Saturday, October 28, 2006

First Contact

Below are excerpts from my first e mail home...

"My main reason for coming was just to be in India. The feeling of homesickness (strange, seeing as I’ve never considered India as home) has been gradually creeping up in me over the last year. Somehow being in London distanced me from India (on a purely psychological basis, I know) and it became this far-off place that one visits in their dreams. My longing to be within the vibrations of Darbar Sahib has been overwhelming... I guess it doesn't help that my laptop wallpaper is a picture of Darbar Sahib and everyday became a constant reminder that wherever I was, I wasn’t in Amritsar.

My sangat here is the Miri Piri Academy (MPA) crew which is probably the most un-Indian experience I’ve ever had of India!! The first few days my diet consisted of toast, pancakes, pasta, salads, yogi tea and tofu. There wasn’t a perantha in sight until I realised how utterly wrong it was to not have achar and aloo gobi and bindi masala and paneer while in India!

Saying that we live in a bubble would not be too far from the truth. I love it though... I’m looking at India through a new glass and I think on some level it serves as a reminder that India has so many dimensions and no two people view it in the same way. From the sabji vala to the IDD booth guy to the Brahmin priest to the tourist to the landowner to the school teacher to the music ustaad to the MPA student - they all have a separate looking glass through which they see.

I’m living in a house not far from Miri Piri Academy (MPA) with Guru Darshan (US) and Sat Pavan (Chile). It’s fascinating that although we are all Sikhs our looking glasses are different too. Being Punjabi, I’m familiar with the more traditional aspects whereas they are more new age. It’s a great exchange; most days are spent in discussion and a sharing of both sides to put the puzzle together.

We live just off GT road and let me tell you that if you think that means big colourful trucks with sardars driving past with bhangra tunes floating through you are very much mistaken. The only music I’ve heard is the honking from the auto rickshaws and the coughing of passers by at the fragrant fumes!

Divali here was..... an experience. I was about to say awesome but then I remembered the power cuts and water cuts and fireworks on our street and I had to refrain from over-enthusiasm! We went to Darbar Sahib in the evening (now that was awesome!).

I guess that’s it for now, will get my grey cells into motion in preparation for the next e mail in a few days.

With love,
Hari Kiren Kaur :)

No comments: