Tag Archives: India

The mountain and the sea.

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.

Water

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.

Sky

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!

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Rainbow

“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.”

The Missing Son

The ball crashed into Mrs. Jadhav’s house, shattering the window glass into pieces. It was stuck with immense power by Sunil, a thirteen year old kid from the neighbouring colony. He was touted to be the next cricketing sensation from the neighbourhood which had seen over ten representations in the Indian cricket team in past five decades. His father, Raghav, a former Mumbai Ranji team member, was a close friend of Daksh, Mrs. Jadhav’s only son. Sunil rang the bell twice before Sunitha answered. She placed the ball in his hand with a gentle smile on her face. “Next time, hit it towards Mrs. Dsouza’s house. She was laughing when you broke mine. It’s time for payback!”

“Dadi, I am sorry.” Sunil replied.

“It’s okay, kiddo. Smash as many glasses as you want but do get yourself selected for the Indian team.”

He nodded, as he handed over an envelope which was lying on the floor of her main door and rushed back towards his friends. Mrs. Jadhav placed the envelope on her study table as she continued to broom away the broken pieces. It took over 15 minutes for her to finally get her hands over the envelope. Her frailing health wasn’t helping either but it was of no match when compared to the grievous pain she had felt since Daksh ran away from home.

He was only thirteen then, he had an argument previous night where his parents wanted him to concentrate on studies than cricket. But like most of the kids from the neighbourhood, even he dreamed to wear the blue jersey. The banter wasn’t new; it had been going on for over a year then, his falling grades and poor performances in local cricket tournaments weren’t supporting his case either. That night, the argument got more louder and finally ended when Mr. Jadhav slapped Daksh and asked him to do exactly what he says. The next morning, when Sunitha entered her son’s room, she found only a letter to settle for. The cricket kit bag, a few crisp notes from Mr. Jadhav’s purse and, most importantly, her son Daksh were missing. All that was left was that letter; a letter which asked his parents not to look for him with a promise that he will return only when he makes it into the Indian Cricket Team. It’s been over twenty five years now, Daksh never came back.

She collected her reading glasses, and opened the peculiar looking blue envelope. And what happened next, was something which Sunitha had expected time and again to happen but remained unrealised until today. It was a letter from him, he was coming home finally.

Part1 Ends.
Picture Courtesy: Tom Shaw/Getty Images.

Can love happen again?- India Gate Episode

31st December 2014

There used to be times when I kept rethinking about the inevitable, the times where I could have found you all over again. The time which was lost had kept me occupied in the present, the shadow of the past kept closing over my future, I thought I was lost, may be I thought that was it. 

Glancing over this note which I had written over an year ago gets a strange smile on my face. I feel sorry for myself that I wasn’t able to understand what true love really was, but all elated because I do now. It’s very simple, it’s this sheer simplicity which makes it look complex to many. Time again there will be instances where you might feel that without the other person on your side there is very less chance of us leading a happy life. But soon we move ahead leaving the philosophy as we sometimes believe that there are things which are written in fate and are bound to happen. If they don’t then we curse our fate, live our life in misery and slowly but finally move forward. That’s what happened to me in this one year, may be its the same with the others too. 

You might be wondering that why didn’t I explain what love is instead of bantering over its logic. I am sorry but for that you would have to listen to my story. It’s easier explaining through a story than just defining it. May be my story needs to be told. 

26th January 2015

Amid the dimply lit morning which was decorated by the extraordinary performance of the republic day parade, I stood my ground glancing at her near the India gate, the very eyes which met mine a few seconds later. We both were lost with no communication in hand, we had searched frantically for our friends in our individual ways but later had to settle at the PR Desk for the time being. 

Me: Hey you seem lost too!

Her: I am. 

Me: Me too.

Her: Okay.

She looks pissed,don’t disturb her I thought to myself.

Her: Do you know when will the metro station reopen?

Me: I heard the security say that they may open in another hour or so.

She: We really are stuck. 

Me: I know. I am Ryan; At Least we can introduce ourselves, right?

She: Why not, I am Tara. I am doing my masters in journalism in Lady Irwin. 

Me: Hot shot journalist then!

She: Not yet, there is time for that. 

Me: I am an engineer graduate, trying my luck at the civil services. I so badly want to join the service. 

She: That’s nice, for the country then.

Me: Always. 

She: I think we do have something in common. 

Me: That explains our early morning fight with the cold to watch the parade, we surely miss our passes. 

She: We surely do. 

As the talk slowly gave away for silence, I fought back.

Me: I write a bit here and there, want to listen.

She: What do you write about?

Me: Mostly romance and sometimes poetry. 

She: So cliched! ~ with a playful smile. 

Me: So you want to listen or not?

She: Angry young man cool down. I would love to listen. 

Me: This one was the last poem I had written, it was about an Air Hostess.

She: That sounds interesting. 

I narrated her one over the other and I could see her smile grow bigger with every piece. The time began to while away and it was time for us to make a move. 

Me: So that’s it, I believe. I hope you had a good time.

She: I think a bit more than that. Thanks Ryan, hope we can meet again.

Me: Hope we share our contacts and make your hope real. 

She: Cliched again. But I would love to hear from you again, here is my contact. 

Me: Ay Ay captain.

I walked her till the metro station where her anxious friends were waiting for her, we bid each other goodbye with a gentle smile and with a hope to meet soon. 

That night when I was about to message Tara, I had an unexpected call. As people say that we could never outrun our past, it proved very true in my case. 

To be continued in the next part. 

#HappyNewYearGuys 

#FirstPostForTheYear.

Photo Courtesy: Bobby Roy on Pininterest.