disclaimer: this was written during a long journey to finding myself, and certain spiritual aspects written about no longer apply.
so i am writing this from an air conditioned bus, and my feet are not trekking through knee deep floodwater(at least not anymore). for the past six days, i have been "device free" which unfortunately also means (mostly) camera free. in other words, i have neither had service nor felt the need to carry around anything but prayer beads and an umbrella. my journey through spiritual northern India began in Jagganath Puri, and ended in Mayapur. i have now seen an entirely new side of India. i went from having a private driver in Bombay, to flagging down a man on a bike, pulling essentially a piece of wood to drive around 11 people in the pouring monsoon rains. i went from waking up at my own leisure to a home cooked Indian meal to waking up at 3am to go to temple and worship. i went from bustling city streets filled with auto rickshaws and motorcycles to beautiful tropical roads lined with palm trees, filled with bicycles, people, elephants and lots of cows. i also went from being confused and a little bit cynical to being content and entirely full of joy.
I like that as time passed, I felt less of an urge to reach for my phone. i feel like myself, more than ever actually. it seems that there are so many signs continuously telling me that my path is here. in jagganath puri, i was offered ribbon from Jagannath's own float. there were over a million people there, and they offered this sacred gift to a foreigner. earlier that day, i was even able to enter Jagannath's temple, where foreigners are actually not even allowed. in mayapur, i offered garland to the man carrying around Krishna and Radha's small deities, and he, in return offered me the garland that the deities had been wearing. and while writing this post, i am wearing garland from the temple around my neck. i have also been so fortunate to have made a new friend, who is so so knowledgeable about every place we go to, and is kind enough to take her time to tell me the stories of them all. my heart feels so happy and pure. the monsoon rains pour and pour making our journey across the Ganges seem miserably impossible, but i find some peace in sitting under a tree, drinking water from a coconut.
i hope only that i can find peace, and transcend negativity like this everywhere i go.