People have been asking me over the last few days & weeks how I feel to be “leaving “India.
So I thought I would jot down my thoughts and feelings as I am winging my way westwards towards Heathrow London and then on to deepest darkest Africa (well Nigeria anyway!).
Here are a few words – not necessarily of wisdom, but, I would like to think, worthy of consideration.
1, What have I learnt during my time here?
Well I have learnt things about myself as well as other people. My deepest wish is always to continue learning wherever I am or go. I believe it is what we need to grow and to keep our minds healthy and glowing and expanding. We expand our internal horizons through learning, regardless of whether we physically relocate our bodies.
- Travel is certainly a fast way to learn more quickly
By this I don’t mean travel as in the 2 week holiday tourist and sight-see – No I refer to immersing yourself for a time in a culture and surrounding yourself with local people who show you their thoughts and share their views. When travelling I advocate therefore , hostelling, couch-surfing or Air B & B – the locals will show you the way then.
- Patience is a virtue and necessary everywhere (as is tolerance of others).
An understanding of language and what makes a culture tick surely helps this. For example the words Thank you and Please don’t exist in Hindi but when Indians don’t use them, uneducated Westerners often think the Indian is being rude – Not so!
- Smiling faces and the joy that we can bring to others by making them smile or laugh is precious. Make others laugh or smile where you can
This is easy to do on a daily basis. When you say “good morning” and give a smile – it rolls onward. I have done it to every member of staff in the airports today and they have all smiled and answered me politely where other travellers did not think to even say a word to them and thus they were ignored or possibly felt ignored. The joy you bring to others will make you happier than you often may be with your own day-to-day living.
- Sitting contemplating a tree, listening to the sounds of a garden, beach or neighbourhood, whilst smelling the coffee can bring a serenity that you will not find while you are rrunning around madly every day.
We all need to take time out to transfer this way of living to our “Western ways”.
- It is important to treat others as you would like others to treat you.
Don’t expect the worst as most times you get what you expect in life.
- Rich or poor is a state of mind
Financial wealth is not worth anything if you don’t see or can’t appreciate the spiritual things in life and the people around you. Obviously money can ease people’s lives and in this day and age it is very difficult to live without some monetary income but it is never essential for true peace of mind. .
2, How do I feel about moving on?
There is a hint in that question – moving on. I do not feel loss and rarely have when I moved on with places.
Only people seem to create feelings of loss (and I have felt a few losses in my life where people are concerned) but nowadays the technology all around us means we do not have to lose “touch” with others although we may lose sight of them. Thus the only real loss can be the one when death takes a loved one from us. However, we will go on to meet them again when we pass on to another life if we are meant to so the loss is only temporary therefore.
sO – I can honestly say that I do not feel sad to leave India and I have never really felt sad to leave anywhere. This is probably due to the way my family have lived our lives, never looking back with regret, believing nothing is impossible when you want it enough, living our lives to the fullest in the now and anticipating good things to always come our way.
Why should people consider that I should be regretful or tearful anyway? After all it is not as if I can never return (depending what the fates have in store of course for us). My time here is up and I am moving on to other things. Many people do not like change but personally I lap it up., seeing in it a new challenge and opportunity to learn more and different things.
- Health, happiness, kindness to others as well as learning and loving about others is how we should progress through life.
As I depart from the Indian sub-continent therefore I wish you all a wealth of health in your lives – after all without health we have no true wealth.
I have met some wonderful people here many of whom I now consider friends and with whom I will keep in touch. However, they are the sort of people that we do not have to talk every day, week or even month.
We are connected (in many different ways) and will be happy to chat or see each other whenever the time is right and fate presents itself or when we need each other in some way then we will be in contact as fate decrees.
I understand that often we are only here for a season but there is always a reason for meeting those people we do meet and take to our hearts.
I have also learnt that as time passes (faster every day!) you have to make the most of it but this does not mean you have to be manically filling every minute of it with “doing” things.
I now have a short-term plan – which is unusual for me as I have always gone with the flow – but old age has brought this on as I have realised that maybe my “hippy free-spirited” lifestyle has caused my financial situation and I WILL have to work until I drop dead.
However, that is no hardship for me when I love my work. Only the people and the places may alter that. Life is a challenge and I love challenges and welcome change.
So farewell India – I don’t recall any bad times there and I cannot say I regret anything I did or didn’t do whilst there.