Category Archives: temple in khar
During my recent trip to India, it was work, work, work all the way. Well, almost.
It’s up to us to ensure that life is balanced after all, so I deliberately carved time out for other activities. Therefore, all that work didn’t keep me from a wee, little bit of fun. Or some serious shopping. Or a couple of loud and impassioned political diatribes with friends and family (they’ll never invite those again!). Or the payment of some weighty debts.
Those debts are interesting, to say the least.
And it hasn’t really stopped coming through. At the end of the day, it’s really what you believe, isn’t it?
For being such a frequented destination for some in Bombay – there’s always a line of people waiting to enter – the temple itself is a very modest, peaceful dwelling adjoining a neighborhood park and an ode to Hanuman. It has no doors, just thousands of bells of all sizes hanging all over its ceiling and pillars, bells that have been contributed by (I assume) gratified devotees over the years.
The Hindu god, Hanuman is known for, among many other things, being the repository of incomparable strength and the one capable of liberating (mere mortals too) from dangers.
Well, my debts to this Hanuman had been piling up over several months, from earlier visits that I had paid to the temple, mostly from when I was a temporary resident and expat in Mumbai.
So much so that on the one free Saturday that I had in Mumbai recently, I set off to “my” temple again.
But before I got there, I had to make a crucial stop – to purchase the bells that I would deliver there, with much gratitude. Yes, that’s “bells“. In plural. Not one or two, but six of them in all. That’s right, six. One for each fulfilled wish made on behalf of important people in my life (uh, that includes one for moi).
And, here’s the most curious thing of all…I am not (by any means) a religious person. I’m really not. But I do like to pay my debts, real or imagined. Who doesn’t?
And in that moment, with the liberating feeling of having satisfied these past obligations of mine, I completely missed invoking any new wishes or desires at the temple.
Now, I’m rather glad that I restrained myself. No sense in getting too greedy so soon. There’s time enough for new aspirations to be gathered up for another visit. Isn’t there?
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss
It’s time to leave.
I leave behind Mumbai and India, arriving in the United States on Christmas Day. That’s my Christmas gift this year – getting back home.
For the last few days, it seems like all I did was work and pack. That much packing for someone who merely made a temporary home here! One of these days, I swear I will listen to Leo Babauta who writes in his Zen Habits blog about the ideal life – about simplicity and minimalist living.
It sounds superb. But I just can’t seem to get there from here. And I’ve never wanted to get there more than during the last few days of packing!
Underlying all this busy work though, this time has been especially sad and hard – so much more than I expected. When you start thinking that you will miss the smell, grime, and chaotic traffic of Mumbai, you know it’s bad!
Endings always do this to me. It’s not that I am not looking forward to the next chapter. Of course, I am!
But I find that once I am part of a new beginning, it begins to take over rapidly and there’s usually no looking back.
Maybe that’s what it is about this situation that makes me morose. Chapter closed. No looking back.
Yes, I believe that what’s really gnawing at me and at the bottom of this feeling it’s all about people – old relationships that were strengthened and new ones that were forged. Just because I happened to live here for two years. That’s who I will miss the most.
Get over it, I’m telling myself, even as I write this.
Imagine if I had been so unlucky that the connections and adventures of these past two years had not even occurred? Now that would be something to cry about! Instead, I got to immerse myself in new experiences and new places for a short but rewarding time.
And what exactly did I get in return? Ah yes, the yin and yang of life in India.
Okay, so I’m over my gloom now. I’m happy.
“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!