Sunday, 6 September 2009

Why Not?

Now much in my world has changed since my first brief stay in India. I have experienced a great deal more in life myself and in many ways I am a completely different person. But at my core I am still that free spirit, that wanderer who wants to see the world in its truly raw state, to experience ultimate freedom and peace. If I was to compare myself to an onion I would say that the onion that arrived to Varanasi all those years ago was a spring onion – sweet and young and fresh and great with a salad with only a few layers and a hint of a kick in it’s bite. The onion I am today is much bigger and bolder in flavor and yet has many more layers and a much, much thicker skin that may need to be peeled and discarded before the stuff worth keeping and using for a succulent curry will be found. This time India will most definitely be showing me much, much more, but this time I am sure to resist with those layers of thick skin and it may take some time to peel away the top parts and get to the good stuff.
The idea for this most current trip as I already explained was germinated many years ago, during that first glimpse of India, but the final momentum for lift off has been gathered more recently thanks to a few, major, life changing events in addition to, for want of a better phrase: ‘the state of the world’. The newly wed status, which I find myself in, often, it is said, inspires change and experimentation. This compulsion for change has been compounded by the fact that when deciding to marry, my husband and I also decided that now would be a great time to change some other circumstances of our lives and not only join the ranks of ‘marriagedom’ (not that that word exists but I am known from time to time to invent my own words should I feel that there is not one in existence that suits my precise needs), but also join the ranks of the ‘unemployed’ and find a new start in life. In turn this also meant for us, a change in just about everything about our day-to-day life: since our job was our life. Having spent the last several years as cruise ship employees we were in fact very much ‘married to our jobs’ or rather living in our jobs. Work was life and life was work – that’s pretty much how it goes on a ship – since the ship is home and work all in one – so when you decide to change your work, well, your life goes too.
So here we find ourselves, newly married, without job or home but with the overwhelming desire for one last fling with freedom before we ‘toe the line’ and get ‘settled and stable’. In actual fact at this point in my life I find a powerful dichotomy within myself. Since in a sense I have been ‘traveling’ and ‘homeless’ for several years now there is a powerful yearning within me to put down roots and find a place to call my own, but there is still, on the other hand my unfulfilled desire to go back to India. So, ‘why not?’ we said. It’s now or never. We return to land and find a home and we may never have the chance again to be so free from bonds and baggage, to freely roam and wander. And India is calling.
And so it was to be. The newly-weds would seize this perfect time, certainly perfect personally and in addition perfect professionally, considering that to join the ranks of the ‘unemployed’ as an active job seeker seemed like a pretty uninviting prospect since those ranks are fairly deep and wide thanks to the ‘economic crisis’ that this poor little planet finds herself in. Why waste time searching for jobs that don’t exist, when we can be in India, searching for ourselves and wondrous wonders of the world? While the world attempts to right herself like a catamaran swaying in the blustering winds on the surface of a tormented ocean, we can wait for the storm to pass in a place where our funds will go far. Why not? Why not? Why not? That was the phrase that surfaced time and time again in our minds. And lucky for us, we could find only compelling reason to add to the list of ‘Why?’ and pretty much none to add to ‘Why not?’

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