Lately, I have been thinking about my life; reflecting on the last few decades and how it has made me who I am. I have been wondering about the order in the chaos that I experience on an almost daily basis, since living in Mumbai. It is exhausting, and yet life goes on. I feel like this post is going to be a lot of rambling. So I apologize in advance if I may not make any sense.
There comes a point in one’s life where you think and say to yourself, “What’s it all about?”
What is it all about? This life, having a house, having a great career, possessing a car or whatever it is you fancy….what’s the big deal? Why are we here? Do I have just this one life or are there many more journeys to go on? Why do we need to pray? Why is my cat so much more adjusted to Mumbai than I am? Why? What? Why?
I feel like the hands of time are slowing down and every thing is in slow motion, as if I were stuck in a swamp that is gradually pulling me into the earth. I am helpless and not even motivated to cry out for help. In fact, not long ago, I did have a dream that I was in a hot air balloon descending on a swamp and marshy waters. I was surrounded by thick foliage; hues of greens and browns that swept across the swamp, making it darker, as if I were back in my mother’s womb. Dreams like these haunt me. They are with me more often than I can remember and I have been dreaming a lot more in the last few weeks.
I think of the many times I am in a taxi or car in Mumbai and beggars and kids come up to the car and ask for money and food and I am indifferent to them. I have to be indifferent for many reasons: if you extend your hand to one child or one beggar, you can bet your life there will be another 5 beggars surrounding your car. Also, a lot of the begging is staged by mafia rings that exploit children for monetary gains. It is disgusting, and so it makes it even harder to not give money to the beggars especially knowing that most of them are tied into these underground operations and will suffer consequences if they do not bring in some dough. However, if I do have food, I will share it with the children and older beggars. But not money.
I look outside my window and the same question rings in my ear: “What’s it all about?” Life does take me strange places….and the more I plan, the more I will feel stuck in that swamp. The more I will drown in my emotions, swallowed whole by the earth, as my soul churns and twists within her body. As I type, the following nursery rhyme comes to mind:
Row, row, row your boat; gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily; life is but a dream.
A dream it is…. a floating fantasy…an illusion that we are always chasing….a trap…..a haze….life is a dream, or at least it feels that way some times. A dream today, and perhaps tomorrow, and for the rest of my days.