It’s not until you come somewhere like India, that you realise how much you take for granted when at home. Fresh water is a big thing. Every time i want to eat something I must wash my bowl and spoon using bottled water. Every time i want to brush my teeth, I must do so with bottled water. Every time I have a shower I must make sure my lips are pressed firmly together to avoid any water entering my mouth.
Spoons! Spoons are not that easy to come by here. It took a little while before I could find myself a plastic spoon so I can re-use it daily to eat my breakfast. Cars - not having your own car means you walk everywhere. The alternative is a rickshaw or public transport which both have their own challenges. Bartering with rickshaws or squeezing into a bus which has people standing on the outside of the bus because they are so overcrowded.
Clean feet - never in my life have my feet, and hands for that matter, been so filthy. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times a day you clean your feet, within seconds they are somehow grubby again. The dirt and dust here is unimaginable to someone who has never ventured outside of a developed country. Clean air is another - I would hate to think about the level of toxic fumes I am breathing in every day that I am here. The smell of diesel is overwhelming. It permeates every part of you making you feel as though you’ve been doused in the stuff. It has, unfortunately, become my latest perfume - but not the one you would normally think of!
The freedom to wear what you want, reveal your shoulders. Here in India - you do not do that. Showing your shoulders, for example, is a sexual sign for men here. So regardless of how hot it is outside, you must make sure you are covered up. (I won’t be coming home with a tan, that’s for sure!)
And of course silence. It is never silent here. There is always noise - someone spitting outside your window, motorbikes starting which sound like tractors, dogs barking, people yelling, horns constantly beeping for NO reason other than it is habit. There is so much noise here.
Simple things, but it is those things we forget to appreciate. These are just a few thoughts which I had whilst walking home from this mornings asana practice and preparing my cereal for breakfast.
Maybe we need to contemplate more. To notice and be grateful for what we already have rather than constantly wanting for more. If we do this, it will never be enough. That’s what I believe and i think it’s a lovely way of being. I am grateful this experience, yoga and India, is helping me to see these things also.