So… now what? That is the question that continues to follow me in this post-Mysore era. And I feel I am unnecessarily whinging on about this same topic, but I remain to feel I cannot quite grasp the changes that have occurred within myself and the external elements of my life.
As I settle into my re-integration to waged labour and meet new people (namely over-excited females) there has been a few comments on my calm demeanour (the kind of comments made by people who don’t really know you but feel the need to project their opinion on your character). I find this amusing, because yes certainly the things that distress others now seem to simply roll off, things such as diets and complaining about fat thighs (I am around body conscious females 99% of the time). These type of worries I feel only indifference towards – despite the fact I can’t stop eating everything (I blame Planet Organic). The effects of my gargantuan appetite were brought dramatically to my attention as I struggled through a level 1-2 ashtanga class, my torso feeling like a block of wood in Marichyasana C, and cursing that Planet Organic brownie(s) – (f.y.i. they are comparable to the Green Hotel’s chocolate cake and for those that are acquainted with that sacred cake know that this is a rare and dangerous quality). And then post yoga class the women’s changing room discussion was as though it was in a different language – something about holistic dentists and how they deal with your feelings about your teeth??? (I should add this was in Notting Hill) – and then a woman in her 50s strips totally naked, not to have a shower but for no apparent reason, and then put on her jeans with no underwear, and there I was yet again thinking what the hell is going on????
So yes while calm I may appear this calmness is misleading for it is only an exterior facade of an interior reality that is confusingly attached and detached from the world around me. Life mostly feels as though I am starring in a really boring film except I don’t know my lines. This sensation was crystallized further as my manager had a chat with me about my aforementioned quiet demeanour (read: zombified persona) and reminded me that retail is all a performance. Basically it doesn’t matter how you feel, your human hopes, dreams, desires, just put on a smiley face and start performing. And then she started talking about how she loves making money as the relentless rain smeared the windows and the weary greyness engulfed the atmosphere. And then I felt like crying and running away like the immature childish fool I am. And I felt so very sad and alone but I smiled nonetheless and vowed to improve my ways.
This is the ambition: to be moulded to the whims of retail, to the money-making hunger of capitalism, to be driven by profit. I have been wondering why I have been experiencing the resurgence of a familar and loathsome impatience, a constant pressure to hurry, an inability to relax into the bizarre beauty of life. I thought maybe I had been drinking too much coffee but I see now the tension I feel is the response to a life that is unsatisfying, the return of feeling I am wasting away my life (a comment made to me by several unhelpful people).
But this is REAL LIFE I am reminded again and again. Queueing like a pleb in the rain for a bus and a chance to stand next to a smelly old person, being stuck on the delayed Northern line for 45 minutes, 20ft under, buried alive in a tube as people start getting arsey with each other, cue Mardy Woman: “Can you turn that music down I can hear it from over here!” (response: one of the evilest glares I have ever witnessed), and mounting credit card bills, and advising women on 20 variations of black leggings, and saying ‘That looks lovely!’ to women trying on black leggings when they don’t, and as each day closes dreaming of carbs and wine…this is all REAL LIFE, man!!
Is this the best we could come up with?
(sigh). Where’s Sharath when you need him?