here.


OT: What fascinates you most about India?

Yoko Ono: Its strong-willed and inspiring women: not just the ones in front of me, but even those drawn from mythology.


OT: The one thing you wish to know more about...

Yoko Ono: Oh, definitely your cinema! Bollywood cinema. Just as we learnt a lot of things from Hollywood films for ages, I think the world will learn many things from Indian films about truth, justice and freedom. I believe, and have been told, that all your films portray the victory of good over evil — that is how life should be.


OT: Do you collect souvenirs?

Yoko Ono: I am forever collecting sights and sounds through pictures and sketches. I even record sounds. I have sound clips of travelling on a road in Delhi — car horns, people, everything. And I do have a penchant for scarves. I have just been gifted a woven silk scarf from Orissa. I haven’t seen anything like it before.


OT: Destinations on your wishlist…

Yoko Ono: I want to explore south India and Rajasthan. Perhaps take a road trip — for that’s the best way to see a place — and collaborate with local artists.



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