Birthday in India and Seeing my first Movie in India, What an experience!
Birthday in India and Seeing my first Movie in India, What an experience!

Birthday in India and Seeing my first Movie in India, What an experience!

Hello Friends.

If you’re like me, you sometimes find it difficult to go with the flow. You want to plan everything out and have a set schedule, but sometimes life doesn’t allow for that. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and see where it takes you. I’m still working on this myself, but I’m trying to embrace the chaos and just go with the flow. I’m finding that it’s actually a lot of fun, and I’m getting to do a lot of new things that I never would have done if I had stuck to my original plan. So if you’re struggling with this, too, just remember that it’s okay to go with the flow every once in a while.

As part of a workaway project, I talked with teh Swasti Yoga Centre  Yoga Studio in Pune, India, and agreed to say here for a little and work with them. They would provide a place to stay and meals, and I would do what I can to assist them with what they do.

The owner, Vikas, and his wife, Shwetambari are some of the nicest people I have ever met. They opened up their home and lives to me, a total stranger and that is epic beyond words.

This is the story of that first day (*second day in India).

The evening was Vikas’s teachers birthday party, they invited me to join with them and celebrate together. The plan was to leave at 4 pm, then drive over and celebrate with them.

Hoping in the car, Vikas weaved in and out of traffic like a snake in tall grass. Bobbing and weaving with the grace of a boxer. The chaos of the road, did not phase him in the least, he was calm and collected…  While I was in the back, sorta lost and taking in the sights and sounds around us, at times worried, but it was all good.


His teacher lived about an hour away, that was with traffic, I think no traffic, perhaps 25 min away.

So we had a good deal of time to talk about life and India. Today was also the birthday of a famous Indian king who helped to liberate India from the Mongols.  Around us, there was a lot of partying in the streets. I managed to get this photo of the bust of the king set up. Later on at night, these places would light up with people enjoying the celebration.


Arriving at the house of Vikas’s teacher, he was surprised to see us, and welcomed them and me into his home. It was a nice experience. Again, very open and warm to a stranger coming in.

We all talked and enjoyed the day, then the birthday ceremony started.

Everyone, one at a time, would take a bit of rice and sprinkle it on his head, make a few small circles with a coin, and a lit lantern. These are blessings of good luck and fortune, I was later told. Then he would give them some money.

After this, the cake was brought out, everyone would take turns feeding him some cake. These traditions are different than the ones I know, but to see the family coming together was quite beautiful.

It was all a lot of fun to be part of, and the energy was high.

Here is a photo of the cake, before it was cut up and served.


This is all of us waiting for the party to start. The house was so nice, I wanted to take more photos, but also did not want to come off as being rude.


Much to my delight, there was also very tasty food presented to us. Some sweet, some tasty. One thing that I am still not used to… even though I thought it would be easy, is eating with my hands… Yes, for most meals here, they do not use utensils, but eat with their hands.

Sure,  easy I thought, but it turns out, that it is much more tricky than I would believe it would. For real, next time you eat, just use your hands, see how well you do.  Hahaha.


Shwetambari composted a poem as a gift, As part of the gift, she recited it. The poem was designed with a call and response.

While it was in Hindi, from what others told me, it was a beautiful poem from the heart about how their teacher influenced and helped them and others grow.


Everyone talked and smiled, a conversation about healing arts, yoga, life and more. Most of the time it was in Hindi, so I was a bit lost, but, now and again, someone would take pity on me and translate the subject of the current conversation.

All in all, fantastic subjects, and great times with lifelong friends. I was blessed to be part of such an experience.


Here is Shwetambari, their teacher and Vikas, posing next to the poem that Shwetambari composed.


The party must have been several hours, I am not too sure, as it seemed like time went quickly. I was given the sign, and it was time to go.

When in the car earlier on, Vikas was telling me about a film that came out here called “The Kashmir Files” (IMDB LINK HERE).

This film is about the genocide that happened about 30 years ago in the Kashmir region in India, and the confusion a lot of Indians still have about what happened, and why it happened.

A lot of people also fought for the release of the film in India, and other groups opposed it getting released, however it was released.

Vikas asked if I would like to go see it, I said yes and away we went. It was about an hour ride to the theater. We also picked up and dropped off another one of the party guests, but we did make it to the theater just in time.


Carnival Cinemas, what a place. We did have to walk through several metal detectors… I did set one off, but no one stopped me.


Here are Vikas and Shwetambari, two amazing people with warm hearts.


I am not sure how long the film was, we dd have an intermission at the halfway mark. During intermission, you could order food, then go to your seat, and attendants would bring it to you when ready. WOW. That was nice!

As for the film, it was quite heavy. Even though I did not understand most of it, as it was in Hindi with only a few subtitles, I got the basic understanding, and I asked Vikas many questions at intermission and after. I understood the larger plot point and what the director was going for. I would like to see it in English to better grasp the subtle message as well.

I say, go see the film, It is powerful and helps shed light on a confusing subject.

After the film, we exited. Not quite knowing what to say, we walked in silence for a while. Only after did I break it with more questions about the film and plot points.


A short walk to the car and more questions from me, It was time to head home, back to the Swasti Yoga Centre. 

After bidding my new friends good night, I had some work to do, and had a goal of waking up at 6:30 am for the Yoga class. So, off to sleep with me. 🙂

Good night friends, hope you are all going to have a great day.

If you like this story, here is about India, a land of diversity with a rich culture and history.

Tim on a Rock
Tim on a Rock
Roaming Sparrow is a project by Tim Mack. It is a life on the road, an adventure to gain knowledge and share genuine experiences.
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