India is my home country. There is no specific reason for me to travel there except that I am from there.
Aspects of my country though not yet in my experience are a part of my being. I studied the Arts you see, I knew what my country looked like, what kind of people lived here and what do they think like.
I knew this from the various books I had read throughout my life in India. Even now, most of my knowledge base is regarding India.
So the reason to go was help this time.
Not travel, not a vacation, not because I was missing someone, not because I wanted to see some specific place, but simply help.
Help for what though?
I had lived almost five years of my life abroad. This brought to me several new encounters, several new joys but with all this, it also brought me massive confusion.
In India, we have a certain way of understanding the world. In fact, within India, you will find several ways of interpreting the world.
It can be confusing, but since I was born and bred there, I knew exactly why these differences occurred and in what way do I manoeuvre myself through them.
You will notice this in the way an Indian will cross the streets.
So I was in that rhythm, however, now that I was abroad I had dissolved that way and taken on a new one to fit in.
I was listening, learning, emulating and evaluating.
Slowly and steadily I arrived at the conclusion that my old way and this new way were totally against one another.
Earlier I was certain that I must feel for everyone. I mean, even during movies I would cry as though there really was that person for whom I feel so much compassion.
But now, I was learning that as long as you are fine, you need not care about anyone.
For example, the slogan ‘Enjoy Yourself’; I am not exactly certain what the creator of this slogan meant when he wrote it but the interpretation of it is drinking until you pass out.
In public places that I visited, people insisted that I must drink and let go of my inhibitions. I was seventeen at one point in my life, and I have drunk my fair share, but I didn’t understand what did they mean by this. Because I never felt like I had disinhibited myself. At best, I lost full control of keeping this body straight and realized that I own this body, it is not me.
Hence I didn’t understand what they meant by losing your inhibitions. But after living with them and also working alongside them I realized that they are not quite relaxed every time. There is such a thing called professional and personal life here in which humans behave differently.
This was my understanding of the new world I was in.
Heavily perturbed by this, I decided that I needed a familiar mind. Luckily at that time, I was teaching a few Indian students and they brought hope to me. With one of them, I could really speak what I wanted to. She was full of acceptance and compassion.
This further fuelled the anguish I was in.
Am I in the right place right now? Should I go home and try to rectify what I may have misunderstood. Is there someone at home that may know what I am going through?
So on and so forth.
Within a month I was ready to book my tickets. The confusion had grown full scale and I was cornered by many conflicting views. I now had to make sure that what I understood of my nation was in fact true. Did I miss anything? Was my experience narrated by a bias I had built?
It could be true, I could have misunderstood it all. So I was ready to go back and watch what mistakes I made. My husband wished to tag along.
At this point, I didn’t know whom exactly do I need to go to, but one name was certainly clear. Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev.
This man had titillated my senses and my understanding to an extreme indescribable. Imagine feeling utterly lost among the people around you and constantly thinking of this one face and the words that leave his mouth.
I had no idea of who he was and hence no opinion. What he said was the only truth I could agree with and I was mesmerized by the possibility that someone would finally understand me. I could honestly narrate what is happening with me and he could understand what exactly is it that I am walking on.
With this lust, I hurried on.
Following the benefits that the minimalists advertised, I got rid of everything I didn’t need. I had understood that I collected too many things in the pursuit of some dream, but now that I had become disillusioned with the capitalist’s fantasy, I wanted to rid myself of all the pain I had caused to the many people these companies exploited in order for me to purchase their things.
At this time, Sadhguru also announced that he would like to see some people come around to him for a period of three years to work on the River Project he has rallied for.
I had no intentions to work for money anymore in my life, plus securing the rivers in my eyes is like securing my own water resource.
So I saw this as an opportunity. I could barter my skills in exchange for living in the presence of a Teacher that I chose. Together I could render my life for a cause I truly want to support and learn what I couldn’t have learned in lifetimes.
Why I say ‘couldn’t have learned in lifetimes’.
You see, my questions didn’t pursue anything that most people could answer.
I had realized that I am absolutely nothing. If you watch yourself appear and disappear in a mirror, you have to admit that food, sex, relationships and a career aren’t going to satisfy it.
You are fucking appearing and disappearing at all times. The Earth spins around herself with a speed unimaginable and she does that while going around the sun. I had seen far too many sunsets to ignore what I was on and where exactly this was in the grand scheme of things.
Money, success, and power had lost their charms against the sun, the moon, and the stars.
So now to work with Sadhguru was like to work with a Teacher who knows about these and more.
All you needed to do was to be with him and see what he was saying. He never said anything that was illogical so he had won my trust.
I was ready to go, listen, understand and do. And I knew that I would be learning a whole lot more than I did in my entire life.
I contacted his Ashram and asked them if they would like to have me there.
They agreed and I signed up.
Our tickets booked, our backpacks packed we left for India on the 30th of January.
We decided that until our scheduled date of arrival at the Ashram (February 19th), we could just be on this piece of land called India; whatever she allows for us to do, we will do.
Bear in mind that I do not keep any expectations at any time. I have seen and realized that when I expect, it is almost always mediocre compared to what the Universe serves me.
So I just go and watch what happens. Because that is really all you can do.
The interaction happens if and how you allow it from within you.