Thursday, November 17, 2011

I met Gita Saar

Anyone who has read Gita Saar (Essence of the Holy Bhagvad Gita) knows the following line from it:

What is yours today, belonged to someone else yesterday and shall belong to someone else tomorrow.

It is nice to have this up on the Facebook status once in a while or preach it to a youngster. But when it comes to imbibing the essense and embodying the same, I hadn't met anyone who was able to do so in real life. I always assumed it would be someone who had renounced the world and was on his/her way to the Himalayas.

So, imagine my surprise when I met Dr. Anne Hilty a few years back, a Health Psychology practitioner from New York who was traveling the world in the quest which she best described as 'I am searching for home'. Where you feel at home need not necessarily be where you were born or you lived. She had travelled half way across the world and had stopped in India before she went ahead.

My first reaction was, "How strange it is to leave a roaring practice of 15 years in New York to go looking for peace and home like this. These Americans I tell you." But as I got to know her over the couple of days she spent at my place in Mumbai, I knew there was something different about her. She also changed the way I made sweeping statements about Americans.

One day she asked me, "Here are some of my clothes I want to give away. Can you paas them onto someone who might be able to use them?" I hoped to find old and worn out clothes. I was wrong again. She was giving away everything that she had. She called it 'divesting'. I was touched. I passed on everything she had asked me to give away, except a pair of black trousers. They were too good to be passed on. Unfortunately, I don't fit into them. Tad bit tight for me. I hung them in my cupboard. They keep a check on me every time I want to go berserk buying clothes that I don't need.

She was meant to stop by to share an important lesson which I had been chanting since childhood but never could practice. To give up everything you have and start all over again, again and again in a new place, is something I am yet to even think about, let alone do it.

Anne Hilty
She has finally found 'home' in Jeju Island in the Republic of Korea.  It is a treat to read her articles on the deep sea women Divers 'Jeju Diving Women', Shamanism 'Beyond Tangerines and Palm Trees' etc.

You can read more about her on Anne Hilty - Psychologist & Writer. Her research interests include the balance of societal change with cultural preservation, women's empowerment and eco-feminism, deep ecology, shamanism as indigenous psychology, and the healing of trauma in post-conflict societies. She is currently pursuing a secondary specialization in peace psychology.

Why did I feel like writing about her right now???

Because she just went and 'divested' once again while I shopped like mad for Diwali.


  1. I think those who don't have want to have and those who have want to give up .. that is the trend I see around.

  2. Yes I see a lot of people who want to give up things too....but hadn't met anyone who 'has' given it was an eye opener for me to know that there are people like that.

  3. Funny I am just doing a set of book reviews about people who have uprooted from former lives and reinvented themselves in other countries, other situations. The ball and chain that keeps most of us from taking off are family commitments. As for stuff..the clothes situation can be drastically simplified, but I cannot part with books.

  4. What a coincidence. Books & fabric that I have collected over time n places....just can't seem to part with them....n then there are DVDs n shoes...what a vicious cycle.

    I know what you mean about the family ties. Bonds become the bondage at times. But they are such pretty chains to cling onto.

  5. hey Shriraj :) thanks for stopping by and reading the post


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