I remember discreetly my pick when posed with a dilemma by another friend to pick one, the mountain or the sea, while I chuckled as I answered, “Over a mountain surrounded by the sea.” I know I was greedy there. I wanted everything at a single place yet longing secretly to visit them in pieces to know in real what I actually loved and why. I haven’t been able to figure out the reason though but however I seem to understand what exactly I might have loved in the enumerable trips I have been to, since I was a child.
Port Blair. Mangalore. Goa. Pondicherry.
I seemed to have strangely been in love with the beaches while being equally scared of the gushing water. So, I often used to stroll along the coast, gathering the wet evening breeze under my sobering breath before I found a spot to settle on to watch the dimming sun, set. Memory, you see, a mental picture which you would take along with us in the ever flowing journey called Life. I picked up the notion from a movie titled, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” but anyways it’s a story for another day. I believe some things are meant to be remembered through the naked eye rather than behind a camera lens. Be it the famous night street of Pondicherry or the sparsely visited Anjuna beach of Goa, I wouldn’t dare to forget how it felt to be there in those moments of awe.
Sea, in particular, is kind in its demeanour yet dominating in its presence and vastness. The rhythmic sound of the splashing waves brings out a kind of music which has a soothing effect, especially on me. It brings out romanticism in its truest sense, adding colours to the existing palate of our life. The calmness into which I could stare for eternity to come is the thing that I have found to savour with time, the thing I actually seem to love about the sea.
Kargil. Khardungla Pass. Shimla. Khasi Hills. Yercaud. Dodabetta. Yumesamdong.
My tryst with the mountains began way before I met the sea. It began from the place where people usually end, “The Great Himalayas”. The dried up mountains to the south of Ladakh to the snow covered ones to its north, it’s a befitting spectacle which one rarely could afford to forget. But I have come a long way, I was only ten back then.
This December, it was the clouded mountain and the windy valley that we happen to choose, making me understand the reason why I seem to love them so fiercely. It so happens with the hills that the time we spend to get to the scenic location is far more than the time we spend at the place. The topsy-turvy road curving upwards with every delicate turn thus remains the significant part of my travel memory, organically peppered with conversations. This part of memory somehow feels a lot important, feels right somehow. The arduous journey packed inside a Mahindra Xylo with an infinite road ahead and with scenic beauty covered all around while being gently graced with differing personalities carrying different opinions yet bonded together by long years of friendship and camaraderie. I now know for sure what I really love about the mountains. Sikkim, one of the most beautiful and one of the most underexplored places that we had recently visited made me realize this over and over again.
Paradise: When the two meet
Pangong-Tso Lake. Gurudongmar Lake.
I always loved the mountain breeze as much as I adored the gushing waves; they felt to me as pious and serene in their truest sense. I was too young to remember much about the time we had visited Pangong-Tso lake. Except the crystal clear bluish water and the deep blue sky at the fore with an abandoned boat at one corner, my memory about the travel is only in bits and pieces. This makes me ponder over the recent things that happened in our week long trip a few weeks ago, which by the way ended with us missing our destined flight, however it’s a story for another day. Gurudongmar Lake, 17500 feet above MSL, surrounded by snow-capped mountains was the paradise we had been lucky to witness. Partly frozen, partly liquid, the lake has been known for its religious reasons, an extremely pious lake, the locals had stressed. I wouldn’t deny their claim, even a bit. It’s God’s own paradise, he seem to have taken an extra effort while making this one. Stunningly breath-taking, applicable even in its literal sense.
The other place, my personal favourite of the trip and one of the best I have ever seen in my life, was the Sea of clouds. The one I had chuckled about; we were at the top of a mighty mountain and below us flowed the ‘clouded’ sea.
It’s never wrong to dream; sometimes they come to life in the most unexpected times and in most unexpected ways. Period.
P.S. Back home. Delhi and its beloved winter smog!
“Why do our movies and us try finding our answers in black or white while our life remains grey from start to the end. Isn’t exaggeration a ploy we tend to use to put our point across for wide unrelenting attention.
