“Wind in my hair, I feel part of everywhere
Underneath my being is a road that disappeared
Late at night i hear the trees , they are singing with the dead
Overheard…..”– Eddie Vedder – Into the Wild
There is something wonderful about getting what you want and I have felt over the years that it is propelled by your desire. It may seem trivial that everyone desires but do they get it ? That particular desire which I am talking of comes from within and it can not come in the same proportion for all the things in your life. So it so happened that during a diwali break I almost landed up in a bike trip. I had already started in a car and had spent a day at Tosh and Kasol when my friend turned up on his Royal Enfield and layed the foundations of a wonderful trip to be.
When you are alone, sometimes you do talk to yourself . Of the many books I have read there have been characters who have lived a lonely life and sometimes have spoken to inanimate things. Do you remember Wilson and Tom Hanks from Castaway. The Dug Dug Dug Dug.. of a Royal Enfield never lets you be alone, whenever I am on the road alone that particular sound reminds me of a companion , of a power , of a reliable friend , of comfort and thus it turns makes me formidable. I hope you get my point your bike is your sole companion in your journey on two wheels and most of the time it treats you as you have treated her.
God has placed beauty in the strangest of places. You may find it in the yellow leaves sprinkled on the road or a purple flower in the wilderness of a mountain and even in an author’s imagination. On my way to Rohtang pas in the evening I found beauty everywhere , at every turn , in every rock and among all the long trees. I found myself once again in that precarious situation with a valley on one side and beauty all around. I think that is how nature has placed things around us and makes us work for it time and again. For all that joy that you may have felt on achievement of a goal i am sure one reason for the ecstasy would definitely be of the pains that you may have taken.For me then it was about the beauty in spite of the cold in my hands , the tiredness from the long days ride and the mental fatigue of concentrating hard on dangerous roads. I have often been told and so do i guess you have been too but then my philosophy is to experience it and then judge whether you want to do that again or not . For me two wheels is a symbol of freedom for when the wind the gushes through me on the roads it just makes me purer.The picture below was clicked on this marvellous evening.
What makes a trip , a day special is how different you treated the day. In the twenty some diwalis that i have witnessed I remember 3 of them , one of course was the one in which i burned my hands. The other was a night spent at Yercaud with a set of 60 year olds who had left their families just to reunite. That night was a revelation and I remember one of them saying us that we must continue biking , continue living these adventures as eventually there will come a time when there will never be enough time. This diwali too was special and its memories will always be etched in my mind. Heading to Shimla on the bike we couldn’t make it in time and so had to halt at a village around 30km in total wilderness. They do not celebrate diwali here but they are familiar with the concept of hospitality. A night at one hand filled me with gratitude and on the other the realization that contentment in life can be found in the weirdest of places that one can never envisage.
Life has changed a lot over the last six months, from the freedom and happy life of a NGO to the daily rigours of an academic programme. I have learnt one thing in the past six months that no one can stop you from happiness. I had tales of how much work one has to do in a MBA programme but i was determined to enjoy myself along with the academics. I ran 3 half marathons , played lots of football, went out for one long bike trip , read books and started writing paid reviews for Flipkart and so on. In a way life just went on and it has eventually taken a normal course. I am finding less time to write and this post was long in the queue. Would like to end this post with a pic of the latest half marathon and some lines from the movie UDAAN.
छोटी छोटी छितराइन यादें बिछी हुईं लम्हों कि लौ में
नंगे पैर उनपे चलते चलते इतनी दूर आ गए हैं
कि अब भूल गए हैं कि जूते कहां उतारे थे