My Visit To Mother India | Inspiration Sun
A few months ago the phone rang and Purushottama, with his usual warm
elongated "Hello", started a conversation that would end up with
unexpected and surprising results for me. We started to talk about
this year's concert at the Albert Hall. A date had just been finalised
and the concert wheels were now ready to be set in motion. He
mentioned that he was just about to go to India with Aquarium, his
first trip with the band, to give two concerts. While he talked my
mind was picturing an imaginary India of my own I was thinking to
myself that one day, who knows when, I would venture the long journey
to my Guru's homeland. As I drifted from Pondicherry to the Taj Mahal
then to Sri Ramakrishna in the Kali temple in Dakshineshwar I was
sharply snapped out of my dreams and sat bolt upright upon hearing the
words, "You should come with us. Sahadeva, you must come to India with
us!" I think my response was "um um er er um". "It's so simple. Just
get on a plane and you'll be in India in a few hours. It's that
simple. There's nothing to think about". I so desperately wanted to
say "Yes. I would love to", but what would Guru have wanted me to do,
at that moment, I didn't know. Praying for any intuitive capacity that
I might have, I searched inwardly for an answer but there was none. I
was suddenly in the situation for the first time in my life when I had
to make a decision like this on my own. Normally I would be fine
knowing that Guru would make the decision for me and I knew whatever
happened was the right thing. So I decided to say that I was quite
busy in the next few weeks and to leave it with me and I'll get back
to him soon with an answer.
"Dad, what should I do?" "Go to India?....just like that? How much
will it cost?" "Dad. Forget about money! Should I go? Is it the right
thing?" "All the way to India well um er it will be expensive!"
"Dad!!! Right I'll ask bro. Devashishu, should I go to India?"
"Purushottama's inviting you to go with him to India? Of course you
should go!! What an incredible opportunity. How dear he is to Guru.
You must go." "Thank you, thank you, thank you."
He's my older brother. I have been trained for 37 years to listen to
him so why should I stop now. Purushottama really wanted Devashishu to
come too but he was due to go to Ireland to give classes.
All packed and ready I set off for an adventure. I would spend the
first five days with Purushottama, Bhuvaneshwari and her son Mark in a
small village 3 hours outside Bangalore. Then we would travel back to
Bangalore and meet up with the band. One concert there, and then all
aboard to Delhi for another concert, and then home. So many of us have
travelled all around the world with Guru but this felt totally new. I
was on a trip without Guru and without the disciples. New territory!!
I know I'm almost 40 but I felt like a little kid stepping into
India was more, so much more, than I hoped and wished for. Clearing
customs and stepping outside Bangalore airport at 6am I became one
with the mayhem, madness, confusion, shouting, jeering, warm,
affectionate, friendly, divinely intoxicated Mother India. Finding my
driver in the swarm we embarked on a 3-hour journey that led me away
from the big city and out into the vast lands. It was stop and start
all the way as the giant holes in the roads led to slow progress.
Passing small villages from time to time I would receive big cheers
from the children as they recognised I wasn't a local. It was all so
beautiful. The land, the people, the cows - and I could feel instantly
the spirituality there. So much more than any other place. Wow, I had
come home well, to one of my homes.
I arrived at the village of Puttaparthi and was welcomed by
Purushottama's outstretched arms, "Welcome Brother". Purushottama was
in his Indian attire. Kurta top and bottom, Mala beads, no trace of
western ways - he was lost in India's charms and magic. We stayed in a
nice and quiet hotel. I settled in and in the next few days I too
forgot the west, said goodbye to the jeans and t-shirt, kurta top and
bottom for me too. It was hot and dry. The perfect weather with warm
winds and beautiful scents. It was heaven. I really mean it. This was
There was no schedule. Each day was a law unto itself taking us any
direction it wished. In the early hours I would meet Purushottama on
the roof of the hotel for the sunrise. "In India you cannot miss the
sunrise. Not even one day." he would say. I challenged myself. You can
do this. As my friends will attest to, I'm not an early riser. But
here in India everything around is encouraging you. We would sit
together and see the sun shower its first rays over the hills.
Purushottama is a meditator. A natural. He would pull me along.
Inwardly I would thank Guru so earnestly for this experience. I felt
in the sun Guru's face smiling back at us.
To be honest, I think we both headed for the bed after the early
inspiration was over. Getting those extra few hours I'm sure was
necessary to keep us going during the day. In the mornings I was free
to have my own adventure. I would meet up with them for a late
breakfast. Jumping eagerly into a tuktuk I rode around the village and
out into the smaller villages around. I saw all around me the life
depicted in Guru's stories. I could see Guru as a little boy playing
marbles in the street, walking and talking to his cow, up to tricks
with his brothers and sisters. There was so much family warmth and
affection everywhere. There were also the characters, the village
idiot, the crazy man, the blind and maimed, the beggars, the market
women, the shopkeepers, the priests. But where was the Zamindar? I
never did get to see one. After years of playing them I felt sure I
would bump into one. Not to be.
In this simple life there was so much joy. I knew this as theory but
to actually see it and feel it is such a thing. Being mutual café
lovers we spent hours talking about all sorts over espressos (double
and triple). We discussed Guru, Life, Music, the Future, Masters,
Monty Python. He has a great sense of humour and loves nearly all
things British. We got talking about the concert and he said he wanted
the stage to be a temple garden. He wanted the audience to be brought
into another world, an inspiring and spiritually uplifting world. We
talked about the musicians or rather the instruments he would like to
have. His Russian band would not be accompanying him on this concert
so a whole new band had to be found. "We need sitar, harmonium, Irish
pipes, tablas, Irish drums" My mind boggled. I knew I was in for a
to be continued...
From: Inspiration Sun Edition 5