Saturday, 4 May 2013

Fish Out of Water

So, we've been in the north now for about 9.5 months. And, just recently, I've started feeling a little better about life as I know it. You know, it's the swagger in your step that comes from paying what the vegetables are actually worth (and not 20 rupees over, ha ha) at the bazaar, or the day your favorite auto driver gives you a free ride home because you are actually friends, or the day you teach your first art class in Hindi and it is intelligible for the folks you're teaching. Wait a minute! This feels a little like life used to feel. Things are making... sense. When we first arrived, I felt like a fish who was being held by its tail, just dangling above the water level gasping for air. But lately, something changed. Whoever was holding me captive let go, and I've been swimming again.

And then we came to the south for an awesome opportunity to learn at a thriving business here in Bangalore. This, of course, is awesome, and a blessing, and really good. But, the one thing that's got me reeling is that somewhere in the transition, someone grabbed my fins again. All of a sudden, I'm out of water, again. Today, I was at business school and we worked on developing business plans. My team came up with the idea for a gym/dance studio/juice bar all-in-one place. What??? Where are we? Then we made a price sheet. My neighbors could pay rent for 6 months for the cost of a couple of ballet lessons! But, the crazy thing was this plan was doable for this place! It is another culture, another world. People make motions with their hands, and I don't know what they mean. They speak Hindi with nasalized accents if they speak Hind at all. Instead of asking about your family when you greet each other, they ask if you ate your morning meal. They deliver water in trucks and not from the handy pump outside your house. This whole process is teaching me not to take myself to seriously, again (It seems like this is a lesson I continually have to learn and relearn). And to remember that although it seems like gasping for air much of the time, if I relax and pay attention and adapt, I will swim again.