--india

 
 

I've been here before!

Well, that's not true - but after having had the privilege of travelling you start to notice a pattern. You get a sneaking suspicion that people really are the same. Flecked with a variety of cultural practices, stirred from a base of mythical stories to overcome the fear we all have of the inconceivable, yet inevitable end to our existence.

It seems to me that everyone was tuned into Maslow's hierarchy but with a twist. In the cool dusk on a roof top over-looking the fort at Jaisalmer, an Indian gentleman took the time to explain that in point of fact power has the chief role to play. That all else would flow from it and that without it, love for example, was incidental. This would be a thread that became more discernible in India in many ways.

India is always on the move. It is loud, dusty and truly in the moment. It has been said that India lives it's life on the streets and that is exactly where you will find it. Step down into it, the flow of life and death on the street. You could fight it or perhaps better, is to enter into it and allow it to move freely all around you, only having to pause every now and again to change direction, never stop. That is the key. One day while walking through Varanasi I had this change overcome me and I entered into the flow. I realised that the way to do it was to become totally selfish. Make the best way forward for yourself at all times. Change when you want, how you want and trust that everyone else will do the same. Remove fear and gain power. Enter into a system where self preservation ensures the livelihood of each individual for as long as they are strong and in an ironic twist, preserves most. And so in this vain I flowed down a river of life, sickness and death - almost every facet of human nature surrounding me in waves of movement. Everyone around me had their own life and death to worry about and with so much effort spent on this endeavour, little all else seemed to go towards the lives of others.

A surreal and beautiful experience on a roof-top in Pushkar. One bhang lassi and an hour later in that far away roof-top sanctuary, the 'Magic of India' revealed itself on a grand scale. Now at last, it was easy to see. Cocooned in our riches and cleanliness where the laughter rose up in us and lifted the veil from our eyes we began to observe from a lofty distance. That is the way to see it, to feel this magic. Of course it is only truly appreciated because you know what is down there, you've been in it up to your knees, you've breathed it in through your nose and now you're above all the chaos.

To gain power is not easy. Put down and shown your place from a young age. You are not equal! You will most likely not have the opportunity to study and educate yourself and yet you long to rise above it all, to make something of yourself. So when you get older you count your money in the street to show your position. You long for recognition because you have been ignored for so long. You watch your desires unfold in surreal dramatisations on screens every day. You are a slave to this ego-centric desire, this quest for power. You probably will not see it for what it is because if you ever do manage to rise up out of the mess of flesh at the bottom, you are too engrossed in this power you have sought. The repressed anger runs deep and you lash out at those below you, as you were once lashed out at. You must be strong to survive and stay on top. You must shout to be heard as you have always had to, above the voices of so many, all trying so desperately to be seen, to be heard, to be recognised.