Ganges. The beautiful flowing river. The river is personified as the Goddess Ganga. I heard someone refer to it as ‘Ganga Ma” (Mother). I had the privilege of standing on the banks of the river Ganga earlier this week in Rishikesh, dipping my feet in her holiness, feeling the force of her flow and suddenly so much happened within me.
Catharsis. That’s what I felt.
I struggle within myself. There are emotions that have been suppressed over childhood, that at times seek solace. They come out and as an adult it becomes harder to deal with it, as we are supposed to be in charge of our emotions. So, the suppression continues. Emotional padding is done. Band-aids put in place, until it re-surfaces. It’s a cycle. Some emotional set back can trigger a reaction and then the cycle continues. It’s a tough place at times. So, I struggle, as I know many do.
So, there in that moment, as I saw the river flow it occurred to me how selfless the river was. It just flowed. It took with it all that flowed with it – all that was dropped into it.
Ganga Ma, the flowing river taught me lessons:
- She is powerful. She knows her strength. Be like her.
- She goes with the flow. Be like her. Just flow. Just be.
- She takes everything in her stride and drops some things along the way. So can I.
- Some stay part of the way, some will stay the course. Remember that all are not meant to be on the journey together forever.
- She goes through ups and downs, yet remained focussed on her journey. Never faltering. So, there is a lesson in it.
- Her destination was controlled by so many – dams, canals, bridges, but the journey was her real gift. That’s so true for all of us. Enjoy the journey.
- She showed love and she showed her anger – both felt by those who understood her. It was okay to show emotions but only to those who are part of the journey and care.
- Most of all she showed me how to cleanse – the mind, the body and the soul, and to keep growing. Every moment. Every day.
- She taught me to give selflessly. Without expectations. Unconditionally.
I stood there, humbled, hands folded, eyes closed, in prayer. Just listening to her flow. Feeling her energy within me. Wanting to capture that moment inside me so I could carry it beyond that evening.
I felt it was time to cleanse myself. Of my old baggages. Leaving behind those that needed to get off that flowing river. Carrying along new souls as part of the journey. Just being. Just loving. Just living.
Catharsis. Release. Peace. Seeking comfort within. Food and substance was no longer my comfort. I had found my peace. My release.
“A Ticking Time Bomb”.
That was the blunt description given the mounting problem of Type 2 Diabetes within the South Asian Diaspora community in the United Kingdom a few years ago.
According to research, immigrants to the UK from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other nations from South Asia are six times more likely than the indigenous white population to develop Type 2 Diabetes.
Whilst current evidence is inconclusive as to why British Asians are more susceptible to the disorder, medical experts have pointed to the twin evils of a diet high in carbohydrates and saturated fatty acids (all those chapattis and rice dishes) as well as alarmingly low levels of physical activity, especially among older South Asian women, as two of the most significant contributory factors to a problem that is certain to put a huge burden on families and the community at large.
Alarmingly, there is widespread ignorance about Type 2 Diabetes within the community, according to medical experts, which threatens the lives of thousands.
Mumbai-born, with ten amazing years in New Zealand, now North London-based marketing and advertising expert, Raga D’silva was among those ignorant masses.
The 46-year-old mother of twins, whose family had a history of Diabetes, was diagnosed with this illness in 2012. The news brought about a radical change in Raga and has inspired her to help others with Diabetes and raise awareness.
Pic courtesy: Nicola Fenton.