On the Diwali night the train i boarded was remarkably empty and so were my pockets.The last two months of no mobile usage had saved those precious 200 hundred bucks which would definitely be handy. I was happy on the thought that one of my friends was also traveling,after all some company never hurts.It was quite natural to think of previous Diwali nights. A year before last, FK and me had landed up in a dormitory whose other 6 occupants were 60 year old friends, spending some time on their own away from their families.It was friendship that bound 20 year olds with 60 year olds.In my first year at college, I sat in a general compartment of Howrah mail for 3 days to attend Diwali with my family and in my final year I returned back to college with a burnt hand,a painful Diwali night spent with my hands dipped in ice.
Standing in knee deep water in Vrindavan, I experienced one of the most beautiful sunrises ever.Don’t know whether the goosebumps were due to the cold or in anticipation of a the day that lay ahead.Vrindavan has always been a spiritual destination for me where I spend a day or two with the sages eating only once a day,sleeping on mattresses,bathing in the river Jamuna and meditating.The place has more to offer than an experience,sometimes it makes me ponder on the importance of seeing things for the purpose they serve e.g. the purpose of food is to provide nourishment and energy for one to carry day to day activities.Succumbing to earthly pleasures is quite easy and spending sometime here makes me more aware of the frailty of our minds.After the bath I parted with half of the money in my pockets which would serve as a source of ration for the sages for a few days to come.
You can say that my pockets were double empty as i boarded an overcrowded bus bound for Delhi.The reduced waistline has caused a bring dent in my pockets and I am currently managing with just 2 pair of jeans.I would have had a third pair but then this trip would have not happened.I would like you to be in my shoes someday just for an experience,you will appreciate money as you would have never done before.You will definitely realize a purpose beyond buying pizzas and shopping in malls.I stood for the next 5 hours on this damned bus hoping to meet my friends soon.
I had booked the Metallica show tickets on the first day they were out.I read their biography , listened to their songs,browsed for the cheapest possible Metallica shirts and downloaded 3 live concert videos.But with every km traversed there was a mixed excitement,one of the concert and the other of meeting my friends again.Slowly the latter started dominating but the conflict remained until we lost our show tickets.Standing against the wall you could see 4 people laughing and enjoying a moment in which many others would have behaved differently.The sad part was not that we lost our tickets but that the show got canceled.It is sad for North India and sad for many people who had made sacrifices to see something great.
The day which had begun with a holy dip ended in high spirits on a Gurgaon rooftop. I realized that my friends are like wine who get better everyday though their essence remains the same.It was heartening to see that nothing had changed except for the waistlines.The next morning walk for breakfast brought me back to college days with the usual companions Bhale,Hula and FK replacing Chola.The rs.15 bread pakoda seemed too costly as i explained my last 14 months to FK.I told him,”I read somewhere how it is important in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong.”Sitting on that table with friends i was a stronger person who had earned respect for himself.
“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand ,nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship;it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when they discover that someone else believes in them and is willing to trust them.”