I did not want to go to India.
Three is a crowd for me. So the thought of 1.2 billion people made me claustrophobic from 7890km away in Sydney. I am all for slowness, softness and a whole lot of personal space. Things I have since said goodbye to as my new adventure in the chaotic and colourful India begins.
I can’t even remember deciding to go to India. I definitely remember planning a trip to the UK, which I have been chasing for years. Yet, as I went to buy my way to a new life in London, the next thing I knew I had a one-way ticket to India.
It was as if my sub-conscious took over and made the decision for me – “we would like to take you here instead of here”. I felt a pull, a craving, a relentless and unsatisfied appetite when I thought of India. As if a kind of homesickness sat in my gut for a place I had never set foot. But again, none of this was desire, it was much closer to instinct.
A few years ago I attended a yoga philosophy class in Sydney and something that stuck to me was the notion of Samskaras. Samskaras are subtle impressions of our actions, feelings and experiences from past lives which are etched into our consciousness. The sub-concious is our storehouse of Samskaras and has a lot to do with some of our most deeply rooted behaviours, judgements and inclinations. Positive Samskaras guide us, where as negative Samskaras require a lot of working through.
As I found myself on my way to a country I had sworn off after a few too many bad reviews during my stay in the beautiful Nepal, this teaching came to mind. With a little research I found out that people who have spent their past lives in India, often wake up to a very real impulse to return.
Now without getting too lost in the vastness of reincarnation, I can say for myself this is the most real explanation for my journey to India. It was not thought-out or wanted, but hungered and needed.
Here I am, in a country that is sure to swallow me whole only to spit me back out a few too many times. I know I have a stimulating journey ahead, as India has already begun to carve itself into me. Luckily, I’m not in India to relax, to seek comfort, or to find inner peace. I’m in India to find the spots of suffering within myself, and the world and truley enagage with them. And to hopefully master the shift between boredom and the art of doing nothing.
So here’s to staring at a ceiling wall for an hour a day, napping at noon, the relentless sound of horns haunting my dreams, walking without a destination, eating simply, indulging occasionally, eyes filled with dust, toes filled with dirt, the inevitable Dehli Belly and of course the space and time to just be.