Friday, April 27, 2012

3 weeks now

Its time for an update:

This is my third week in India.
And in these three weeks I have, which is the main reason of my infatuation with this place, lived with and like locals.
I have, what you all may know by now, gone to a cricket game, I have gone to a funeral, I have gone out when it first rains, I have gone dancing, I have eaten home cooked Indian food, I have had several morning conversations with my housekeeper when neither I nor she understand each other’s language, I have designed a logo with new cultural symbols, I have gotten lost, I have ridden on a bike, even bumped into cement structures on a late night ride back home, I have gone grocery shopping, I have eaten Chinese, I have attended birthdays, I have gone to meetings, I have been listening to Indian music all day and every day at work and I’ve been loving it, I have been walking the dog everyday, I have met Mama Meena, Hitashi’s lovely mother, I have met beautiful people, I have also, hopefully, successfully managed my days without Hitashi (although I did miss her).
She's back by the way!

I’ve been here like I’m here to stay, even more like I’ve been here before.

It’s not just that it is new because everywhere you go, you find the new and the different.
I have come to notice that my fascination with this place is a realization.
When I am sometimes just sitting in an auto going to work, or going out, I look and maybe just see a sweet baby girl with the most breathtaking eyes, barefoot, wearing a colorful sari, running around her mother who happens to be sitting with some friends on the floor in the shade; or when I am behind my friend on the bike and we are roaming the streets, lost, at 3 am, looking for my place, or when I wake up with Paper (the dog) sleeping next to me, or when I drink chai, or when I shake my head when I am in a conversation with someone because I usually pick up that which I see in front of me, or when the people who I just met and barely know are sweet and protective, or when I am sitting with Hitashi just her and I and Paper and we are talking and laughing, or when we cut a cake at work for someone’s birthday and the boys look at me and smile because that’s the only thing we will both understand, I close my eyes and I feel the rush of this place.

The world is drawn to that which is abundantly beautiful and that which is immensely broken and imperfect. And the thing about this place is that it will hit you hard with its harshest, it will hurt, but that will splash, instantaneously as it touches you, like a balloon filled with colored paint. And at once, you are in between both and you are hooked.

So when people tell you about a spiritual uplift they found in India, then it might very much be true.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Last night I went to watch a Cricket game.

Pune Warriors Vs. Chenai.
We were there to support the warriors.
All 3 hours of the game I had almost absolutely no idea what was happening.
Zero. Nothing. Rien. Du. Tout. Abadan.

Even more, I thought if i only look at the scores, I can at least keep up with who is winning...
Yea, no! They didnt have the scores up.

I was so confused.

I was with Nilesh, one of the art directors I work with and he has weak English.
He tried to explain the game a few times, but it all came out in Hindi and well it was a useless case.

I did though, at the very end of the game, understand that they either score a 6 or a 4.
That's how much I can help you.

I just cheered when they did, and sat cluelessly as they watched.
I also tried to make friends with a little baby boy who didnt seem to understand the game either.

Anyway. The crowd was insane. So it was fun!!



Friday, April 13, 2012


I packed my bags and got on the plane.

India. What a dream for you to be coming true so soon.

Took a plane to Kuwait then one to beautiful India.
I was very floaty on the way, very disconnected, very uncertain, and completely out of touch with reality. I felt like I was leaving for a few days to the mountains and coming back soon enough.

I arrive to Mumbai airport and a river let its raging water flow on me.
Reality stepped up and rushed towards me while i was trying to swim my way against its tide.

First I waited patiently to be able to get my bag, then i realized i had to put up a fight for it. I got out of the airport, and there she was, Hitashi, with the sweetest smile and open arms.

I am in India.

We get in the car, see at this moment i want you to imagine someone, on slippery river grounds close to the edge of the waterfall where the water is at its harshest, trying to swim against the waves.

We get in the car and drive for 3 hours to Pune.

The water took over my entire system, pulling back my arms and strangling my legs while i am trying to lift myself above it just for a second to take in some air, but right when i was about to get to the surface, i was pulled down again. I couldn't let myself swim with the water. I couldn't. I was going to fall. I was not ready to fall yet. Not this soon. Not now.
I am going to drown if i have to, but not fall.

We arrive to the apartment, freshen up, pack a small bag and head to Goa.
We were four in the car Rinul, Paras, Hitashi and myself.

I got in the car and slept. I kept waking up every now and then.
Every time i fall in deep sleep, I wake up completely oblivious of my whereabouts.
(yes it is this serious. in case you were wondering)

Something like 9 hours later we arrive to Goa.
We get a shack at Sea Horse, get settled inside and then head to Curlies.

Did I say it was 4 of us? Well it was five of us.
Paper, Hitashi's dog, came along.
The most chilled out and welcoming dog i have met.

Curlies is a restaurant by the beach with the front facade completely open and facing the beach. Very easy and chilled out place with great seafood. We hung out in between two tables and mingled a little with each (something like we crashed two dates). We had dinner and then some of us napped (by some i mean all except for Hitashi and Paper) and then we went back to the shack.

Next day, we woke up and just went to the beach. I have never felt this rested this fast in a new place after 2 days of travel. It was so refreshing. The sweetest Aunty serving coconut juice, pineapple and mango... We spent the whole day at the beach with a full body massage, a great swim, prawns, beer, juice... It was beautiful.

Then we went back up to Curlies, sat on the table facing the beach, the breeze was so relaxing. We had dinner, and just chilled.

Next day we woke up and head to the beach yet again. Chilled all day then at around 7 we went to a psychedelic party in a place called "Hill Top". It was in between trees with black light and psychedelic drawings hung on the trees and drawn on their trunks. Colored lights were going on and off all around the dance area.
The Dj was set up under a huge tree. Everyone was very excited, the energy was great!
People were dancing, drinking, hanging out, eating
omelets and chocolate (maybe that was just us, but oh well.)

This is for my Malaysia people, I had another almost Jay-Jay encounter, 15 mins into it the cards were revealed, i had to make a run for it. Got a msg with a "lili" meaning "really". Hit me up for more details.

Moving on.

The party ended, and we drove back to the beach.

Next Day, went to the beach, and did all the beautiful things again.
Beach. Sun. And great energy.

We then packed and headed back to Pune.
The car ride which took us around 9 hours on the way there took almost 5 hours only.
It was bumpy, crazy and nauseating. A bad trip back after the most relaxing 3 days.

Got home. Crashed.

Goa is almost an expression of freedom.
You go there and momentarily you feel like you can just be.
The world around you does not stop. Nor do you silence the outside sounds.
But something about the way the place comes together, from the sand to the waters of the sea, gives justice to a simplicity that is often tangled up.
Something about that simplicity, not necessarily puts things into place, but gives meaning to the things even in their misplacement.

At this point I was hanging on the edge, holding on to the weakest tree branch hoping I wont fall. I tried to keep holding on, but my hands were slipping, there was nothing i could do.
My breath was caught up. My hands and feet were weary. I knew I was going to fall.

So, I just let go.

In India, you have to be ready to walk barefoot on the street, to taste the mix of spices, to encounter cows wherever you go, to live simply, even more, to live fully.

From where I stood, the fall felt impossible.
Its blessing came with its inevitability.

I let go, and the fall is breathtaking.
I dreamt of writing India, and now I am given the right to.