namaste, salut, and much love.
sharing with you some thoughts i wrote when i was doing my Yoga teacher’s certification at The Yoga Institute in Mumbai. I was travelling on an old bus to another part of the city- took me more than 2 hours. I was sitting in the corner and the bus moved at a slow pace in this otherwise buzzing city, struggling to write on my diary that a beautiful friend had gifted me. my mind drifted to understanding what and why my love- hate relationship with the city (any city) exists and grows stronger and deeper. much of my life and travel has revolved around cities, only recently have I taken to the countryside and the cut off solace.
Mumbai is very special to me. I lived there when I was a 1 y/o child- no memories from that time. I have visited it 4-5 times since.
First few visits had left me torn. The opulence, glamour, high rises with concierges and fleets of shiny cars, pretty women with perfect hair and , men with their crisp whites shirts and strong muscles. And then there are the children on the pavements with nothing but a bottle of glue and a sense of defeat in their eyes, lovers with no place but the beaches destroyed by the joys of humankind, screaming women in the locals – fighting only for the dignity of space, tired old men parting with information for the food available. But my most recent visit, living in an ashram very close to the airport gave me a vision complete- the city represents the joys and sadness and gross darkness and high hopes all at once- defining what life means. Mumbai has become incredibly endearing and even with the chaos and confusion of the city I embrace it with open arms and thank the universe for revealing the great knowledge that this city has left me with.
excerpts of my original writing on the bus-
“The city is blinding; the city chokes and poisons our mind;the essence;our being.
We never really break out of its spell;it consumes us in its entirety of vision- we are spellbound and pleasurably deluded in its assertions.
No matter what the city’s all pervasive presence or strengthened incredulous position may come to represent, the city, perhaps in nonchalant passivity, stands as an egoistic manifestation, without a basis in the purity of truth/reality- without love except as a cocoon soon to be broken away from if we are too pursue the project of Truth.
A sky filled with the unreal- the city is the harbinger of All- standing the age of development. The day I wake up and see with my own eyes, it is my self trying the self in chains of hate for the city.
The attempt at searching, seeking out and actively pursuing this realisation of the most abstract human evolution has driven me to this- the futility for hatred for what is because of hopes for what should be is the fabric upon which understanding gets lost.
The city is my muse, and I, its lover who cannot break myself away from it. The city, my love, has given me all, and true love does not seek to possess or judge- it can only hope to uplift, appreciate and create a union to higher knowledge”
(pour Bombay. Mumbai, meri jaan)