What happens when one goes through a deep meditative introspection? It’s not enlightment but an insight into how you see yourself and how you see yourself with others..
After a day filled with conversations, introspection, asking questions and yet not seeking answers, we came out of our reverie to get to another place we felt at home besides Ganga Ma..
Insights are not miraculous nor are they an ecstatic A-Ha moment but it pops up suddenly as you start questioning things that you didn’t dare to before. We do this rarely because its the fear of getting an answer you don’t want to hear, truth. It’s as simple as that..
That day, that morning we set out to a place that we call home. A dilapidated ashram built way ahead of its times in the 1960s and now sits enigmatically on the other side of the ghats of the Ganga. It seemed to me that it was stubbornly holding onto it’s past, it’s energy in whatever way it could.
The temperature said 31 degrees but with humidity soaring high at 81 percent it felt like 42 degrees and that’s not good while you are wandering about. Not a blade of grass nor a leaf was moving, it was total stillness.
September?? Rishikesh? This was the weather, was it us sweating and feeling weak like no tomorrow or was it for the others too? The lines between reality and dreams were blurring for me at that moment.
An almost fainting spell came over me and I took refuge in the only place I could. At a shrine built for The Beatles and Maharashi Mahesh Yogi, I lay flat on the cool floor and I could breathe again. My sweat drenched shirt and hair notwithstanding, the floor was like a balm, slowly easing me into reality.
Bhim joined in next to me, he was equally drained. With what? We were still trying to comprehend. This trip had been anything but linear and so were our emotions. Physically exhausted and mentally strained, but for now the ‘now’ mattered, this moment did.
Playing the songs of the Beatles we drifted into a lull not caring about people clicking pics or making a noise. I had enough of worrying about others.
After some time we slowly got up to go to ‘that place’ the steps of an old ramshackle building, where exactly in that spot 51 years ago, John, Paul and George sat in their White kurtas played guitar and sang songs. It was more than just being a Beatles fan, it was the energy of this place. It was enchanting, haunting, eerie, spiritual and uplifting at the same time.
A little pretty green fly seemed to be attracted to us, it fluttered and settled on my knuckles for sometime and then switched to Bhim’s. Watching it gently exploring my skin seemed surreal. How beautiful this tiny being was, if only, if only we could be sensitive enough to the life around us..
The wet grass, shrubs and the snakes that might be lurking around didn’t bother us. We touched and felt everything around us.
I remember telling Bhim, Stop right there, where you are, yup you are standing right there, just imagine at this moment, at this very moment, Whoooosh!! We are in 1968, the place is filled with people, alive, energetic, chanting, smell of incense and the herbs from the garden and right there pointing my finger straight ahead, I said, We see John, Paul and George walking towards us and there is a friendly nod from them and we nod too, how will that be? Oh what would we do to get that 5 minutes going back in time..
We explored unknown spaces, going through debris. Bhim and I kept on walking and exploring Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s beautiful empty house that also lead to the enigmatic cool 84 caves. There were chambers, underground tunnels and at one moment we both gasped out loud and had a near stroke as we saw someone suddenly come in front of us in the dark. It happened to be an European woman and she had a fright too.
It was past 3 pm and suddenly we felt a familiar smell. The smell of herbs and flowers, the kind that can intoxicate and numb you in absolute pleasure. The gigantic hundreds of years old trees must have seen so much. The old artwork still remained in bits and pieces, from the 60s and people expressing their love, anguish, their state of mind and what have we become right now.
Every time we tried to move out of the ashram, we felt an energy pulling us back, to stay put. Why resist? So we stayed, an entire day until closing time. Talking, intense conversations to silences, listening to music to going into deep thoughts. The whole experience to me right now feels like a dream.
We sat on the bike and Bhim kept riding until we reached a beautiful cafe, with a balcony and comfortable cushion low seats facing Ganga. And just as we reached the sun was setting and with it came thunder and heavy rains. Watching the rain, heavy to light to heavy again, the sound of it hitting the roof and the balcony, it is a blessing and a luxury.
Over food and smoothies we spoke about how life had its twists and turns, but we could never take it seriously and we shouldn’t either. Life was a privilege, life was laughter and if one didn’t laugh or feel joy a few times in a day, what was the purpose of living?
To be continued.. 💕