Sunday, April 27, 2008

So many people in my life are struggling with either potentially compromising health issues or career problems - or both, sometimes compounded with tricky personal stuff to boot. It really seems to be a rough kind of life out there.

These days I wake up and try again and again each day to remind myself that, in fact, this seems to be the way life actually is. Life is suffering. In one way or another this is the truth - a Noble Truth in fact. Without reminding ourselves of this simple concept we can easily fall into an awful trap - believing that life can be any other way. Or, more damagingly, that life should be some other way. This is not to exclude joy or wellbeing - we can have that too, on many levels. As we change and the world around us changes however, even these things are transient - in themselves therefore potential sources of pain, discomfort, disappointment and suffering. Accepting this scenario as the likely reality is in many ways not only the path of least resistance but also a beginning of wisdom and a path to a fuller joy. Right now, to me this seems to be our reason here.

One way and another I have ended up back in Mysore again! After Dad and R left I stayed and am still here. I am of course practicing yoga - but am not with any of the teachers here, preferring instead to practice at home in my little apartment. It's very simple and Indian - complete with neighbours next door running a dairy operation. Cue calves being born in the night, 530am milking sessions and a lone sheep which will not shut up! Will be here until the end of May. Then it will be up to the North - to meet an old flatmate who is coming in for a bit of a travel around - starting and finishing in Mumbai. When she has gone home I will have a bit of solo trip into southern Gujarat.

In July and August I have arranged to do another internship in Jaipur, Rajasthan, with a similar Microfinance NGO to the one I spent time with in Hyderabad. Apparently it will have cooled off a little up there by that time. At the moment it is in the high 40sC. I will be very interested to gain a little insight into the different state of development that the Self Help Group model of MF has reached in Rajasthan. Andhra is the flagship state as far as this goes - elsewhere in the country it is relatively early days and Rajasthan is well known as one of the more culturally conservative states. So, a different context altogether. I will be working with the Centre for Microfinance in Jaipur. Anyone who fancies a visit while I am there will be more than welcome - though at the moment I am not sure of the accommodation situation. Obviously I am aiming to be comfortable...

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Decisions decisions

Well, at the moment I am in the process of making a few decisions about the future...which means that as well as the next few weeks I am also thinking a bit longer term. This is a departure from the practice, assiduously cultivated over the last 2 years, of not thinking any further ahead than the next cup of tea.

I may be able to spend a bit more time working in the field of microfinance here in India, as I did late last year, but at the moment the arrangement is not set in stone. Should find out this weekend. Either way, the India trip is going to be over mid June since the Indian consulate in Colombo only gave me a 3 month visa...for reasons known only to themselves they had initially printed out and stuck into my passport a 6 month multi-entry, then thought better of it and amended the document by hand. Yawn. So, whatever happens I think this is going to be it for the travels, wanderings and full time loafing. As I said to my father, who was visiting here last week with my younger brother, I can feel a wave of expediency coming on. In the past this has been a good guide to my choices and motivation regarding work, living arrangements and so on.

Before leaving India I will make sure to knock off a couple of the big sights - otherwise what will I tell people I was doing? - and pack in some more yoga. At the moment back into rising at 530am for a couple of hours practice with a different teacher here - more chanting and meditation mixed in than I am used to, feels pretty good though I have to confess that, in true Western style, I am more interested in the physical side of yoga and will revert to previous practice style once I move on after June.