I hopped on a train and made my way from Ooty(south India) to Mumbai (Mid-India), where again I stayed with a couchsurfer. A lovely young activist who was one of the few city girls to leave home and start her own independent reality in her own little cozy apartment overlooking the city.
She opened her door to me as she did her heart and we became like sisters, sharing stories till nightfall. We are close friends to this day.
After a few days with her, I made my way to another part of Mumbai, far more localized and literally not a single foreigner insight. The feeling of being the only foreigner was similar to that at the wedding I attended when I first arrived to India.
A couchsurfer hosted me in his hospital for 5 days. He owned the hospital and so he could do anything he wanted. His home was too small to host guests but big enough for him and his mom.
The staff treated me like everywhere else in India, with an open, friendly, caring manner and made me feel “at home”. I had my own room since there were few patients at the time.
I spent most of the time outside the hospital of course, exploring the area, getting to know the culture around me and meeting amazing people and eating local vegetarian dishes. I met up with a couple other couchsurfers for a meal and convo and even witnessed some holy religious hindu activities.
On my second day my host asked me “Doris would you like to see a delivery of a baby?” Being a massage therapist and already having seen a cadaver lab (this was an option in my last month of massage therapy college) and being fascinated with the human body and loving everything that has to do it, of course I jumped to the opportunity.
A side note: From the age of 15-20 I was obsessed with heavy rock, goth, metal, and classical rock music. I went to concerts, moshed, crowd surfed and loved horror movies. I loved watching people fight and loved anything that seemed unnatural.
After thailand and my spiritual awakening a year before India (around the age of 20) something shifted inside me and I could no longer bare to watch anything that involved human or animal mutilation or even anything involving harm to a being.
So as I stood in the delivery room, I was really excited. I’m used to acting and so to play the part of a doctor was quite easy for me. My host asked me to wear a surgeon’s outfit, keep silent and pretend that I’m a doctor from Canada.
The mother to be, lay naked on the table, covered from neck to toe with iodine, legs spread and about 5 or 6 people standing around her. At this time I wasn’t sensitive, wasn’t educated or even aware of how traumatic, invasive and nerve wrecking it can be for women and babies to be in such an environment (I’ll describe more on this from my Bali adventure 4yrs later). It was a cesarean section. I watched in fascination as the doctor began to cut above her pubic bone, blood oozing out. White began to ooze out and something started to turn and twist inside me.
I was no longer enjoying this experience. I began to feel like I did when I first went on a roller coaster. I felt nauseous and wanted to vomit. A baby suddenly appeared, a nurse removed him from his mother, placed him on a silver platter and out the door he went to get cleaned up.
I kept saying to myself “come on Doris you can do this, you’ve always wanted to see this, and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity without the doctor schooling. Come on hold in your puke, you can do this!”
I opened the door in the delivery room, exited quietly and made my way to my room. I opened the bathroom door, looked down at the squatting toilet, pictured myself on my hands and knees puking and decided to lay down on the bed instead. The thought of the dirty bacteria filled toilet touching me right in that moment, the moment of my nauseous self was repulsive.
So instead,I lay down on the bed in the room, placed my hands on my torso, gave myself reiki (remained open and present for the Universal energy to flow through me to give me whatever I needed in the moment). I fell asleep. 2 hours later my host came in and asked me if I wanted to be present for another birth in 2 hours, this time a c-section of twins! I squirmed with disappointment, as I thanked him and refused the opportunity.
I learnt a lot about myself that day and I am so grateful for the awakening that happened to me years before that prepared me for my truth. I am actually quite happy that I cannot tolerate watching something like this. In my eyes any operation (unless absolutely, really, and literally an emergency) is wrong, against the natural flow and is totally like the twisted opposite of human nature. (More on this later).
I spent New Year’s Eve with my host. He invited me to a popular movie at the time, “the 3 idiots” in hindi, which of course consisted of a wedding, a love story, a villian and lots of musical singing and dancing, as almost all Hindi movies consist of. Then dinner.
A couchsurfing experience to remember for life!