Karmabhoomi: the land of your destiny
I came across this most excellent word while reading Maximum City by Suketu Mehta. The book is about Bombay (Mumbai) and the word is used by a (real) character, a 17-year-old poet who lives on the footpath. He left his village to live hard in sin city because Bombay inspires him. He’s a gentle soul living a brutal life and finding beauty in the daily struggles of a bursting megalopolis.
“Why do you live here,” Suketu understandably wonders. “Because this is my karmabhoomi,” our hero replies. “The land of my destiny.”
I know exactly how he feels. Except he has more courage than me. I feel that India is the land of my karmabhoomi – but I have not yet left my comfortable life in the middle-class bubble of North America to go and live my destiny.
I have traveled quite a lot, in Europe, North America and Asia, and lived in Japan, but it wasn’t until I went to India that I felt a deep, instinctive and irrational affinity that I now identify as finding my soul culture. I felt at home there. It doesn’t make any sense, but there it is.
And now a large portion of every day is spent longing, planning, scheming and dreaming about going back to India. My karmabhoomi.
I would love to know what others think about this idea of soul culture; if others have felt that mysterious connection.
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