Many of us who grow up in the West have an idea of the Punjab being a slice of nature's paradise, with green farms and lush fields running for miles into the horizon. I went to a documentary screening of Toxification, made by award-winning filmmakers Rehmat Rayatt and Leva Kwestany which lifted a veil on the reality of a society riddled in debt, addiction and suicide.
Ever wondered what on earth it all means? Why does grandma sing mantra at 5am? Why do I have a mandir in my house? Why does the house smell incessantly of incense? What's with all the god-goddess figures? Why do I have to eat 'fasting food' every other week? What do all these endless ceremonies mean? Yoga is just for hippies, right?
With university fees higher than ever and a heavy baggage of debt pre-packed amongst the moving out boxes, I've thought about some questions that are worth asking before making the investment.
The letter is still poised in my hand, wrapped around my metro card. Addressed with my name. A little brown envelope inviting my attention. I sense excitement and curiosity growing in my body the longer I stand here, gripping the train sway. I open it....
This morning, I felt bliss. A total state of peace, a lustful love for life. I found myself for the first time, truly in the present. Breathing for now. Tears filled my eyes, music flowed into my mind. The air was warm, the breeze was sweet. My heart encapsulated that moment. Gratitude etched my memory in creativity dispelled to my fingertips. My soul blinked open. Here are the 10 lessons from that moment.
There are some memories we allow to flood in. Birthdays, graduation, the first time you met your partner, special memories with special friends. But there are others which we push outside the ‘metaphorical room’ we build up in our minds. Closing the door, we put a chair up under the the handle, locking out the unpleasant experiences with a firm left-turn whilst trying to continue peacefully through life. But like the unwanted room service merely doing its duty, those are the very memories which will just keep knocking. And you, the rightful key holder haven’t got round to doing your laundry yet.
I cannot quite explain in what depth this book provoked my mind and planted seeds to water and see the world in another way.