I find people mooted for an ideology, giving irrelevance to change while exaggerating the untrue to make their side of truth, the only reality for others to believe. The left think they are right, the right think they are no wrong, while I stand with many in the middle, watching the sheer Idiocracy both try to paint. I like many fail to understand, what does ideology have to do when you know humanity triumphs all. Why do you want to paint red or saffron when we are still unable to help the Gandhi’s Talisman.
Seventy years is a big number while poverty still remains an unforgotten cousin. When there is no food to eat or water to drink, there is no teaching or color better than food and water itself. Empty stomachs, malnourished children, trafficked women, landless labourer, construction worker, these Gandhi’s Talismen still search for a voice from us, the privileged. They ask for a helping hand, a voice to narrate their stories, a heart to accomdate one and all, isn’t that a lot to be asked? I don’t think so.
If you are still stuck in the black or white, red or saffron era, don’t worry I will simplify. There is no Antagonist in our story which might dishearten you all, but if you are still adamant then try finding a solution to the problem of poverty. Try all your colours in this effort, I like many won’t mind, but get me that rainbow when you finish, a rainbow of inclusivity and life.”
“Flying high away in freedom,
The birds find their way in the blue,
A clarion call amid the silence,
And the flock gets ready to glue.
The breeze from within the gather
Catches the eye of an aged soul,
Famished and battered by slavery
His old eyes glitter at sight of one whole.
The idea spells fire in the hearts
And the minds of the ravaged, the conquered,
It strikes deep within a place called hope
As the heads long fallen rise towards the sky.
The wind kisses their zeal, enriches their spirit,
As they gather together under the old man
To march their union, to show their solidarity
To make themselves the master of their own fate.
They stand their peace, they hold their chain,
With their sight in place for freedom and freedom alone,
They gather their courage, they bury their hatchet,
To see the long whisper become a roar again.”
“I usually heed to those who question why we celebrate a particular day for love; isn’t every day, one for love? I silence myself with a makeshift happy nod while trying hard to keep that itsy bitsy part of me that still believes in this day from exploding all over the other. But today when I look back at all those questions, and my stand of supporting the naysayers, my silence sounds completely illogical to me. The hard truth that we happen to realise a little late is that not every day we give for love, I mean in literal sense; just try to question how often do we go out of our way and compliment someone or how often do we utter the words, “I love you” to that special one, even though we know that the other might be the perfect one for us. It just doesn’t happen; it stays in our mind for an eternity before vaporising in the mystery of our confused mind. So sometimes all we need is a day, however cliched it might sound, we need it to ease the unease and give a push to one’s hopes only to see where the thoughts in our mind finally lead us upon to. So in this world of unlimited technology decorated with artificial emoticons, I meant the emotions, it’s okay to take a day off and be with your loved ones to make them feel special in the best possible way. It could be with that friend you fell in love with years ago but still are too scared to say, or it could be your parents who haven’t seen you since ages because you are too busy making excuses, or it could be as simple as a compliment to a random stranger who you find amusing while your lonely walk back home. It could be with anybody, it could be anywhere, but make sure you convey your emotion, your care, this day. Because the other thing about cliched things are that everyone knows about them, making things a lot easier for us to convey. So go take your chances, and make this valentines worth remembering.”
All the very best 🙂
I often find myself staring at the blank word document absent-mindedly, lost within my train of thoughts and the little world I so price upon. The music breezes around these phrases, the incomplete things which I had never chanced upon to say and probably would never convey. In between those “I wish that happened” and “I regret doing that” thoughts, I find my piece that fits for me to write. The piece which stirs my universe, pushes the boundaries, and allows me to live a character of the stories that I try to sketch. That moment of time, when everything comes flying together, I see my piece wide and clear. Rushing with this sense of enigma, I journey along with my ambivalent thoughts to finally arrive at the top of the mountain from where I see my piece coming to life. And the time when the journey ends, I find another story sprouting out. The process remains unfinished; a story more remains to be told.
Picture Courtesy: Google Search