India Part 1 or Holy Mother (of chaos)

Um. India.
Let's start by saying that I'm currently in the "Detroit" of India. So whatever images that conjures up for you are probably pretty damn similar to reality. People, buses, bicycles, motorbikes, and of course no Indian road would be complete without tons and tons of rickshaws. Which are the focus of this post...

Yesterday we took a rickshaw or "tuktuk" as they're lovingly called from Injambakkam where we are staying, to Chennai. The drive is pretty far because we're living about 30 kilometers south. Yes, I said kilometers...no, I don't totally know how that translates into miles-something like two k's per mile?
The point being that it was far and heavily trafficked and we were riding in an oversized covered trike. Next to buses. And cars. I think that our driver was the most adventuresome tuktuk master in all the land literally weaving in and out of impossibly small spaces for over an hour. I am sure this is what everyone says...in fact, I know this is what everyone says. "My driver was the craziest, etc, etc. But seriously.
This guy.


Me, I was utterly panicked for the first, oh hour or so. I was gripping the seat, I was gripping Veronika, I was gripping for dear life. But finally (after a seriously tense hour) two things occurred to me.
The first was that I probably wasn't going to die (most importantly) and the second was the utter sense of peace with which this guy managed the incredible stimulus around him. The whole situation reminded me of when you first start yoga and you're pretty sure that you might die and there are so many things going on and you're just gripping all of your muscles for dear life, but pretty soon (most likely in savasana) you recognize the incredible possibility for peace which arises out of your practice.


In the tuktuk, after I remembered that I have breath, and then remembered that I have breath awareness, I began to be able to ease up on the intensity of my gripping. And bit by bit I opened up this breath awareness to a greater awareness of what was actually happening. Better said I opened up to a different possible reality.
And then finally I allowed our driver's sense if peace to eventually become my own sense of peace, things got a lot more enjoyable. So that's my lesson from Chennai; finding serenity amid the beautiful commotion. Accepting this new flow of life to which I am being exposed and learning to find the underlying possibility of peace.