Saturday, December 11, 2010

until next time spice lord

Delhi, I bid you farewell in just a few hours. What am I doing writing a blog post, you ask? >>>
Attempting to collect my thoughts right now, I suppose.
It’s unfathomable how I am about to leave this place, although it always seems hard to feel yourself in a different space when, you aren’t in any other space. There is too much I am going to miss about this place. India has swept open the arena of vast contrasts and contradictions, but there is something intensely grounding about seeing two polarized sides of life living inches away from one another.

I am going to miss long, bumpy bus rides where the driver speeds around windy mountain roads, stopping only for chai and cigarette breaks. I am going to miss when the boy dressed in a tattered, once-white silk short comes on to the bus and sings with his melodic rough voice while his fingers cackle on a drum, a performance worth so much more than the 10 rupees I passed his way.

I am going to miss walking the main road and seeing new things every day. I am going to miss the density and the chaos within that density. I am going to miss the disorder in which you can never really take everything in. I am going to miss how everything is available in a 1 km radius if you really look for it, uncovering the gems of unknown territory existing right under your nose.

I am going to miss rickshaw rides, haggling prices to and fro in a tennis ball match battle of number tossing. The powering of the engine working so hard to speed you along at a brisk shuffle.

I am going to miss the spices in the food, and the smattering of flavor that speckles curries like a sandy beach.

I am going to miss the everywhere chai in the small plastic cups, or glasses… it really doesn’t make sense to serve a hot beverage in a plastic container, nor glass, but it grows on you, it really does.

I am going to miss the plane of marble floors in our apartment, the splay of playground that allows me to do handstands and backbends and downwards dogs. The morning powdery light that filters through the front windows.

I am going to miss crossing the street in a frenzied dance between the flow of cars bikes rickshaws buses trucks elephants… the traffic that smogs the air, the women in saris covering their mouths with shawls as black exhaust curls up in our faces. The endless honking and screaming of vehicles in a permanent cacophony battering my ears.

I am going to miss making the fruits and vegetables, huddled together in large wooden crates pulled by bicycles through the streets.

I am going to miss the herds of people that mash onto the metro at rush hour; the necessary aggressiveness that is required to secure a sardined spot with no space to breath.

Etc. etc. and things and things.

There is so much here that functions as a force of life. When I came to India I received the appropriate advice to “surrender” to the experience – and honestly there is no better way to explain how one should go about living in this place. I have learned to expect nothing and to be open to everything. I have learned that vulnerability is not a bad state to be in – that’s the only way you can truly have these experiences, to know what you are experiencing at the deepest level. It might be hard at times, trying, painful even, but ultimately the most rewarding experiences have been under a complete surrender to this place. You can’t fight life!

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