I have been really traveling over the past couple of months. It started after I joined my new job. First it was Silent Valley. I took 2 weeks to recover from a 4 day trip. It was like touching my purest and deepest self within and then letting go to come back to this impersonal, mechanical and polluted world. Thats what being in nature, and away from humans generally, does to me. Thats how I felt staying in Kemmanu during my college days and I missed that so much after coming to Bangalore. The fact that I missed city life when I was actually in college is a different story, but the point is, I have lived that life of silence. That silence has enabled me to hear myself, my faintest whispers, the pulsations of the umbical chord to my higher self, the time between the blink of an eye and the spaces between the past, present and future. I have felt so connected that everything these days doesn’t get me any higher than I have been. And Silent Valley was like a mental refresher in drowning within. Within, without….actually makes no difference when you are so surrounded by nature. But that apart, I have really been wandering – and as some might say, living it up.
After Silent Valley, Hampi happened. And that was a totally different trip. Those 200 rupee cottages overlooking the river. The great food, the ruins….those efforts to shoot starry long exposures….all magical and one of its kind. Of course that trip also meant that Sandeep, Rajith, Kien and myself somewhere had the same chromosome in our blood – the one that makes you want to get out of the mundane and feel new places. Many a times I have wondered what kind of escapism it is to always looking around from the eyes of a traveler – distanced from the actual boredom, misery and drudgery of the lives we see through our cameras and by referring to our guide books. Its like the movie The Notebook I watched and felt so much in love with. I know I can never have a house over looking the lake with no one for miles around. I know I can never go on a boat ride with someone I love truly – but its so nice to watch it when projected on a screen – its so nice even though its distant. And this distance is what makes traveling so very appealing. The real distance covered by road v/s the distances between people. Between people you see around you everyday. Everyday – what a boring word. Its like prison. And the prison need not only have four walls. The prison can be because its the same people you see, the same distances that only seem to grow between you and them and the loss of wonder, curiosity, beauty, creativity. Familiarity breeds contempt.
After Hampi, we did couple of small trips – Mysore, Auroville, Jog….and next week I am off to Mumbai. All by myself. And I wonder – compared to my previous trips, whom am I really going to have for company on that trip? I am going to be on my own after a long time. Thats something I haven’t done in ages. Actually thats something I was so comfortable many years ago and which has changed with circumstances over time. Circumstances that make you want, but not get. The chasm of desire to connect that grows deeper. The connection you confuse with other connections….glimpses of which I have had in places like Silent Valley and before that in Kemmanu…The connection and the disconnect lived in one life time….
This desire to connect…this reason for hope…this hope that makes you get out of bed each morning…this pacemaker that ticks an ailing heart and make people confuse things that are with that which is not….these are the malaises of our times…and somewhere what I really need to build immunity against. But oh, time….its not on my side because I procrastinate…and I procrastinate because my eyes really open only when on a trip….rest of the time its just half open….another disease of the times….we have too much electric light…too much caffeine….information overload…and we don’t even notice our lives go overboard…
Ok, I suppose you get the drift.
One day the wind will change and blow away your wonderland
Blue skies will soon be overcast
One day the tide will turn and wash away your castles in the sand
And you’ll find peace ¡ at last
Alan Parsons Project – Ignorance Is Bliss