As I was stuck in the traffic while on my way home – I was tired and when I looked up, there it was – a very beautiful moon. It’s been a long time I even cared to look at moon. I have been a long fan of looking at moon since I was a kid – I am not really sure why, but I guess a bit of meditation and journaling will reveal that. As I was enjoying the moon among the million honks and shouts – my thoughts wandered off to how I was feeling 8 months back.
In the month of July 2007, as we were planning to move to India, I was excited. We had a future we didn’t know. It was kinda bold to leave everything behind and move. But both me and Sang took it in a positive spirit. Only difference was that sometimes, Sangita was disturbed by the idea of moving to India and expressed it openly and I did not. I knew for sure, that it would be good but was not sure what I would be missing out.
In these past 8 months of my stay here in India I have come to realize that a part of me has been completely eroded. I have totally ignored a very active part of me. As I inquired on what triggered these thoughts in me – I should be thankful to our friends who came and visited us. Sarah & Lisa’s visit is a turning point in our stay in India. After hanging out with them, I happen to notice exactly what I am missing out.
So, here are couple of things that I miss most from not living in USA.
1. Meaningful Conversations: Yep, I have got Sang and we talk a lot. We talk about life, India, love, creativity, God, did I mention India? Everything under the sun. Sangita is the only person with whom I can have a very meaningful conversation. When we lived with Lynn and Allison it was more than just 1 person. Both of our room-mates were equally interested in the topics that we are interested in – spirituality, individuality, life, passion, love. It was very easy to start a very deep meaning conversations. The threshold was very low.
In India, very rarely have I come across people who would connect to me at that level. They are already spooked by my accent and the fact that I have a very flexible notion of life scares them off (now a goatee!). There were some flashes in pan now and then, but I haven’t met anyone with whom I want to talk about the topics I am most passionate about.
2. Chilling Out, Unwinding: When I used to come back home after work (it would just take me 30 mins to come home) we had a whole set of relaxing ‘tools’ at our disposal in US. I would grab a drink, slouch on cozy sofa and watch TV or chat with our room mates. It’s kinda weird that in India, I usually have lost my urge to drink. I mean I do have a ability to swing between extremities of my addictions but the thought of just grabbing a beer and relaxing never occurs to me. Yeah, my family not quite liking the fact that I am capable of drinking weighs in a lot though.
So, the way I would unwind is totally missing. I have my own meditation rituals in the night time and sometimes, I wonder may be those are the things that are keeping me sane. I miss how I could relax in the evening and unwind.
3. Silence: You know when you come from US to India, the first thing you observe is how noisy the whole environment is. In 8 months, I have gotten used to it but when we were in Jaipur we attended 1 day Vipassana meditation workshop (more stories on this in next post) and there I happen to witness what silence feels like. I was able to feel slight vibrations in my body and could hear out my own heart beat -consciously. I realized that it is how it feels in US. It is so quiet and it helps a lot to keep our senses low and peaceful.
4. Nature, Greenery: This is something I miss a lot. Even though we were not hardcore nature lovers back in US, we were at least living in a place where there is a lot of greenery and we would sometimes take a hike in nearby hills. It was doable and it was fun. Here we live in a area which is a concrete jungle. I saw the last tree on our street being cut down last week for some real estate property. Planning a hike in nature is near to impossible as you would be the only person who does that and God knows what would happen. I miss the greenery around me.
5. Friends: In addition to having meaningful talks – it’s also helpful to have good friends. We thought we would make some by starting a local Expat group here. It was terrible. Sangita got harassed and I was bored of the people. Except for few of them I met, no one was good friend material. Yes, I have couple of colleagues who qualify for being friends but they are leaving the company or they can’t have good conversations. So, we both and I know Sangita a lot than me – miss our friends a lot.