Friday, August 10, 2007

Coming to America

So it finally happened. I have blogged. This was pending for a long time. Somehow, I never wanted to write. Maybe because I was so confident that my cynical writing would scare away people. Maybe because I did not want to add my own little noise to the cacophony of this world. Nevertheless I decided to write something. There are several things that I could write about. Fantastic things. Things which I could not possibly express in words. Things that will most certainly alarm people. I could also write about stuff that people would love to read.

One of the most wonderful things that happened since the time I last blogged is that I attended the teachers training in the ashram. 15 days of bliss. This step elicited some of the strongest resistances to come up within me. I still don’t know how I managed to convince myself to go through this program. In fact I didn’t. Looking back I can only say it happened in spite of me. I did this program just after my final day in Hyderabad and just before coming to the US. For me it was an experiment in life. What happens if you don’t exist for one whole day. What happens if you can live almost every moment of your life just as life. Not as a someone or somebody. Effortlessness is the way. I don’t know how I could have done the things that I did. Perhaps the single most important reason why I chose to spend 15 days was to be with temple. Perhaps to deepen my practices. I really donno. But somewhere deep within me, I know I did the 15 days session because I wanted to realize what I will be missing if at all I take one step away from the Path. I wanted a big knock on my head every time I do something stupid. Somewhere I felt that the knock would be bigger if I spent 15 days in the ashram. I know I am right.

Oh! What games does the mind play! For me those 2 months have been pretty tight. I was in the middle of a sea of changes. Lot of things will be different. I will be in a different country. I will not be able to see the temple whenever I feel like. I cannot see some of my friends. I cannot see my Chennai home. In lots of ways I was bracing myself for an enormous emotional upheaval. While leaving Madhapur. While leaving our Den(103,Sai Teja residency,Madhapur). While leaving my office. The last time I saw Bhoopesh in the ashram. Having that fleeting darshan of the temple while hurrying back to Chennai. Leaving so many things that meant a lot to me. I was constantly on lookout for these things. That uncontainable tear that sneaks out of my pressed eyebrows. I did not necessarily label those emotions wrong. I just felt that they were impermanent beyond doubt. Strangely, I went through all these things and more very effortlessly and in a very detached manner. In fact I did not realize this until I arrived here. It was only then that I realized things will be different. In some ways I felt good about this. I always felt that if there was one thing which people glorify obnoxiously, it will be nostalgia. Yuck! Sometimes it makes me puke to see how cinema uses it as a populist technique. But it is strange how simple things can evoke the strongest of the emotions.

When I arrived in the US, one thing I realized within the first 3 weeks is that life in Hyderabad made sense somehow. It is not about the work that I did. I was not overly passionate about selling a few more licenses of the windows server operating systems. It was not the money that made it sensible. Looking at it now, life was worth living there because I honestly felt that I was growing. And inevitably I was always happy. Also somewhere there was this insuppressible zest to share that which was offered to me to others. All the other things in my life: my work, my office, me taking care of my family was all the things that supported me to do this. These chores by themselves didn’t have much meaning; but because they supported the rest of the stuff that really meant something to me made those chores more bearable. When I was in Hyderabad, there was always this next class that I could look forward to. There was this volunteering work that I wanted to do. These things somehow made me want to jump off my bed in the morning. Once I was in the US, I realized within the 2nd week that I did not want to get up from the bed. I really did not feel anything was worth something. I could not just get up from bed, get showered in hot water, shave, get dressed and get to office where I will be pounding the keyboard from morning till dusk and then get back home and watch some reruns of Friends and Seinfeld. It was so horrific to notice that the whole humanity was wallowing in this humdrum and not notice it. But I already see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is in this context that I see the importance of Sadhana. For most of us, we cannot simply be. We have to do something to make ourselves intense. And Intense we shall become.

So the game continues. For me this is how I look this: a log of wood has caught a delicate flame from the sun itself. The log has a mind of its own. Will the log spread that flame to those exotic trees or will it dampen itself out? I know not. The thing that is clear is the log will not be settled until it burns itself out.

How long can I last here? How long can I make sense of the Routine and drag on? What happens if somebody in Chennai decides to confront me with my marriage? Will I give in? If I hold out, how long? I am continuously been confronted by the immensity of these questions that stare at my face. Boggled I am by the stunning non-chalance with which I choose not to answer these questions and leave my life to the wayward ways of time.

3 comments:

zenobia said...

the humdrum that bugs you..i long for it..i long for the time i would beold ..haggard and people wil stop giving any kind of significance to my existence..because i have ealised I'm here for me..not for fake friends..not for fake relatives..for whom a zero here and there in my bank ac means accepting me as a new me...as i see it..just be..let things happen to you..and the energy you are left with..use it for learning..find out more about your place..the best place to get mexican-indian dishes..explore..breath the fresh air..i live in the most cosmopolitan heaven in India..Bandra..work as a copywriter in an ad agency...i have to find meanings too..everyday..and then one realises..it is living the moments..like stumbling across a young mans blog..who has his own share of ennui..which is good ..it will lead him to find and discover more of what he is trying to actually find..phew..lol...Hi ! It was nice to stumble onto your blog..

Namath said...

I don't know what to say, but i was so overwhelmed to read this.
Our struggle, so accurate and so beautifully expressed.
It brought tears to my eyes.
You are my favorite author now Antho :) Namath

mishi said...

I am stumbled over your blog after more than an year...and that's how long we have been out of touch Antoji...drop me a line...we shall take it from there!
Needless to say...your thoughts always hit down in the deep...and raise questions not easy to comprehend.