REFLECTION: On Being in Mumbai (and at the Taj Santacruz) for 6 days + BOOK NOTES
DISCLAIMER: THIS WILL NOT BE ONE OF THOSE KHOLI’S ALL OVER THE PLACE, BUT THEN SHE WRAPS IT UP IN A COHESIVE BOW TYPE OF BLOGS. THIS WILL BE A “THIS IS ALL I CAN DO TO GET WORDS OUT OF MY HEAD AND ONTO YOUR TINY SCREENS WITHOUT COMPLETELY DECIDING AGAINST IT” KIND OF BLOGS. THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR PATIENCE.
I’m both under- and overwhelmed by most of what I’m experiencing in life right now - and in my true Taurus nature - that has somehow paralyzed me. Well, not necessarily paralyzed, so much as restricted mental motion. I’m clearly able to continue on in my mind - to move deeply into thought as work.
But, in terms of sharing that work actively, it’s all feeling a bit … harder.
Let’s backtrack a bit.
I arrived in Mumbai (or Bombay depending on who you’re talking to) on Tuesday May 28.
And honestly, all of my senses have been on overdrive since then.
(You can scroll through my “Space” stories and see a bit of the why.)
ADDITIONALLY, THERE IS A LOT going on in my life right now. As always.
I’m moving deeper into leadership positions within the wellness space (and also partnering with some of my favorite companies (like Branch Basics - and while we’re here, I might as well remind you that for a limited time, you can take 10% off your stater kit using “kholi10” at checkout).
There are A LOT more updates for me to give you on the professional front. But, the ink is drying on quite a few of those updates. So, for now, let’s move on.
In transparency, I’m really rambling here. And I’m doing it because I haven’t decided how to explain that I didn’t like Mumbai without some of you deciding that you don’t like me. But, in fact - I didn’t. And that’s OK.
Did I love the work we went for and staying at the Taj SantaCruz?
Did I love the friends we met up with who took the time to show us around their city?
WITHOUT A DOUBT.
But, if you clicked through and peeped Holley’s caption to that that post up there, you’ve probably figured the rest of this blog post out already.
So, I’ll just keep it brief by saying it will always be hard for someone like me to “like” any city (and I include portions of the US in this, but not necessarily talking about the South) where black and brown folks are discriminated against, persecuted, and subjugated because of Imperialist desires.
I especially hate places where - because of white supremacy and basic principles of colonization - people of color are complicit in actively expressing open disdain toward OTHER people of color. And this was my experience more than a few times over.
SPOILER: If your financial and social success as a (especially brown and/or black) person of color is dependent upon/a result of your proximity to and performance of whiteness - then, for clarity, you haven’t escaped a system of oppression, you (whether you like it or not) are a part of it. And unless you make ritual practices of resistance, you will be usurped by it.
And all of our financial and social success is based on that. Come on, really think about it.
I know y’all are like “Kholi, just hand us a recipe and a workout so we can be on our way.”
But, if you’ve been around for awhile, you know I have a Ph.D. in English Literature. You know I spent most of my time at Rutgers studying transhistorical revolution. And you know (OK, you didn’t know, but I’m telling you now) that reading Jessica B. Harris and Amiri Baraka in a 2-week time span while traveling from Philly to Jamaica Queens to Mumbai and back to NC, for me, means that all my brain will be able to focus on for the next few weeks is how I (read: we) can even more deeply align our work and ways of being with the actions necessary to create global impact for historically-marginalized identities. I know. It’s a lot. But … where two or more are gathered, right? We’ve got time to discuss.
Just not in this blog because I also haven’t figured out how I want to discuss that yet - or show up in it, other than as my full self (the full in the kitchen cooking planning businesses and books and global collaborations English PhD I am). But there will always be others.