Skip to main content

Feeling that jet lag feeling

I'm back in Boston and I've been awake since 5am (it's fine, Mom, because I went to bed at 8). In the last hour and a half, I've had a green tea & granola snack, read a few articles, and painted my nails blue. I thought I should try to get this post out while I'm still feeling that jet lag feeling.

It's kind of weird, right? Really? I have a biological clock? Given the choice, there are times when my body would actually want to be awake? Also, if I'm still on Indian time then how come I get insurmountably sleepy when it's like 7:30am there? Huh? Everyone keeps asking me why I went to India for just a week, to screw with my sleep schedule and my emotions and more. In the plane on the way home, I was asking myself the same thing.

And then I experienced yesterday. I was just in between time zones enough that my body and my mind were totally free. I have never experienced the level of happiness or relaxation that I encountered yesterday. Adjusting to Indian time was a nightmare and I was expecting the same back here. But no.


Yesterday, I felt like I was neither in India nor the States. My mind seemed to have been left behind somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, and I was pure, blissful consciousness. I woke up at 6 to the birds chirping and the sun rising and my roommate sleeping. I didn't even know Boston had birds.

I wasn't in Punjab long enough during this trip to really get that thick Indian accent and forget which side of the street cars drive on, but I was in my "home" for just enough time to remember that there is a completely different world out there in which I can live and function as well as this one. And that's really freeing.

I think that because my body had neither adjusted to Indian mores nor American norms just yet, I was utterly and completely Ratna. I was a little weird in most of my classes, making comments that would be acceptable in I don't even know what country, but they were super instinctive (just a casual extension of my consciousness) and seemed to give my classmates a kick. I was chirpy (the four coffees are irrelevant) and happy and I think it's really comforting to know that when I'm having trouble dealing with this world, I have that other one. And when I'm experiencing issues in that world, I have this one. And if both are getting on my nerves, well, if time is such a crazy construct and I can exist in either society then why not in neither? When everything's "wrong" I hope I can hold on to that place in the middle of the Atlantic -- where I don't have to be anything specific or do anything prescribed -- and send my mind there every once in a while for a little mental spring break.

But for now, back to bed -- wish me luck with my jet lag.

Comments

  1. A lovely meditation Ratna -- mindfulness is a wonderful thing to be cultivated and such a hard thing to hold onto. Good luck as you reacclimate!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bygones -- by Marina Keegan

I had a dream the other night that I was checking my email.

That dream sucks.



And woke to woes of seniors writing

love songs for tomorrow and

Tomorrow and the melodies

That flirt us forward, whispering

the next thing and the next thing

and  – so we beat on

birds flocking south until we

circle round and realize maybe

maybe all that running wasn’t worth it.



Maybe we should build a cabin.

Or teach high school.

Or use our hands.

My palms are smooth as words –

Weak with fashion and double spaces.



I want everyone else’s club and job and class

The grass I sleep in always browner than

Than that around erasing dreams

To sit and breathe because you

Only bank for two years then it's over

And twenty two is nothing new

It’s just another chance to build

For when we’re twenty three

And twenty four

And time begins to sell for more than

Any 9 a.m. to never.



We’re not stuck.

That's the thing, we're not stuck.

We owe no one our nothings.

Yale will be what it was,

Gothic dreams of lucky, of…

Day 351: You can place your bets, world.

I started the day with a grave mistake -- eating butter chicken for breakfast. Those ten minutes of scream-inducing euphoria were hardly worth the sluggish pace and sessile nature of the rest of my day. I attempted to counteract the unfailing lethargy which results from consumption of Punjabi food by swallowing down some coffee ice cream, thereby only adding to my foods-that-should-not-be-eaten-for-breakfast list and exacerbating the problem.


We left home before noon for Shenandoah National Park, with hot air ballooning dreams for the day. We soon learned, however, that due to impending thunderstorms, this mission would not be successful. We instead spent the day exploring the side of the park we've never seen before.


We had a lunch of fried chicken at one of the park's rest stops before piling back in the car and driving around some more. At a lookout point, we met a park ranger who showed us the coat of a lynx found in the park and suggested a trail for us to hike. We fou…

My Move to Mumbai: Frequently Asked Questions

Hello, dear readers!

By now, you've probably heard the news: in Ratna's-gap-year fashion, I've taken a leap and moved to Mumbai for a one-year consultancy with Aangan Trust, a nonprofit that works to make sure that even the most vulnerable child has the right to a childhood free from trafficking, child marriage, child labor, and abuse.

Transitions are tough, and it turns out that this one is no different, even though it's one that I've chosen for myself and been very excited about for a while. It's one thing to pack up your bags from New York and move to a new place in Mumbai; it's quite another to adjust to the daily reminders of the little things you don't yet understand about where you live, and the small ways in which you don't fit in.

Part of what has made the transition tricky is a stream of (well-intentioned) questions that sometimes make me feel like I have to justify why I made the choice to be here. These can be hard for me because someti…