Tag Archives: Navratri

it’s time for the goodbye

Well, this is officially my last post from my 3 month long journey here in what I call the motherland-India. I am so excited to be hopping on a plane in less than 24 hours, and finally be heading to my home. But, a part of me hasn’t accepted that reality yet.

The past 3 months have literally been a roller coaster of emotions, experiences, thoughts, etc. I’ve learned so much about life and who I really am. I was lucky enough to have 4 amazing gurus to teach me as much they can in a short period of time about classical music, Sanskrit, Yoga, and Ayurveda. I’ve gotten so much closer to my family in India, and I can finally say I don’t feel like I don’t belong here.

I’ve eaten so much, I don’t want to see Indian food for at least 3 weeks after I get home (except for this one punjabi shabji my aunt is bringing me today!). I’ve literally shopped ’til I dropped. I’ve been in a car here more than I can say I wanted to. I rode on a train in India (from Ahmedebad to Mumbai). I did touristy things and took cheesy pictures. I partook in Navratri festivities, Diwali festivities, and Sharad Poonam activities. I’ve witnessed and experienced every range of social economic status–I saw what it is like to be extremely wealthy, and I’ve seen what extreme poverty looks like. I saw how ridiculous election time is here in Gujurat, and how angry people get when their candidate doesn’t win. I watched riots and protests on TV in Delhi after a young girl was gang raped on a bus. I visited beautiful temples that really represent what our places of worship should be like, and I’ve visited not so amazing temples.

I learned how to work a riksha and travel in the city all by myself. I know the streets of Ahmedebad and can find my way home if I get lost. I stayed in a village with no internet, a city that is growing faster than anyone can think, and in a megacity that is running out space. I saw the rivers and lakes of this country and more fruit trees than I ever have in my life. I saw that there are more animals roaming the streets of India then there are in the zoos of India. I watched Bollywood movies and memorized Bollywood songs that I can’t wait to bring back to the States. I talked in Gujurati, English, and shaky Hindi. I learned that the final price is never the final price here, and that you can always shave off at least 200 Rs at the end.

I found out that I am a very impatient person. I get aggravated easily. I learned that the only way to live life is to constantly be open to what your environment and surroundings are throwing at you. I realized that the Universe is always, always, giving you signs about where your life is going. And when those signs are being thrown in your face, grab them as quick as you can. I learned that the most unexpected people walk into your life and can make such a huge impression. I’ve made friends that I probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t come.

I felt excitement, homesickness, loneliness, happiness, extreme heat, annoyance, over indulgence, pain, flexibility, and love.

Most importantly, I am content and at peace with myself. I’m ready to come home.

shakti [strength]

Happy Navratri everyone! The festival season is finally upon us, and we are now into day 5 of Navratri. Garba season is probably one of my favorite times of the year. It is such a colorful and joyous time, bringing hundreds and thousands of people together. It is a symbol of victory over evil and truly shows strength in numbers. There are many stories behind the origin of garba. One of them goes like this: there was a raakshas named Mahisaasur (monster; essentially, an individual who is adharmic, against good, against culture, etc.) ravaging a town. The people of the town eventually were helpless and they prayed to Maha Kaali (she has many forms, but is a representation of strength) for so many days and she heard their prayers and came and killed Mahisaasur so they could live peacefully. Another story dates back to the times of Lord Ram. It was during the war between Ram and Raavan (here’s a quick synopsis), again, it was a fight between dharma and adharma. The war lasted 9 days, and on the 10th day, called Dashera, was the day Lord Ram defeated Raavan.

amazing costumes adorn each person

The traditional Gujurati folk dance of garba can be found all over the U.S. In India, it is quite a spectacle to say the least. Literally thousands upon thousands of people pile in to huge grounds and dance for 3-5 hours each of the 9 days, late into the night. Not only that, but there are groups that come with all sorts of props like decorated umbrellas, dandiyaas, ribbons, fire, and all sorts of things. The first day I went, I didn’t

look at the colors

even dance (despite my love for garba). I just roamed the fields to watch all the different groups with their props and everything. You just become so entranced by the colors, the music, and the joy that is enclosed in that one space, it’s impossible to not soak in the positivity around you.

There are so many great examples like this from the Indian culture that show that good always victors over evil. When I read stories like this, I’m reminded of how even the bad qualities in myself, my laziness, jealousy, anger, whatever, can be overpowered by positive attributes internally and externally. Not only that, but it shows that consistency in your life and directing yourself and your life to the Ultimate, can definitely bring your life fulfillment and you can truly be considered a child of God. The road you take depends on what works for you, but there are millions to choose from.

Today, let good victor over the bad in your life. Embrace the positive you have in your life and let it overpower the bad, and choose to be on the path of strength and optimism.

Mosquito Bite Count: 7 | Serious Craving: Onion Rings

a picture of how many people come to just one day of garba

people on people

just cute live, traditional musicians grace you as you enter the field