There’s a place where I sat from time to time over the orientation week and counted dead or dying crickets. Their numbers could often be upwards of ten a day. Why did they chose my bathroom floor as their final pilgrimage? Was I sitting in a holy place for crickets? The cricket Varanasi perhaps? Maybe these crickets were hip to the fact that they could cheat a few levels of reincarnation by dying on the tiles in front of my toilet. Forget dragon-fly, squirrel, or dog, these crickets are going straight to donkey or maybe even monkey depending on their cricket deeds and cricket karma. I hope I didn’t ruin their spiritual journey by flushing them down the toilet by the hand-full.
These are strange thoughts, I know. But this is India. The land of strange and curious things. A place where a weird guy like me won’t be judged for my strangeness, a place where the seemingly bizarre is revered for unique genius, where holly naked Babas vow never to sit, where God is in everything, where monks find harmony with rats and monkeys, where an amazing little man armed with non-violence brought one of the most powerful empires in the history of the World to its knees. These things don’t happen most places. For the curious mind seeking an escape from the mundane, this is the place, and I will be calling it home for at least the next ten months.
If I will quench my curiosity during my time here is not a question. The question that nags me the most is whether or not I will be able to achieve the caliber of work that I have come here to do. The temptation to wonder lazily around India, being entertained by the vibrancy, has a strong pull. I often wondered how kids that went to university in paradise places like Hawaii were able to get any work done. Not that India is a typical paradise, but now I face the same temptation to participate in things potentially more interesting than work. However, I am here to work, and in doing so must make my work interesting. Thank God I am in India, a place where everything is interesting, even crickets scattered across the bathroom tiles.