“All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”
India. A place vibrant with color and chaos. Vibrant. Dirty. Noisy. Lovely. A mixture of the senses.
It took no time getting settled. After several trips it's become easier to get into a rhythm. Thankfully. Being here feels awesome. Although, it's funny how India has a way of smacking you in the face as you arrive. In a good way. I mean, if I were to think of a place that is the exact opposite of India, it would be Sweden. No doubt. Sweden is orderly and efficient. India is not. I could go on, but I won't. Both are great, it only tickles me how different they are.
When we arrived at the airport all went it well except for the fact that my bag was the the last one to arrive in baggage claim. Thoughts of lost luggage entered my mind, thankfully that wasn't the case. Our taxi driver was patiently waiting at our check point. Once we gathered everything and crossed the airport driveway we heard a loud crash. Yep. One of those tiny cars was hit and flipped on it's side. The sound of breaking glass and smashed metal is never good. Soon, a mob started to form. For those who have read Shantaram, or ever experienced an accident here, you know what I mean. However, it wasn't an angry violent mob like the one portrayed in the book. That would have been too much with all the jet lag. Needless to say, we quickly scampered into our own cab, looking forward to arriving in Mysore. About a 3 hour drive from Bangalore.
Day one in Mysore is always about getting business taken care of. Finding a place to stay, registering at the shala, securing a scooter, unpacking, resting from jet-lag ... blah, blah, blah. It wasn't that bad getting organized. We stayed at the Green Hotel for two nights since it took a bit longer to find a place to live.
First day of practice as always is an out of body experience. Not feeling as if I have completely landed from the flight, and getting used to the energy in the shala, makes for an interesting experience to say the least. My very first jump back I sprained my right wrist because there was a bump in the carpet underneath my mat. Great. Just great, I thought. This isn't exactly the way I wanted to kick off my time here. However, it didn't become too much of a problem throughout the week to then have caught an awful sinus infection/cold that has managed to hit just about everyone practicing at one point on another. I took it as a cleansing experience.
Now I'm all better, and couldn't be happier to be here. Ahhhhhh.
What blows me a way the most about being here is the spectrum of people I've met. Just about every age, class, creed, and race is represented in one way or another. We breathe together, we practice together. It causes me to reflect on how lucky and appreciative I feel to be part of this community.
Sharath has taken the reigns since Guruji's passing with such grace and humility. It's a beautiful thing. And, Saraswati .... dear sweet, Sarawati. That woman. That amazing, heartfelt, tireless woman, who warms the room with her smile. I can't say enough.
It's a special time. It's a special time indeed.