So I'm pretty much good to go, as far as India is concerned. The only thing I need to do is to purchase the airline tickets to Singapore and India, pack, get my ass on the plane, and I'll be in Mysore in no time, right? So what am I waiting for? you may be wondering. Why am I procrastinating about purchasing the airline tickets?
Well... here's why. Due to my current immigration status in this country, I actually have to go to Singapore (where I'm from) first before I go to India: Unless I go through an interview with the U.S. Consulate in Singapore and have the guys there process the relevant immigration paperwork, I won't be able to re-enter this country after I am done with Mysore. Which means that I have to physically be in Singapore. Which means that going to Singapore is a necessary evil that has to be endured, a Dragon Gate that the carp (i.e. me) has to pass through in order to become a dragon, if you will pardon the rather self-aggrandizing metaphor here...
Oh wait! If you are not Chinese, this whole carp/dragon metaphor will most likely be lost on you, and you will probably be reading this and scratching your head right about now. My apologies. Well, let me briefly explain. In Chinese mythology, there is this magical waterfall somewhere in which many carps live. At the top of the waterfall is a magical gate named the Dragon Gate; it is so named because if a carp succeeds in swimming against the current to the top of the waterfall and going through the gate, it turns into a dragon. And a dragon is a symbol of power and good fortune in Chinese mythology. So all carps want to become dragons. But only a very small number succeed in actually reaching the top of the waterfall and passing through the Dragon Gate.
An artist's depiction of the carp reaching the Dragon Gate
[Image taken from here]
Well, I don't deny I have a big ego. Guilty as charged. Totally. I won't even bother to defend myself. But even I know better than to have unrealistic expectations of my first trip to Mysore. If all the Mysore experiences I have read so far are any indication, I'll probably spend the first two weeks in Mysore just barely making it through primary (if Sharath even lets me get that far), and I'll probably spend my non-practicing hours wondering the streets of Mysore as a super-jet-lagged zombie-fied shell of my former, ahem, glorious self. And then, before I know it, it'll be time to pack up and leave. So yeah, even though I have a big ego, I think I still know a little better than to have unrealistic expectations.
Okay, but what about the Singapore part? Why is going to the place where you were born and grew up a necessary evil? I suspect that a proper answer to this question will take a few blog posts, which I am not in the mood to write right now. Suffice it to say that, given that I haven't been back there in years (I'm not going to tell you how many), I'm going to be encountering family and friends whom I haven't seen in as many years (and with whom I haven't done a very good job of staying in touch with), and who will now probably be pointing their mental (and maybe even physical) fingers at this ungrateful asshole who is now finally, after all these years, returning for a couple of weeks just so he can go on to this wonderful yoga vacation in India.
Again, guilty as charged. Again, I won't even bother to defend myself. But let me just make this little observation: Why do so many people in this world assume that there is some special significance in the geographical location in which you happen to have been born and grew up? Okay, perhaps there are many people in this world who were born and grew up in one place, and then go on to live quite happy lives in that same place till the day they die. I have no quarrel with that. If this rocks their boat, more power to them. But sometimes I think that these people assume that just because this experience applies to them, it must apply to everybody else, and that there is therefore something "wrong" with somebody who has chosen to live his life in a place that is not the place where he was born and grew up. I honestly do not understand this mentality at all. And since I don't understand it, I guess I won't bother to critique it either: Why criticize something you don't understand?
But anyway, to cut a very long story short, this is why I have been procrastinating the past few days about purchasing my airline tickets to Singapore and India: I seriously, seriously dread going to Singapore. There, I said it. Going to Singapore is, for me, the spiritual and emotional equivalent of having my wisdom teeth pulled (except I probably won't derive any wisdom here, only a lot of unnecessary anger and mental and possibly physical finger pointing, which is all very very bad for my drishti... have you ever wondered why there is no yoga pose which involves pointing your index finger and looking at it?).
Of course, if I were more spiritually evolved than I am right now, all of this would be a piece of cake. Just go to Singapore, breathe deeply the whole freaking time, and smile or be totally indifferent to any unappealing/insulting things directed at me... after all, doesn't Yoga Sutra 1.33 talk about being indifferent towards the wicked? Okay, I wouldn't go so far as to call my well-meaning friends and family "wicked", but I think you get the idea...
The trouble, of course, is that I am not half as spiritually evolved as I sometimes pretend to be on this blog (like you didn't already know this, anyway...). I get super-mad and worked up over things that totally are not worth getting super-mad and worked up about; if you knew about the things that I get super-mad and worked-up over in my everyday life, you'll laugh your ass off ("What?! This guy actually does yoga a couple of hours every morning and writes a yoga blog? Impossible!"). So knowing myself (and unless I happen to be dead wrong about my "wicked" family and friends), I will probably be a quivering mess of super-mad energy during the two weeks I am in Singapore. And then when I arrive in Mysore, my hips will be all tight from all this super-madness. And then Sharath and his assistants will have a field day adjusting me all over the place.
Oh well. But I guess I'll get over this procrastination soon, and get those airline tickets already. After all, what are my options? Not go to Mysore? After all the crazy shit that I went through over the last couple of months on account of this? No way, no way. But it feels good to bitch about things now and again. After all, what good is a blog if you can't throw a little pity party on it every now and again, right? But hey, thanks for reading this and putting up with this pity party. At least you know I don't do this too often. Yoga in the Dragon's Den will (hopefully) presently resume its usual friendly, non-threatening, non-pity-partying tone of voice. Thanks for reading, as always.