It's ok, you artist now
India tends to take. At this point India has taken a lot of my patience, taken my body's energy, my money, tolerance, taken my judgments, and observations. With all of these things India has taken, manipulated, altered, and absorbed these things. It's almost like a black hole. I mean to say these things in the most endearing sense. As India takes it gives close to nothing back, which may be the magic that many people seem to find here.
In the last days we had a speaker on Jainism, a sister religion to Buddhism. This speaker's words were essentially like gold. The religion heavily emphasizes non-violence, physical and mental. In many ways following Jainism is like being an artist, creating beauty in the world surrounding you by self-control. Art form #1.
The same day the group went to a miniature painting workshop. This art, as well as producing masterpieces of intricate and delicate work, demands much more of the creator- intense focus on literally (sometimes) a single hair on the brush. I was originally doing the Ayurveda ISP but after the miniature painting I decided to switch. I not only wanted to learn this physical art form (art form #2) I also wanted to learn art form #3 -- Patience.
During my second class of miniature painting, I was outlining the head of Ganesh (elephant God) when the orange paint got all over my pants. My guru (Ajay) giggled and said, "Ok, no problem, it's ok, you artist now". art form #4 -- owning the experience.
Yesterday we went on a Heritage walk, aka the inards of the Pink City of Jaipur. This place is architecturally beautiful, colorful, full of happy people, cows, religion, and essentially bursting with life. Unfortunately this place's vibrancy is bogged down with trash and putrid smells. This place seems to be a fairly good representation of India as I've seen it so far. Vibrant, but bogged down my many factors. This place also reminded my of the traditions of India, that are so deeply rooted that even the trash wouldn't want to risk the social stigma that comes from change. Seeing these traditions take place challenges much of what I have grown up with especially concerning the roles of women. art form #5 -- some form of understanding/acceptance/ toleration ( this art form has yet to completely manifest)
Closing thought: After the heritage walk we went to a hole is the wall known for the best chai in Jaipur. The energy there was amazing, (much like that of the India Coffie House where poets, revolutionaries, and radicals sat and had coffee). Although India has taken a lot I think that it's possible that I have also given a lot to India -- and as I have been told it is much more rewarding to give than to take.