New Delhi, INDIA - Home Maker
Interview made by Cyril Bruyelle in September 2017
After interviewing Manish, a Yoga teacher in Delhi, he told me that he could introduce me to another person to whom he gives yoga class. That’s Nomita. We met her in her flat in the center of New Delhi, with her daughter and her dog playing around while we were doing the interview. Nomita’s interview is part of these interviews which gave me chills. Maybe because she was putting words on thing that I adhere to, maybe also because she had answers that I never heard before, like the second one about the coffee. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
That’s very long ago, when I was a kid … So many things! I remember I wanted to have a very big house when I was a kid.
What did I want to be … it’s hard but I guess I wanted to be happy. I never thought about any career as such but I was happy and I wanted to be happy.
I remember I wanted a big house … and I never thought about how I’d get it, just a big house and that’s it.
With whom would you like to have a coffee?
I think maybe alone with myself. I like being with myself the most.
I think the greatest thoughts that I have ever had were in relation to my environment and people around me. But they come to fruition when I think about it.
There are a lot of interesting people in the world doing a lot of interesting things. But for me to really think about it and enjoy that experience or that concept, I need to spend time thinking about it.
So the most fun I have is to maybe read about something, or know about something then think about it by myself.
Just to talk with somebody over coffee is not where I would have the most enjoyment.
Maybe I can come away with some thoughts.
But I like to spend time with myself, that’s when I have the most fun actually.
If you could choose something to be taught in every school around the world, what would it be?
To really accept that you are complete, that you don’t really need to learn too many things. I wish we could stay the way we are when we are child.
So rather than educate or teach, it would be to encourage kids to stay the way they are: open, full of wonder, full of curiosity, you can learn and unlearn at the same time.
To not reach that point when you’re so full of thoughts and ideas that you’ve been given by others that you forget who you are.
So just to remember that you are complete the way you are, and the way you’re made is the way you’re meant to be.
You don’t need to take up so many things from your culture or your country or your religion - then it becomes totally something else.
So just to remember who you are and that you are complete as you are.
To you, what’s the main characteristic that all human being have in common?
It should be the humanity. But very few human beings are actually fully human.
So it’s not humanity unfortunately.
Self-preservation maybe. Maybe all of us have at, and how we achieve that self-preservation is different for everyone.
But I’d like to think that we will some day reach a world where what all human beings have in common is humanity.
To you, who is the happiest person on earth?
A new-born, a new-born baby. Any new-born baby in any species; they’re so happy just to be here. They don’t really care about anything else. I think that’s the pinnacle of happiness, the moment you’re born. The mother’s the happiest and the baby’s the happiest!
If you were President of the US, what would your first reform be?
First reform? Maybe shut down all the banks.
Get rid of the money and go back to the barter system so that people are actually living in the real world, they’re no longer exchanging pieces of paper but they’re exchanging their gifts.
I would actually be thinking about what my gift is and create that and exchange that for someone else’s gift.
All your consumerism would stop, I can’t just go out with pieces of paper and buy anything I want.
Probably in every country we should shut down the banks and go back to the barter system.
What do you need?
What do I need? Good health.
And good health of my loved ones.
And that’s it actually, if you have good health you can do anything.
What would you do if we gave you 1 million dollar now?
I’d give it to whoever needs it.
There are so many people in the streets in India who don’t even have food or clothes; I’d give it to them.
Which innovation, realistic or not, would greatly ease your day-to-day life?
Some way to use all the garbage that we’re producing in the whole world. Something to utilise that garbage so that it’s not piling up all the plastic. Some way to either stop plastic or make it biodegradable.
We urgently need to get rid of plastic in that world. I think our children are going to drown in it if we don’t stop using it.
What’s the news that affects you the most in your country these days?
There’s so much, it’s hard to choose…The corruption in the political system.
Because if the people who are leading the country don’t care about where the country is heading, where the people are going, then nothing is ever going to change. And each time you have hope that there will be someone with integrity in politics, it actually never happens, it’s very disappointing. You feel very helpless because you cannot make any change yourself, so you want to rely on the politicians, but it never happened in my entire adult life to be satisfied with a politician.
So that is very disturbing.
Do you think your life is easier or more complicated than the life of your parents?
It’s easier in some ways and harder in others.
But certainly when I think back to when I was a child, I was happier.
I think that’s true for everyone in every generation so I don’t know if that’s saying much, because as a child you’re always happier than you are as an adult.
But I don’t think that technology has brought it as much ease as we think it has, because often I feel I’m addicted to my phone and I don’t want to be, I want to just not have my phone. But if I don’t have my phone I feel very uncomfortable. I’d rather be a person who never knew what a cell phone is than to always want to stay connected to that cell phone.
It’s easier because I can be connected, but it’s harder because I am compulsively connected.
If you had to create a company, what would it be?
Some way to combine maybe garbage disposal and education.
Both things I feel are very close to my heart because unless we educate our children the right way, we will never be able to change where we are today.
So we have to do both things : education and some way to get rid of all the garbage that we’re accumulating.
Can you draw something beautiful?
Without colours ? I’d like some colour!
I’d like to draw the rainbow but that’s all the colours you have so…
We never see rainbows in Delhi anymore because of the pollution so, I really miss them.
Can you sing something beautiful?
May your troubles be less,
and your blessings be more
And nothing but happiness comes to your door
May you find love, wherever you go
Your blessings outnumber the flowers that grow
May winds be at your back and sun be over here
What are you afraid of?
I am afraid of losing my health
In the kind of world we live in today it’s very easy, because of all the junk food and the pollution…
That’s something that scares me.
What is your dream?
To do 108 surya namaskars (sun salutations).
To be so healthy that even at 80 I can do whatever I’d like and my body does exactly what I want it to do.
I am most concerned about my health, so my dream is to be healthy.
Close your eyes, you are in 2100, what do you see?
If I am hopeful, then I see a much more beautiful world.
The earth is covered with trees, the oceans are clean, all species are happy.
What is the most beautiful thing that you’ve seen in your life?
My daughter’s birth.
If you had to write a book about the current world, what would be the title?
« How not to make a world »
Who is God for you?
What you believe in.
Basically it’s your beliefs because they will dictate how you act, and how you act everyday becomes how you live.
So no matter what ‘religion’ you profess to follow, it’s actually what you believe in. You could be the most devoutly religious person, if you are greedy, then actually your religion is greed.
To me it’s a set of beliefs. It’s not really how everyone defines religion. Actually your beliefs are your religion.
Which part of your national culture are you the proudest of?
It think yoga, because it sort of covers everything.
There are so many things, even Buddhism, I am very proud of Buddhism.
The debt of our history, we are one of the oldest set of people who have lived, and we did it peacefully for a very long time. So I think a lot of great people like the Buddha and lots of masters.
I am proud that I’m from a culture that has given birth to so many great people, so many great thinkers and that somewhere it’s part of me even though I don’t realise this, I am part of that.
If you could do any job regardless of money, what would you do?
I do it!
I did it, I quit my job, I had a very high-paying job and I quit it because I wasn’t interested in the money anymore.
I take care of my daughter, I am very happy doing it, I make dolls, I am very happy making dolls, I cook food that I enjoy…
I do a lot of things that make me happy and I don’t think about the money and the money comes
If you had to describe our planet to an alien what would you say?
Help us! Save us.
Maybe an alien can come and save us somehow because we are pretty lost.
And you, which question would you like to ask to the world?
Aren’t we all the same?
No matter how I look or you look, we are all human beings and we can all work together if we really care about our planet.
We can get rid of the governments and we can all do something for the sake of our children.