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.”
“I have this habit of scrolling through my Facebook wall on a regular basis, I am pretty sure I could find many like me. I halt at all the travel pics that come by, showing the diverse range of places people are travelling all across the globe. It’s fascinating to be honest especially for a guy like me, who has been in constant company with the city Delhi for over four years now.
Apart from my daily hassles to achieve my much needed break from joblessness and achieving that distant dream, I travel. My next statement might be at odds with my previous one, bear with me and continue; apologies in advance. The maximum I have traveled in recent times would be the 45 minute metro ride which I nowadays do often. I know it’s silly to call that a travel but I find that journey interesting and worthwhile to be called so. Before moving further I have to introduce another thing that I love doing, I observe. When I travel with people all around, I find my stories to observe from.
Every person has their own beautifully crystallised universe. Like the young couple leaning on the wall have that passion in their eyes which blurs everything that stands around them. The old lady seated with her son has her eyes stuck at the gate while clutching on to her son’s arm as she rests. And how could I forget that mystery girl who kept smiling as she looked at me, she was beautiful to be honest but she disappeared in the crowd at the metro station. I mean there are so many stories all around that it makes me feel like I am actually travelling. Isn’t travelling about meeting new faces, making new stories? Though I do admit it’s also about remembering the old ones while looking at the sunset from a deserted beach. Crushes alert!
The point I wanted to convey is that you travel when you meet new people, when they share their experiences while you narrate them one from your own. Writing helps here, it helped me. I spoke to many writers from different parts of the country, different parts of the world, as well as different age groups while even going ahead & collaborating with a few. Certain things aren’t different though, be it Lisbon or Delhi. The emotion remains the same, I have realised, while experiences could totally differ. It wouldn’t be strange now if I told you that traveling in time was possible. It happened with me when I befriended writers who were way older than me. Their experiences were something which I could never relate to but I listened, because I felt somewhere that I might be in that position one day. I thought I might prepare in advance.
You might be thinking that I am trying to justify my limitations, you are not wrong if you think so. In my defence though, I would say that I did travel solo one time, but I didn’t get that kick which I thought would happen. May be it was because of the ache my hand suffered due to the selfies I tried to click, or because there were no faces that I met which could have made that trip memorable. It’s always been people for me, it always will be; after all we are social animals, aren’t we? So when I halt at the travel pics, I smile. I do wish I was there to experience that but I am nevertheless happy because I am moving too.”
“Wait for that person who will believe in your crazy little world, driving life into those dreams by reliving them together. However mad and impossible your dreams might sound to be, it will never sound that way to her. Because she will believe in you, she will see what no one could ever possibly see, the real you. When she will be around, there would be no filters, there would be no veils, there would only be naked truth, the real you. So when she is there with you, you will know how lucky one can be. There is no doubt that she would be rare to find but trust me it will be worth the wait. Just imagine a morning you wake up dialing her number and suddenly narrating her your dream, even breaking into a song together. It’s like poetry running loose; she creates you a verse, you fit another verse with hers, and it just goes on and on, like there is no end to it. Despite sounding too idealistic, I would though admit that it ain’t going to be a La La Land if you come together, but it ain’t going to be an oblivion together as well. Sometimes the poetry might stop flirting or might stop to flow altogether but that doesn’t mean it’s going to end again, it means you need to jazz it up a little. So when the words stop to flow, you turn on the music and take her along for a dance. So don’t ever stop trying to hold on to someone who you feel right about, take your chances and make them work. It’s hard to find, it’s hard to seek someone as crazy and as wild as you really are, and when you do, try never to let them go.”
“Miracles need effort to happen”.
P.S. If they aren’t into you, move on.
Pic Courtesy: Google
“There is always a walk that I wonder about,
the one I so wanted to take her along;
I was too lost in her thoughts, I was too happy
within the possibilities of chirping in a word
or two, leaving her convinced that I was no creep,
that I was someone who genuinely cared
and had an equal share of respect tagged along;
these possibilities were too beautiful to stay away
but the reality a bit too weird to come about
making me stuff those words deep within, and the moment
when she glanced across I had my head tilted away with embarrassment as my mind roared with many voices at once,
leaving a few that caught be my surprise;
“Did she judge me as another stalker?” I felt terribly small
at the sight of this very thought; I hid my face deeper within my palms to see between the gaps a person walking right towards me,
I glanced again into the ever widening gaps to find her
waiting for me to come out from my hiding
that I graciously avoided for a solid two minutes,
before she patted her way across, leaving me with no choice
but to stand a feet way with the most creepy smile that I always dread about.
I sheepishly tried to defend my act,
“I wasn’t looking at you, not me. No me. I just came!” and what not,
only to see a smile appear over her face as she walked past me
to stop a moment later to look back at what I was possibly wondering and may be thinking whether I would ever ask her out,
but the mystique within me, the one who saw the possibilities
remained preoccupied again and the words that I had stuffed earlier
didn’t come out right even now as she disappeared from my plain sight into the mist as I whispered a silent “Hi” and sat back down
wondering about the walk that could have been,
the one I so wanted to take her along.”
Pic Courtesy: pxleyes.com (Created by Patty)
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