Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Spontaneous Awakening and Justification of my new song "I Don't Know" takes place in the "so-called" Slums of Mumbai!!

Ever since we have been back in Mumbai and there has been an inkling to go and visit the slum regions of the city and interact with the smiling faces and raw enthusiasm that I feel is the saving net from the rapid plunge into materialism!! I have come to the realization that the slums are the power source in India's fast growing cities. They provide the sense of community and village life that the cities actually seem to be built up around. I have heard in recent news that they actually want to destroy all the slums and move the people into low cost housing, but, really, all the slums are is a village in the middle of a concrete jungle. It is the concrete jungle that has constantly thrown it's trash and waste into these areas that have made it the disaster that it looks to be. But, as my new song "I Don't Know" states, 'how do we, link our place, to re-invent a space that we call a disgrace.... When I see only joy on the children's face....and, can't we see that with our selfish need to see the world the way in which we believe we could be planting seeds of material needs......I don't know!!!!

Finally after flowing through the day one afternoon, looking for a planetarium that was closed for the afternoon, we decided to walk toward the sea shore in the glimpse of the winter sun setting on the glowing waters. On our journey we found out that my great friend Mai made the front page of a local paper doing free-hugging in a busy area in South Mumbai. Then, the slum life pulled us in. Next thing we knew, we were being happily dragged into a run-down but extravagantly colorful village located right on the seaside of one of the Mumbai's most prestigious areas. Smiling faced youngsters, full of that purity of light-hearted energy stared and smiles at us speaking broken English and insisting we come in for a visit. Well, our tour of the slum life and the recognizing of the value of the song had realized itself and came to us, full steam ahead. We were first escorted to a pastor in the village whom spoke the best English. This man, believe it or not, could not even walk months ago but has found the internal strength of the Christ to lift him up to his feet and plaster an everlasting smile on his face. As we were walking through the crowded, claustrophobic alleys surrounded by Youth and receiving the blissful smiles of all we past, we could not help but think of how spacious this constricted area felt in essence. You have to imagine thousands of people living in a space the size of a block or so, stacking 4 to 5 in small rooms that were doubled as kitchens. We embraced the entirety of the situation and felt more honored and blessed to be welcomed into these tiny rooms and served tea and cookies then we would have been being welcomed into the king's castle. These are the type of people that would give you their last grain of rice as a symbol of their abundance of giving and selflessness. An ear to ear smile came over me that I could not help but share with all those whom came in the radius of 100's of meters. We had arrived in the soul of the city, sharing space with people free from the thwarted wanting and desire based living of the struggling middle class. The people had nothing to hide, they had nothing to be afraid of, and, truly, nothing to be upset about. They were surrounded by a loving and heart centered community of people that would be there until the day that they died. They had "community, love, joy, nature and harmony.." -another set of lyrics from the song!! And, they also had a strong connection with GOD and spiritual practice. We were blessed to receive blessing from two different pastors in our short time in the area. We could feel the high connection and vibration of liberation in their very speech. They believed in the almighty taking care of their every moment. They believed in the power of prayer and they wished to share that belief with all the world, as they felt so strong. We were practically knocked off of our feet by the power and intensity of the prayer and intention that they had showered upon us!!!!

When I think about this remarkable experience, I find myself rooted in the belief of simplicity bringing the power and love into the world. There are people all over this city that are wrapped inside of the material system of work and buy, work and buy!! When you spend a mere moment with the people spending more time with each other, taking care of the day to day, but honoring the great flow of life, living by the sea, trusting and staying true to each other's needs and smiling endlessly, is their really a reason for all the cunning????? I Don't Know!!

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