Doing relief work in a Bollywood, not Hollywood, setting

Both Namarupa and Eddie Stern have posted more first-hand reporting on relief efforts in northern India, following this summer’s massive floods.

A little bit for you with the ever-present reminder that you can donate to Namarupa’s efforts:

Two weeks had passed since my arrival at Sivananda Seva Samiti Ashram to serve doing relief work for the victims of June’s flood, and I was feeling useless: catching information through the mist of the language barrier, with Indian “yes sayers,” head-bobbing, and tasks starting “tomorrow.” It was slow to figure out the situation. We unloaded a truck of supplies to cross the damaged bridge at Gangori, then distributed it to villagers from 15 km around, reaching about 4,000 families. Apart from that I was truly making good use of the auspicious time of year that it was for sadhana, in accordance with Swami Janardananda’s advice, and quite the opposite of my willingness to help. In such a situation sometimes the greatest challenge is to wake up early enough to practice, practice, practice.

So what about relief work? Isn’t there anything to do? Sure there is, and a lot. But this is India. We are not in a Hollywood movie where Bruce Willis saves the world at the last minute. No, we are rather in a Bollywood one, so first we’ll have a chai, then a choreographed routine in the flowers, then a namkeen and then another chai.

Hear that? “A lot” to do. I know, that’s a bit of an aggressive “get to it” take from us. But … you know. Get on it.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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