Having been born and brought up in Mumbai, I have spent most of my life living in this city, other than a few years here and there. I have a life full of memories of this city and I guess that’s how I see this place…through the eyes of memories….. And the funny thing is that not only am I born here but my mother, my father and all my relatives are born and brought up in Mumbai. Infact my paternal grandmother was born in Chembur which used to be a village long time back… I guess you get the picture…I won’t get into the whole family tree now. :) So while growing up whenever someone asked me.. “Where are you from?”…Firstly, I never understood that question and Secondly, I replied matter of factly that I am from Mumbai. Most of the time these people would not understand my answer and further try to dig in but which village, etc and probably end up thinking that my parents are too busy working to tell me anything about my roots..:)
Everyone I knew had some village or native place where they came from even though they lived in Mumbai and would have fascinating summer stories to narrate of that place and the people there. Having big spacious old style houses and lots of mango trees, banana trees, jackfruit trees, etc. The best stories were of the people who came from Goa. I thought they were the luckiest people alive.. living by the sea…eating fish and rice daily…and living the whole Goan lifestyle.
So I always grew up craving the village life. And I was very thrilled when we got an opportunity to get this lovely place in Western Maharashtra amongst nature. Not for the glamour quotient of having a weekend home but just to satisfy the craving to live the simple holistic quiet life amongst nature which I felt deprived of. To me it signified a place where I could live with the rhythm of nature and where I could plant my own trees ..lemon trees, chickoo trees, guava trees and plants with various flowers. I also have dreams of planting my own kitchen garden there soon. I have had my emotional ups and downs with this place but now I have taken to it like a duck to water. And there is deliberately no television, no wall clock, no internet here so to balance it out we carry loads of books and music and coffee …with lots of delicate golden string lights. I used to worry how my superactive 4 year old will take to the relatively slow pace out here but surprisingly he too loves this place. He loves our nature walks to the temple. He loves checking on the plants everytime we come back here. I believe this change is good for his soul too. Here is where he is more open to listening to the stories of Buddha and Krishna and many such more with full attention and not just Superman and Spiderman!
And everytime I come here I myself learn new lessons from nature. Its as if Mother nature embraces you and renews you to keep you going and coming back for more. Something that bothers you back home just disappears…doesn’t seem important anymore. Endless things accumulated .. just don’t seem necessary. You realize that you actually need such few basic things in life to be happy. The outside noise just vanishes.
You interact with the locals and see the simple lives that they lead. They share their joyful stories with you freely and your small conditioned mind can’t stop wondering what could be their intention. Its hard to believe that someone can share with you something without any intention….without knowing anything about you really. I can’t believe that I was scared of these same people once. I was not raised to fear anything so I can’t believe that I could reach such dark depths. I didn’t even know I had that place within me. For some reason my soul had chosen to experience that too.
Out here, you look at the sun, the moon, the plants, the mountains, the clouds, the fireflies, even the cows and feel a part of it all. It gives you a sense of serenity. Sometimes in the mornings you can see the sun and the moon in the sky at the same time if the skies are clear. A bit rare but it does happen. Try sitting under a quiet night sky full of stars and you can’t help feeling grateful for everything that life has to offer you…..whatever is near……whatever is far. Even getting a glimpse of your angel is enough to last a lifetime. When a flower falls down you count if its petals are in a certain sequence with a sense of wonder. You start wondering about the migratory patterns of the birds. How do they communicate with each other? And you realize there are many things that the human eyes cannot see and the human mind cannot comprehend but they still do exist in a perfect design of their own. We have conveniently called ourselves sentient beings and decided by ourselves by conducting experiments on our own parameters that other species cannot self reflect but maybe they can… in their own way….by their own parameters.. Who knows?
Then you begin to look at your life and see how well designed and perfect it all is. Without even knowing or consciously choosing anything you were already slowly heading in a certain direction. You were persistently receiving signs from the beginning towards your path....its just that your small mind kept dismissing every single thing as wishful thinking. But its amazing how the universe just keeps at it. Accepting that with humility and grace stops making one anxious about everything. Your ego may not like this. It doesn’t like to feel so vulnerable and open and will want to do its own thing. But I guess..that's the lesson out here. Its humbling to note how each and every person in your life is so perfectly placed with so many synchronicities….. makes you feel connected with everything and everyone. You start seeing where you fit in the greater scheme of things. This feeling of connectedness which nature offers you, the quietness that it offers you to reflect on things and reach your own insights is invaluable. It reassures you to just keep calm, be on your path ..that's all that matters…..everything else is temporary…all your anxieties will vanish away. This experience of the loving energy of mother nature and all the wonderful things it has to offer truly works wonders. I can see what this place means to me now….I am going to keep needing to come back here to get a renewed perspective of things when they get a bit painful.
Nature....Books…Music…What more does a person need? Ummm…….Let me think.. :)