One chapter closes and another one opens up. For me this came in the form of some well-earned rest. My parents were visiting India so I figured I’d have some family time before getting back on the yoga.
On Wednesday I flew to my home in Samatra, Gujarat. Here, you won’t find much. A small village with perhaps 2,000 people and acres of farmland. It’s a very special place for me and I absolutely love coming back. I remember the first time I came, my Dad showed me the home where he was born and the school he went to. I was perhaps 11 years old at the time and seeing the village where my dad grew up in was pretty cool. Before this, my idea of home was London. I hadn’t really thought about home through the goggles of a timeline. Coming to Samatra gives me a sense of origin and paints a picture of all the historic phases leading up to the present.
In 1930, my grandparents left Samatra to head for Mombasa, Kenya. Here they set up a construction business right from scratch. My granddad was known for having a tireless work ethic and would stop at nothing until his goal was achieved. It’s no surprise then that the business ended up being one of the biggest in Mombasa. 30 years later in 1960 they decided to come back to Samatra and geared up for yet another big move. In 1970, my grandparents and all 8 kids made the permanent move to head for London. At the time, they didn’t understand a word of English and knew nothing about the way of life in the west. All of them lived under one roof and all energy was focused towards earning money. Money was a vital resource for building the necessary foundation for future generations. As you can imagine, the early days were very tough and a survivalist mentality was adopted. Through sheer hard work and a can-do attitude they some how managed to make ends meet.
Fast-forward almost 50 years, my dad and his 7 siblings are now the proud parents/grandparents of over 80 children! From nothing they managed to not only survive but thrive as a collective force. Strength in unity as my uncle likes to say.
My family story is not all that uncommon however. Gujarati people now live in many countries such as the UK, USA and Canada. In fact, a third of all indian emigrants are gujarati. This figure is closer to 50% in the UK! It seems we are certainly not shy of moving homes. Why? I can only image that the reason would be in search of a better life. If history is anything to go by then the countries we currently live in may soon be a distant memory. Recently a small number have moved to Australia for a more outdoorsy, balanced life. I wonder where next, will we go full circle and return back home? Who knows? One thing is for sure, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I have to keep ties with the motherland. I mean the mangos are so freeekin’ good!
There it is, a masterful historic distraction. Distraction from the fact that I have been in shavasana the last couple of days, doing minimal yoga. I blame my mums cooking, she force fed me dosas with fresh chutney so that I was always too bloated to do yoga.