When you go to India, you come face to face with yourself

I couldn’t agree more with this quote from E.M.Forster

My personal experience in India involved both my physical and spiritual bodies ….. you may remember that I was sick for over 5 weeks, now as I look back on this, I see it as a renewal, and an incredible experience, it affected not only my physical body but my spiritual self including my access to and conversations with my soul, I am not the same person I was …. what I am in transition to, I have no idea, but I obviously will.

In hindsight, together with the feelings that came when I first arrived (total self confrontation, I was way outside my comfort zone), I feel the experience has shaped me and changed me for this moment onwards, a process that stripped away the person I was, the past, relationships, ambitions, perspectives, expectations – I felt I was like a block of moist clay that once I was over the sickness itself, I was shaped anew, as my soul said, “to prepare you for what is to come”.

Change is the only constant, and how we relate to it shapes our lives – I leave India in about a month, to travel to the Mediterranean – firstly, to Cyprus, actually to Paphos on the coast of the far west of the island country I am looking forward to this, to learn more about the history of the country, the archaeology. the culture, the values and beliefs, but most of all meeting and engaging with people.

Where I go from there, I have no idea, I will play it by ear and accept and flow with what life brings,

I chose to learn Spanish, truly I am not sure why, but I know I would like to explore Spain, to start with Barcelona, as well and I have an invitation from a friend to go to Madrid, time is limited because as it is part of the Eurozone, and hence as an Australian, I have only 3 months per visit to the whole of the Eurozone.

Part of this constant change is sometimes accelerated, one cannot expect anything here in India, and assumptions are dangerous, for a start, electricity is totally unreliable, every day there is at least one power failure, mind you I suppose that is something you can rely on, whether the reason is the lack of capacity, poor distribution, faults, or conscious load shedding is unknown. The balance is covered in previous blog posts.

The landscape in India is beautiful, here in Dehradun, we are in the foothills of the Himalayas, however there are large quantities of discarded packaging from our consumerism is in most places, basically rubbish. I have also observed that in the Dehradun there are no rubbish bins, perhaps that may be part of the reason for this large amount of mainly plastic (packaging) and household refuse.

I am thinking of returning to India next year, there is so much more to learn and experience.

Advertisements

India – Water, Hygiene and other things

Its not until you get here that it hits you …. everything at once.

Continuous awareness is absolutely necessary, the other day I was walking on a footpath, a car joined me, scrapping my thigh with his mirror, all to get ahead in the traffic … without a backward look they sped off, another occasion, the car I was traveling in was hit because the car behind was travelling too close … the driver again sped off … It is the same with absolutely every action out in the world in India …. be aware of where you are and most of all don’t assume … don’t assume that people will drive on the legal left side of the road, they will in fact drive on any side of the road to get where they want to be …. one wonders if they have a license, perhaps they do, have they even done driver education (defensive driving … no … careless driving Yes) have they sat for the license probably not …

Health … clean your hands at every opportunity …. never drink unfiltered water … but drink a lot of it and often) be careful about fruit in stalls … at least wash it thoroughly, rub the skin with salt then wash again. We are taking a bit of pot luck with the farmer … many of the bad agri-chemicals are legal here and I have been told that many small farmers follow the policy if that much is enough then more must be better.

I am just recovering ( hopefully) after 2 weeks feeling very poorly, it got so bad I went to a local Private hospital (Max Health in Dehradun) it was a good experience, new, clean building and almost everyone spoke English … I was seen by a specialist (US Trained) in Gastro, had blood and other tests performed by their in house pathology (available on line that same day for me to view) .. and I had my prescription filled – the total cost for all of this was 1,500 Rupees … about A$28 (USD$23 approx) and the prescription and treatments seems to be working. Don’t take a chance.

I am still and will always be on the outside looking in, although I have meet a few wonderful people.

As usual we look at the past to determine the future – the West is by and large already in the abyss, following a path set by Globalism and the flawed and failed Regan Financial Policies in the 80’s … in the West there is little true thought except by Pikety, Joseph Stiglitz and others as to the direction and destination the world is taking, it seems to wander along putting our bush fires here and there, the trouble with this policy things don’t change … India’s headlong rush into their version of Capitalism will fail and in my view that’s a good thing, for the India Government severe controls, over burdening unaccountable, micromanaging bureaucracy which defines the word patience and incompetence along with Sovereign instability which for now are an issue. I cannot comment on Politicians.

Many laws exist to protect the consumer – are they enforced, maybe, are they circumvented .. often … for not only is corruption here, it is rampant and an accepted normal part of the culture.

There are spiritually aware and just good people everywhere, as of yet I am not aware as yet of any revelations concerning Indian culture other than its primary focus of the external world and a seeming hurry to get out of it, their external focus is on achievement and all the illusions in the world, in many ways no different to the West perhaps 50-70 years ago or even today, except here there is no pretence in caring for your fellow man, all are seen as irrelevant to their life, unless they can be of use – mind you are we any different?

Maybe my perspective will change over time.

Any thoughts are welcome, if there is something I haven’t covered yet, let me know and I will add it to the list.

One last thing …. always and I mean always take toilet paper with you every where you go … it’s often not provided. Enjoy the journey.