Why ‘conversations’ with India?
I believe in the power of words, studying Literature and Poetry during University, to accomplish dialogue with the great thinker’s of the past and present.
I’m drawn to India, so unwittingly it has engaged me in conversation, that has never resolved.
I always feel most buoyant after a good chat, doesn’t matter all that much where it is, a train moving along the Scottish coast line through The Kingdom of Fife, or in a queue for Tea. Tea certainly helps; the cup blended with extra cinnamon and topped with almond milk is exquisite, but the quality of words is better- conversations create feelings and actions, and make you think that just maybe the world is made more of blue sky than it is grey.
Conversations with India must start with conversations with the UK, because this is where I started. Visiting a country is not a stealing project, but a conversation. I have asked India to explain itself (this is not another blog about the beautiful colour of sari patterns), and it has responded by pulling me apart and piecing me back together a little differently.
In 2010, I spent a month in India and vowed never to return, thought it was too chaotic, haphazard and exhausting for me. I ordered a plate of chow mein and in return was given raita. My A type side saw this as bonkers. I couldn’t even be in control of a menu! I returned a year later to see if my mind could be changed, if I could learn to soften and go with the flow. Now these idiosyncrasies are elements to be celebrated; I liked almost waiting 13 hours for a bus at the edge of Thenmala National Park, before one showed up 10 hours earlier than the timetable schedule. Taking a night bus that stopped for an hour to pick up and unload cement at a village factory at 3am… Sometimes, these moments of no control help us grow, encourage us to turn the expected plan on its head.
India asks time and time again: So what’s important now?
I anticipate dropping into memories of India before, as I’ve grown to learn it in 2010,2011 and 2012. India for me is an experiment whose outcome cannot be predicted.
I don’t promise to be eloquent, but I do promise to be honest, delivering my conversations with India from a place of joy.
I am a beginner Hindi student, locked into the curves and twists of Devengari script #(easier to pick up after learning the Hebrew alphabet as a child). Sanskrit/Hindi offers words that we don’t have in English.
I’ve always tried to make experiences in India a Sadhana- Spiritual practice for when my patience fails, which it invariably does, something else must step in to save the day and give new perspectives.