With only so much to go by, I set out to India. I know it is a cliche to go to India and find oneself, but really I couldn’t find even one person anywhere who would be able to correctly answer me.
Plus, there was a language barrier, no matter how much I told people to concentrate on the fact that I am using my body to tell them what I feel, they insisted that what I am going through is just a crisis related to my age.
I found that hilarious and also frustrating. Hence, I thought that people who have been educated the same way as I would be better equipped to answer me.
As soon as I landed in Bombay, and yes, I call it Bombay because it is Bombay! I went to stay with a person I had never met. I have family in Bombay, my Brother, and Mother, but I have never felt an affinity with them. Partly because of the many ups and downs we all went through and partly because of the way we chose to deal with those ups and downs.
So it made sense to talk to someone I do not know and introduce what all I am going through. Thankfully, he understood and responded. Quite honestly too!
I cannot describe my elation at having found someone who at least understands me. I knew that finding someone that gets you is difficult so I had no expectations but I was pleasantly surprised when I was indeed understood better than I had been for years!
I also saw that my confusion was a result of my incapability in describing what I feel.
Here is how I started my conversations with people in India, “I am not this body, I have collected it over time, I am also not this mind, it has been fed by what it should know. I am this thing that is using this voicebox to communicate with you via sounds and vibrations. I am not really certain who I am but I definitely know that I can see all of this. So what have you thought about this thing called life and exactly how are you spending it?”
People would mostly be silent for a few seconds before venturing to answer. Most didn’t know shit, but some acknowledged that it is true that we don’t know what the fuck we are and where the fuck we are, so my confusion was shared by many on my way.
One tea-stall guy even advised me to start Yoga and he was pretty serious about it. He looked shocked when I admitted that I have no idea of what should be done here anymore.
What do I mean by what should be done here?
OK, so you have what we call life energy. You are alive that means electricity is getting conducted via you hence you are said to be alive.
Now when you are alive there is a myriad of things that can be done.
From finger painting to freeing an entire subcontinent. This and more can be done by one person only. That is the kind of choice you have in this universe and the beauty is that no matter what you desire this world can make it happen.
Anything can happen, I have seen it in India. I have seen it all in India.
So the choice is humongous and it is all possible, no matter how outrageous it may sound at first. I mean there is a vessel that flies and takes over 500 people from point A to point B in a matter of hours, now they are saying that it can happen in minutes.
So you see? How possible shit is in this universe?
And here stands me, absolutely clueless about what should be done.
I am not a very ambitious person, in fact, I feel that having an ambition is a shortfall, not an advantage.
Why do I say so?
Every time I met someone ambitious, I was taken by how much of their energy is constantly involved in their ambition. They spoke only about that, they made friends who would only be useful to that. And they like me, couldn’t be sure if what they are doing is indeed what they wish to.
So I decided to be ambitious cannot be for me.
So now I was left with Art or Social Work. Neither pays well, which wasn’t an objection but neither is an established way of life; which made me think if this is truly what I wish to do.
So I began with Art, fun it was, but people need to be educated to enjoy Art (they really don’t know how to).
And Social Work is tricky because now I had to decide what people should and shouldn’t get.
LOL. Can you believe it? I will have to figure out what others may or may not need. I thought it obnoxious. Simply because I, myself, didn’t know if what I think I want is really what I want.
So I decided to ask Sadhguru if he knew. His project had nothing to do with people. It was playing with the land which was perfect for me. I could invest myself in something that I knew is needed and at the same time not affect anyone’s life with my decisions. I would simply clean things up.
I told this to many people that I met before I reached Sadhguru. For two reasons, number 1 because I wanted them to know what I am going through and number 2 because I wanted them to know that such a thing can also be aspired.
To my surprise, people still didn’t get the gravity of the situation. They thought that nothing is wrong with the rivers and the water they drink is being supplied by some rich guy that they should instead work for.
They were OK with the fact that a few powerful people are polluting everything that goes into their body. They were actually not at all sensitive to the fact that they are indeed living the consequences of a few people’s recklessness.
Lack of education? Lack of self-respect? Lack of respect in general? Not entirely certain, but it really didn’t make them feel that they should act with more responsibility.
My faith in people was dwindling. I started to wonder if this is indeed a project that will work in this country.
Here are a few objections that I recorded.
“Why would we stop using the sand from the rivers? What else will we build with?”
“Why would we demolish what we have built, our property is as important as the river because it generates income.”
“Farming is not the answer to poverty, business and technology are.”
“The waste in the rivers and the land decomposes as does everything in the world.”
“We are a superior animal and all that we see is for us to use. Nothing can harm us because God will provide more.”
“Why should I care about the river, I have to go to work.”
“They should make these beggars collect all the trash so they have something to do. I don’t need to think about this, I have a family to care for.”
The hypocrisy of these answers overflowed through the glasses of alcohol they held and the utter and total disregard they showed for their families by staying outdoors for the entire night with complete strangers.
I watched it all, aghast. I really didn’t think that I would have to convince people that we are currently living in a crisis.
How do you repeat with effect the news that we read every day?
Am I deluded or is the middle-east really getting bombed?
Am I deluded or are refugees almost everywhere on the planet?
Am I deluded or are there really natural disasters hitting us like never before?
I was feeling at a loss. Now, not only did I not know what to do with myself, but also that maybe I am recording things wrong.
I was reading the news and rereading it, just to make sure that I understood it right.
Then I would show it to other people and observe their reactions.
They looked, they read, they made an expression of discontent, and then they went back to behaving like it is happening on some very different dimension.
My world fell apart when someone actually said these words out loud, “I am not part of anything, I am not responsible for anything, I am just me and I don’t need to feel bad for someone else.”
Images of all kinds of people, young and old went through my mind and I had to suppress my cry, lest they think I am too emotional or too womanly.
I didn’t know how to best explain that we are a system. A system of Food!
We are connected like a cell is to another cell. There is practically nothing we can do which won’t affect something else.
You want to shit? Guess what it will affect millions of species!
You want to eat? Again, millions of species will be affected by your one meal and all of these species will become a part of you when you swallow them!
You want to fart? The entire ozone layer gets affected!
You want to sleep? Your family will tell you how much that affects them!
Everything you do, while you are alive or dead, your breath included, is completely connected to millions of other things. Just your singular existence is completely intertwined with everything in this universe!
In fact, your individuation is of a singularity so tightly bound, you can never ever extract yourself from it.
Yet, there were people who said that they are not at all responsible for any of the shits that are happening in our home. Our home, our planet, our source of life.
Slowly I stopped asking questions and chose to instead take interest in what is occupying them.
Shit, utter and complete shit was occupying them.
So I knew that I will find it very difficult to live among people who are not completely conscious.
At this point, I was pretty desperate to see Sadhguru. On February 19th I finally got to his Ashram.