Monday, March 20, 2006

By The Ganges

First of all, my apologies for the unexplained absence -- month-long, as I realise now. One month: four weeks. The first week was the most anxious in my life so far; the second most blissful; the third week contained residues of the bliss and hence the most peaceful; the fourth was spent in numbness induced by pleasant suprises that life is capable of throwing up at the most unexpected moments.
 
A month ago, I might have described in detail what I went through in each of these weeks. But now I will stick to the second week, the blissful one, for that alone is relevant here and worth sharing. That was the week I spent at the feet of the mighty Himalayas, in Rishikesh, when there was hardly a moment when the swiftly-flowing Ganges was out of sight. At times the river was green, at times grey, at times black with shimmering electric lights reflecting on it. A narrow street. On it cyber cafes and samosa shops; sadhus and beggars; the Oriental and Western; stray cows and dogs; flies and cowdung and incense sticks; Indian restaurants and an Italian restaurant; love and no hatred; love-making but no sex; chatter and chants; mortals and the Gods.
 
The seven days I spent there, participating in an international yoga festival, melted away faster than the Ganges. But not before I learned a few things, which I would like to share with you guys:

1. The simplest things in life are the most difficult to achieve. Just like the simplest of asanas, or yoga postures. The trikonasana or the triangle pose, for example, might seem to be child's play, but you could spend a lifetime perfecting it. The trick is to keep trying.

2. Never push anything -- be it your body, your relationships, your capabilities or whatever -- beyond 70 percent of its limit. Leave that 30 percent of space for imperfection. Things work the best that way.

3. When you fall or lose balance while doing an asana, the only option is to get up and get back to the pose. The same thing applies to life.

4. A beautiful smile is the offshoot of a beautiful mind. Don't trust the dentist or the toothpaste ads.

5. If you think you are the best, you are mistaken. There are people who are 'bestest'.

6. Have faith. Real faith. Doesn't matter if you don't believe in God.

7. Do yoga. It moves your butt like nothing else, even though yoga might seem something where you only lie on your butt and do nothing else.

8. Visit the mountains once a year.

9. Visit the Ganga, or the Ganges, once a year. Life is incomplete if you haven't been by the Ganges.
 
10. Sabse oonchi prem sagaayi -- the union of love is the greatest union.

21 comments:

Arundhati said...

Welcome back Bishwanath! Missed you for sure...but glad you had a great time :-).

This was a beautiful article..

sumi said...

hey Ghosh! Great stuff! That's quite some learning.Yes...there's something about the Ganges. Because i have seen many non believers, who have no sense of history about the river like us, come close to tears just gazing at her.

So true, about the trikonasan!

If yoga is about "connection" trikonasan is its essence, dont u think? The whole asana works only when every bone, muscle and joint in the body work in perfect symmetry.And the elegant architecture of the pose, and the lines that it creates makes sense only when you 'connect'the pose with the space.

Keep the yoga going!

visithra said...

welcome back ;)

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back with an even enhanced and better insight to life. May you remain by the ganges, forever...
Amen.

Prerona said...

Glad you had a wonderful trip!

poonam said...

lovely post.
i have never been to rishikesh or seen the ganges yet, but i can so relate with your words. have to agree there is something about it.
agree with almost every one of your points, esp points 2, 3 and 6. those are THE remedies. :)

Deepa said...

Sure missed your writing! welcome back!
beautiful article and lovely pointers on life. i am a great fan of yoga too and a greater fan of the mountains. glad you had a great trip combining the two.

Usha said...

Welcome back Bishwanath. I was intrigued by this sudden and long absence but was pretty sure you were some place having a lot of fun. And here you are.
But If ever you do this again, I will come over personally to murder you!!lol!!
Very interesting stuff. Looking forward to the side stories and insights!!

Rim said...

Welcome Bishwananth..Such a long time! Good post on ur travels. I've been to Rishikesh; gr8 place. The Ganges here is cooler than in Haridwar. Bathing in the Ganges in Rishikesh is a gr8 experience...

anilshankar said...

welcome back BG,and thanks for saving us from that damn post named shaadi,which was on for almost a whole month.

sanjeev ramachandran said...

Good to know bliss exists in today's world. Feels great to know someone i know did experience bliss. I too need to be by the Ganges, or the Himalayan foothills someday. Take me there someday.

Anonymous said...

It seems you discovered something else much more deep which compelled you to appreciate The Ganges as well as Yoga even more......
Sakshi

ravi said...

Thou late in wishing u well but surely u were missed greatly but now it is known that ur absence was worth something divine n since u were in the company of those intoxicating himalayas the white snowed hills whose presence itself is magnifying n surely there will be much more for u to describe these expediating experiences n i shall surely like to read these experiences of u like the company of these babas with hot samosas n hotpiping teas that one sips by watching these mountains n that reminds me of one famous dialouge of Sir Richard Attenbourow in the movie The Great Escape which he delivers while looking at alps " These mountains always give me a life...." He was shot by the Germans in the next shot.

Ardra said...

good to see you again - and would like it if you shared some more about the trip...

Maya said...

More than anything else I want to add/comment to your blog, I want to wish you "All The Very Best". I know you will be happy, successful and healthy.

How can you NOT be, when you have communed with the Ganges by the Himalayas? :)

Amrita said...

that was really thought provoking...food for thought. it really must have a great experience to visit hrishikesh..nice post.

Anonymous said...

mr ghosh why dont u write about things like those mysterious girls and shopkeeper!
politics bores..
take care..miss u really!u dont care to reply!

anjaly said...

hey thanks for writing. guess what, i have two other blogs!! lemme give yu the links
http://travelclips.blogspot.com
http://sailingby.blogspot.com

tell me what yu think.

BTW, have you finally read The Alchemist? I would like to believe in that fellow. In fact Imet him when he came here. gave me an autographed 'The Zahir'. cant say I liked it though. its like going around the world to look fro your bellybutton

gyal said...

I just came upon your blog. Your current post is about your one year anniversary. I enjoied going back and reading your past posts.

Deepika Munot said...

You might think I am harping on the same thing, but you have written about the the greatest union being the one born of love, but lately you have rubbished that very emotion as being the mainstay of any budding relationship. You have said that it might come later after like and lust, but not before and can certainly not be the foundation of a relationship.
So what brought about that change in thinking?

Anonymous said...

I have always read your posts with much interest. This is simply one of the best post in my opinion. Simple words and with beautiful meanings.

May be somewhere down the heart I also feel that calm and serene connect with the Ganges (particularly at Rishikesh).Having been thrown off the raft in one of its crazy rapids in this time of the year I know what it feels to embrace her.