Its my last week in India and as usual, after such a long stay, leaving brings with it a mix of emotions. The last five months have certainly been eventful! I feel like I have taken another big step forward in my musical journey. Having learnt so much, I once again realise how little I actually know. Not trying to be overtly humble or anything, I have just come to appreciate that pursuing an art is about surrendering one’s self to the moment, immersing one’s self in the process, and doing it whole heartedly no matter what stage you are at on your journey.
During my stay Calcutta has cemented itself as my favourite Indian city. This is despite the fact that it sometimes feels impossible to get anything done with businesses and street vendors casually setting up shop anytime between 10am and mid day, then closing after lunch for the most extravagant siesta period imaginable, and reopening again only for the evening. Offices and banks on the other hand often just call it a day after lunch! Its a sleepy city, but a relaxed one and one in which art and culture are abundant. Its also ridiculously cheap – my benchmark being potatos at only 10p per kilo!
Some of the things I’ll miss are: popping round the corner to the Mithāī (Indian sweets) shop for mind blowing desserts on a daily basis, night time strolls in the beautiful SRA campus taking in the smells of the spring blossoms, wearing flip flops everywhere, shopping in Calcutta’s markets, and of course the fantastic music and time spent with my Guruji.
Some of the things I won’t miss are: the noise, the pollution, the dust(!), the very dodgy canteen food, filling out pointless forms and waiting around for ages to get the simplest tasks done.
My last few days here will be occupied with last minute shopping and tailoring. Basically things that I can’t afford back home!
This time next week I’ll be back in London! And with that comes a period of reacclimatisation in which I will have to wake myself out of the slumber of Calcutta and adjust to London’s relentless pace of life once again. Lots of exciting musical projects to get back to which helps. Am I ready? You bet ‘ya!