You would think that the return home would be easy. After all, parts of me were longing for familiar Western comforts, and the comforts of my own home: my own soft bed, bathroom, raw food and water that are safe to drink, safer driving conditions…to name a few. And, I have had more meltdown moments, some of which had me in a local Mysore hospital (Vikram) after fears of having broken my foot (turned out to be a severe case of tedonitis) and severe gastro distress after eating a raw salad at a local eatery. I got sick of being stared at, and mainly just felt sick of everything that was difficult about being in India.
But on my last day in Mysore, I felt that I was not quite ready to leave just yet. Maybe just a couple more days, I thought…after all Sharath has been helping me with backbends, and for the first time ever, catching heels was not quite so scary. I think they even felt a bit good.
It’s been four days, and my body and mind still feel strange. I feel sort like a stranger in my own homeland. Maybe it’s just from jetlag. I did sleep through two major legs of my trip (Bangalore to London, then London to Dallas)…and boy, did I celebrate my entry back into the Western world in London. Well, not really celebrate, because I was stuck at Heathrow Airport, but I treated myself to a full-on Western meal of caviar, salmon tartar and a glass of Rioja wine (yes, I fell off the ahimsa wagon), which you can check out below:
But still, I do not feel myself. I walked Ava to school the other day and strangely found the street too wide and…sterile! Can you believe it? I got used to, perhaps even liked, the intimate closeness of those unpaved Indian roads, where a black cow would gaze gently at you as you hurried to the shala. Or how good that fresh coconut water tasted when I got out of the shala, from that little coconut cart just outside the shala gates. And I loved all the kolams that I saw on the small city streets as I walked — these are mandalas, or a Hindu woman’s ritual of drawing a beautiful symmetrical shapes on the driveway to invite the good will of the gods and goddesses. For more info on the Jungian perspective of such symbols, click here.
I went shopping at our local supermarket…and found it too…super? The aisles were wide and clean and well-lit. I walked slowly, in semi-amazement, looking around. I got used to those little Indian “Department stores” which were really out of something that looked like a garage of someone’s home, gray, dingy, and crammed chaotically with miscellaneous items…but still, you always found what you needed for maybe 20 rupees…equivalent to about 30 cents. At Trupti’s in Mysore, the old lady who ran her little store would give me a kind smile as I walked away. Could it be the closeness and human connection that I miss?
I travelled all of Thursday, and got home around midnight on Thursday after 1) a crazy and nauseating 4 hour ride from Mysore to Bangalore with my friend Christi, 2) 10 hour flight from Bangalore to London, 3) 10 hour flight from London to Dallas, 4) 3 hour flight from Dallas to San Diego, and finally, 5) a 1 hour shuttle ride from San Diego airport to the door of my home.
I do have to say, there is nothing like the sheer joy of seeing my family after being absent for about a month. A month
is just a drop in the bucket in terms of practicing with Sharath, but an eternity when separated from your children and spouse. My heart melted at the sleeping faces of my son and daughter especially…
I expected to sleep in most of the weekend, but as fate will have it, I was wide awake by 3 am Pacific Time. Was STILL awake by 8am, so I dragged my tired body to Led Primary at my home shala…might as well practice when I’m awake, right? Went to mysore practice Saturday, and today (Sunday)…going back to Intermediate after doing Primary all this time was pretty hard. I had to think a minute to recall my poses…and today my body was quite sore! Jim, a kind friend of mine from my home studio, told me that I was going through the “Mysore Blues” — a sense of sadness and longing for Mysore.
Never thought it would happen to me, but it did. So…what does this mean? A future trip back to Mysore…perhaps, with the kids, some far-off day?