Saturday, June 13, 2009

I Miss India

I miss India
The swoosh of cars, honk honking
dogs barking,
birds tweeting in the flutter leaves of the tree outside my window
it's big orange blossoming blooming in the sunshine
while the kawa hops down on my porch banister hoping I'll give him a scrap.

I miss India
The smell of dinner, spicy and hot dripping like oil from the windows of flats I pass
Mixed with earth, rain,
and a compost heap on the side of the road

I miss India
the laughter of friends sipping milky-sweet chai at a dabbha,
slapping at the macchar biting my ankles
sweat making my kurta cling to my back, as we laugh and enjoy the simplicity of eating with friends

I miss India
the breeze in my face taking an auto-rickshaw
the icy blast of air from an air conditioned music store, music so loud my head is buzzing
I always complained but it is nice to get TOO cold while watching a three hour Bollywood movie.

I miss India
The smile on your face as you hand me a reused Bisleri bottle filled with cold water from the cooler by the mess, beads of condensation dripping as I pour it into my mouth, India style, splashing down my chin, making you laugh, like always.

I miss India
the big white cows with the hump on their backs
glaring at me with their innocent eyes as I wait for you to buy the cigarette I am trying to encourage you not to smoke, and saying I don't like the smell, i miss that smell

I miss India,
The buses trundling past, with all their destinations in Hindi. I can never read them fast enough to know... is this the right bus? so I only get on when I am with you

I miss India,
staying up late watching movies with the philosopher and a strong woman, the air cooler blowing a humid but relieving breeze,
Enjoying the cooking at your family home.. such good daal, followed by a night time walk in the damp grass with two mischievous dogs,
riding three people on your new bike, laughing at the stares of people, seeing us crammed together, backpacks in all directions,and being driven by a girl, no less ;)

I miss India
How the merchants in the bazaar were fooled by my salwar suit (for once!) and for you we had a normal day shopping, unless I opened my mouth, my Hindi infused with an obvious American accent

I miss India
laying there, watching the fan revolve lazily, turned down so we can hear the parallel cinema film we are watching together, thinking of our plans for tomorrow, next week, next year... our world.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Striving for Positivity

Awhile ago I read this Buddhist philosophy that one must accept suffering. Not in that we need to be resigned to the suffering and give up, (especially of others)but rather just accept that no matter what we do, living involves some suffering... No matter how hard we try, we might get sick, or lose a job, or have a hard time financially... it is bound to happen as part of life. Once you can accept that suffering is going to happen at some time, then you don't need to dwell on it.

I really like this idea, especially as someone who is going through a hard time. I have found that the more I remind myself of that, the easier it is to see through the difficulties, and be able to concentrate on the positives that are happening in life. I have been working really hard to try to incorporate this mind-set into my life.

But seeing as how there is a lot of stuff in my life that is difficult right now, it's really quite a challenge. I think the most challenging thing is living with my parents again. At age 27, it's hard enough to live with your parents. But coming back here, I have noticed how hard it is to strive for positivity when you are surrounded by family who is often dwelling on the negative.

I wonder if anyone else has an ideas of how to deal with this? It is already a struggle for me to strive for positivity while being unemployed, very poor, living at home, and half way around the world from the person I want most to be with. So now, how do I deal living with my parents and sister, who are often prone to dwelling on the tiniest things.

I wonder the right way (if there is a way)to try an encourage family members to strive for positivity too... I think my methods of a.) pointing out how negative they are being doesn't work (since now you are complaining!) or b.) pointing out that most people in the world, for example, don't have a dish washer to complain about don't seem to work.

I don't want to come off haughty, or to be complaining about complaining... so how DOES one encourage others not to (ahem) drag me down into negativity land?