Three bizarre years. Since my last time here in India.
Years in which i moved to an island and basically became a pickleball monk.
Years where i stalked wild goats that roam the sun beaten cliffs with orange peelings in hand hoping to create a dependent.
Years of adapting to a no water, no electricity lifestyle.
Years of reframing my life goals, by first deconstructing what i understand the nature of life to be.
So deep Bobby.
But its true.
It was never hard to live this way, basic living is more of an education, realizing that i have limitations and exploring what those are.
I know that sounds hubris, not knowing my limitations and seeking them.
When It comes to traveling i am generally told what to do. In Uganda, In Congo, Gabon, India and yes, especially in Canada.
Canada get your shit together.
i suppose i wanted to understand my relationship with the environment more intimately. A relationship where i couldn’t retreat instantly when i become uncomfortable, not that i do that sort of thing, ladies.
A relationship that was nature-centric.
A relationship where i was in control of my percentage of participation.
Not the Indian or Canadian government, not a Gabonese border guard.
Let it go bobby.
The way a wind can change temperature mid gust that makes me reach for a sweater, kind of relationship.
So time and the politics of a global epidemic marched on, except on Saturna, it didn’t.
Eventually i became as raw a human being as is possible for someone like me.
Collecting goat skulls i would find in the valley then displaying them on pikes on either side of my outhouse.
like the gargoyles from ghostbusters 2.
Typewriting poetic letters by candlelight, retiring intermittently to saturate my creative cadence in the aroma of steeped mint and ginger tea.
What were initially random encounters with the locals grew to “Who’s up for skinny dipping in new moon bioluminescence?” or “Sure I can help you move that pool table“.
Beautiful people on that island.
Except for one guy.
Then, almost exactly three years to the day since my last India experience began, i returned.
i have a friend, for now i’ll refer to him as “Bryce”.
“Bryce” and i have an affinity for elaborate escape rooms, or puzzle rooms.
Themed spaces that lock you and several friends inside them for an hour.
The thing with “Bryce” is if we don’t solve the room he always asks the teenage time keeper for more time.
“Can you just give us 10 more minutes” he almost always asks, a bit too directly for my taste. But still, it works. We usually get more time.
His reasoning for this is obvious, the puzzle rooms cost more than they should and if you are close to escaping the room say 80% complete, paying to repeat the same room is like watching an episode of jeopardy twice.
So “Bryce” and i are usually, reluctantly, given permission to resume then left to our stoned panic, that for the teenager watching us sounds like two drifters collaborating in allegory.
This is why i came back to India.
It didn’t feel complete for me.
Does it ever?
i’m boarding a plane to Sri Lanka as i write this, after spending the last month in India.
i can, in my still innocent youth, attest.
Yes, the locked room of India has finished.
I’m satisfied with my collection of experiences here.
i went to the Dalai Lama’s House in Dharamshala, listened to George Harrisons Dehradun in Dehradun, spent hours lost among the narrow artery like bazars in old city Udaipur, and lastly, shit my shorts on a sleeper bus to a place called Cumbum.