“No fear, no fun.” This is something that Sharath likes to say with regards to the practice. Everything on the mat, all the mind stuff and controlling the thinking while doing your asana practice relate right back to living life. If you feed the fears, they stop you from the experiences on the mat and in life. Living in India is different to say the least. One of the things I decided to do while I was here was to rent a scooter for a little freedom. This may not seem like a big deal to some but I’ve never driven a scooter, let alone in India. It’s one of those things that you just have to try, observe, learn and experience. Pay attention and learn.
Today I figured I would adventure out of Gokulam and try to find an address of something I had in mind. I never found it, although in the adventure I was able to put the no fear, no fun rule to the test. Things were great as I had been driving around a lot, following people to far away places like the pool or a cool pizza place. After my first adventure on the scooter to the Banyan tree, I was told many things after that would be easier on the scooter.
You beep the horn . . . a lot. Every time you pass someone, come to a cross road, see another bike from the side. You just beep. It’s meant to let someone know you are there and they in turn are letting you know they are there. So both of you are beeping. It’s quite loud but if you are not using your horn, you are not doing this driving thing correctly. I guess I beeped but then the beeping did not stop. It was a long loud beeeeeeppp which would not shut off unless I turned off the bike. I pulled over and tried to disconnect. A guy on the side of the road gave me a screwdriver to pull the level out. I disconnected it but it was still beeping. Very loud, very annoying for everyone. It’s hard to imagine a beeping sound being annoying to Indians but they were like WTF. I shrugged my shoulders and said I had to find a mechanic meanwhile the bike still beeping I drove off. I pulled over and a woman dressed officially came over to give me some directions. I had to turn the bike off to hear her. I made the turn she mentioned and then was directed to walk the bike up on the other side of the road and he is on the left. In India the mechanic is just on the side of the road fixing bikes. He was working on something and was able to leave it to help me. This fine mechanic takes his bike to buy me the little part I needed, took my scooter apart to disconnect the horn and then put it all back together again. It’s the pay attention and learn that helped me stay together. Panic would be of no use as in any situation as when you have fear, you panic and nothing gets accomplished. I remembered a conversation from the night before on fixing bikes. For Tim is was the clutch, 150 rupees and he got it taken care of saying how easy it was and how lucky he was back from his long trip outside of town. If we pay attention to each other we help each other. That conversation helped me to understand how these things get done in India. When you are in India you surrender to the unique culture. Instead of questioning, you realize how cool it is that there is a mechanic who can help you, earning money on the side of the road.
I still figured I could find the address so I was ready to try again. I got sidetracked as hunger set in, I came upon a very popular place with the locals. I was outside of Gokulam and you may not run into many Westerners. No place to sit so I figured I would wait. If all these locals were here it must be good. Again, watch and learn how it is done. How they eat, where you pay, how they manage the food and once you learn you can fit right in. It’s fun to do although fear would stop anyone who does not want to feel out of place. It’s about having the experience and letting yourself have the experience.
Next for the ride home. The adventure doesn’t stop as it starts to rain. I’ve gotten caught in the rain before so I figure I’d wait for a bit. It seems to lighten up so I start the scooter up and venture home. As I go along it seems that the monsoons are hitting, a very heavy rain now. I keep going along carefully and keep moving as stopping now makes no sense as I am soaked to the bone. I think how sucky it will be to have a cold here. I pull over to put my sack with my phone in it under my seat. I’m glad I take a minute to do this, as I like having my phone in working order. I can hear Kerstin saying how she learned not to break in the rain. I’m nervous as no one seems to be out but me and I keep going. I make it home drenched and happy to be safe. I also feel full from my wonderful adventure today.