There are a Sea of Men holding all kinds of different names some written on crumpled paper, others on formal white boards, some typed with a hotel or tour company names and everything else in between. These men are dressed in long pants and button down shirts or in a formal uniform. Some look well pressed and clean, while others look as if they have been wearing them for years without taking them off. All are wearing a variety of flip-flops or plastic sandals. Pushing towards the front and squished together as if they’re at a concert; standing room only, shoulder to shoulder, trying to get an autograph or high five from the star performer. Just beyond this group of men, is a military man with rifle in hand standing at the door. If you exit from this door you cannot reenter, no signs are posted-at least not in English.
In the distance a haze a warmth begins to surround me as I walk outside the doors of the airport. Horns honking constantly and what seems to be another sea of people holding more signs. Again shoulder to shoulder as if there is no room behind them. Even though there is room to spread out they all push and shove their way to the front metal bars only to wait for their family, friends or paid passengers.Living in a country with over 1.3 billion people, personal space takes on a whole different meaning. This sea of people quickly turns into a sea of cars as I get into my prearranged vehicle parked in an illegal spot. The lines on the road must only be suggestions. The three marked lanes have been taken over by twelve cars constantly honking, weaving in and out and drivers waving one hand as the other hand holds the steering wheel and honks at the same time. Picture puppies nudging each other as they try to nurse, except in metal motorized capsules moving at high speeds, making a lot of noise. Just when you think you have seen it all a motorcycle weaves between a truck and car in front of us. A hand reaches out from the lady on the motorcycle touching the truck, her Sari flowing in the wind sitting with both legs on the same side, as she holds onto her baby with her other hand, another child sits in front of her and the driver holds a younger child in front of him. As horrific as that is, I can’t understand why only the driver wears a helmet! Chaotic, scary and overwhelming, I clutch the door handle so tightly I begin to feel a cramp in my hand. A Man crossing the highway on foot, wait what? Cars weave around this Man as he walks calmly across the highway. A Cow stands still as the vehicles on the road swerve to the right or left to avoid a collision. Becoming aware that I can no longer feel my fingers holding on for dear life, I take a deep breath, watch, allow and trust. I let go of my holding on.
Each exhalation, I soften. Creating a space between my teeth, I release my clenched jaw. I melt my shoulders away from my ears. Elongating my spine as I continue to breathe in fully and trust. As I continue to let go, I begin to notice that the horns aren’t the angry rude honking that I originally thought they were. The horns are signals to the other drivers telling them that one is passing now, you can pass horn double honk with a hand wave. The chaotic, horrific ride has been transformed into a beautiful dance that flows smoothly and gets everyone to move in waves, weaving , swaying back and forth as they honk and work together to get to their desired locations. A large smile forms as I recall a story of Swami Kripalu and how he survived a deathly situation by letting go and trusting. (To hear the full story take a class with Master teacher Yoganand and ask him about it).
I am fully alive in the moment. I remind myself to breathe, relax, watch, trust and allow. I am truly grateful for the teachings of Swami Kripalu and Pranakriya School for Yoga Healing Arts. These teachings allow me to live my life to the fullest as imperfectly perfect as that may be.
Needless to say THIS was a trip of a lifetime with endless profound experiences.
Gratitude to Yoganand, Jacci, William, Usha, Ed, Floyd and the other 23 amazing, loving beings on this incredible journey. The love continues to flow with our PK India Family!