When you first clicked onto my blog, you may have asked yourself “what does Lotus in the City mean?” It is simply a metaphor – a state of being that I’ve felt throughout my whole life. I’ve always felt that I am constantly trying to keep myself balanced in a dualistic state.
An example of this is my BA (Hons) English and American Studies Undergraduate Degree. The straight English degree students were taking modules on Old English so my friends would have their little in jokes, which I wasn’t a part of. The straight American Studies degree students developed their own little tight-knit group because they were together all of the time. It was kind of like I was popping in and out of both group with no loyalties to either side.
This feeling of duality has definitely cut deeper than this. I am a second generation British Indian and have never met another full second generation BI. When I say “full”, I mean both of my parents are born in Britain and their parents are both from India but then immigrated to Britain. This can often be quite confusing and difficult to balance because there is no one who knows exactly how I feel (a part from my brothers, but I’m the oldest). This was particularly apparent to me when I went to secondary school, particularly in high school. I hung out with a lot of British people and I only realised I hung out with predominately British people when others pointed it out to me. I never felt very connected with other Indian people in my school and never felt like I understood “their culture” even though I am British Indian too.
I think that because I was cultured in a British family, I had a lot in common with British people. I was still bought up with Indian values and definitely am close to my Indian roots, especially through my Mum and grandparents but I think things would be quite different if I was first generation. This was never a sticking out factor to me because I was happy listening to rock music with my friends. It was only later on when people started to focus on the fact that they were my white friends that I felt like I was straddling a line between being British and Indian – apparently you can’t really be both… but I am.
This feeling of a dualistic state does seem to follow me around. It is very difficult to be living in London and to practice Yoga and meditation. It’s a very busy place and people think it’s full of life. I definitely agree there are events and fun things to do but I think it’s lifeLESS until you really find the beauty. I look around and people robotically take the tube to work, work until their ears bleed, go out for drinks and then repeat. If that’s what makes you happy, great. But, does that really make you happy? I do live in London so I try and use this as a positive challenge – to really focus my mind in Yoga and meditation. It definitely is proving difficult, but that’s OK.
I am a lotus with strong Indian roots that is now flourishing and growing in the City of London – trying to find my way through the London abyss.