Friday, 27 May 2011

Where the Road took me - 1

I pinched myself. Ou...oh boy!! I really was traveling; all on my own! I'd always dreamed of setting off on my own, in a roadways bus, with nothing familiar in sight. And whatever was, blurring away quite speedily.
And here i was. After saying bye bye to Bimaroo and a senti call to Naazuk kali (and of course assuring my Maa that i was sitting in the right bus), i was leading the CTU bus to Ambala at full throttle. There's something about being a passenger in a Roadways bus. The simple rawness of the situation rips off all the undue and superficial layers which tend to gather over us over time. The harsh thrumming of the engine wraps the passenger lot in a cocoon of white noise which nothing can trespass. And the stares on spotting a 'shehri ladki', go without saying i'd think. (No i didn't go and sit with a woman. I simply sat where i wanted to. My stare was enough to smolder the rest.)

Reached Ambala Cantt station in a dire need of washroom, which was met with a women's public toilet WITHOUT a door. The woman in-charge there failed to comprehend the spot i was in. "Arre yahan kaunsa koi mard hai, chale jao." So i did my stuff very quickly and fled.
I boarded the train to hear a small kid pestering his mom querying about the filming on the a/c bogey's windows. I rescued the now irked mother by telling the kid that they were the 'train's sunglasses'. That seemed to end his curiosity. The sojourn to Haridwar went smooth and cool. The scenic landscapes of warm yellow and mellowed green lifted my spirit and set the tone i needed for the trip.
My reading of the American's sly atrocities on the world (Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. A must-read), was punctuated by sweet talks of the too-much-in-love couple next to me; the details of which i shall choose not to disclose.

Haridwar greeted me with an onslaught of hot winds and a merciless sun. Quite an unwelcoming weather and i wondered why and how so many devotees visit this place in this season. Waited for around 20mins at the bus stand while watching people coming down from upper reaches covered in such heavy woollens that i broke into a shiver. A funny thing i saw there was vendors selling cucumbers, all peeled and cut into long pieces, ready-to-eat serving. Never seen it like that before!
The bus was a medium-sized one and again i led from the front (seat). The chhoras were fukras who were trying to impress the 'shehri ladki', which was soon thwarted by 'the look' from moi. After around 2hours in the breadbox, i touched Kotdwar; where my hosts were waiting for me in their car.

The drive to Lansdowne was a fast ascension with the air turning cooler at every turn. One goes from 650m above the sea level, to 1710m in less than an hour. But the road has been laid in such a way that the textbook symptoms of altitude sickness lurk nowhere. Twas the first time i was seeing mountains awashed washed in hues of spring and my eyes just didn't want to blink. It gives a sweet joy to spot a burst of orange here and purple there across the green landscape. Little did i know, that this was just a trailer.
Lansdowne and beyond, i shall leave that for more upcoming lazy afternoons. I leave with a song which encapsulates my state throughout this trip. It's a song by John Denver, titled 'Looking for space'.

On the road of experience, I'm trying to find my own way.
Sometimes I wish that I could fly away
When I think that I'm moving, suddently things stand still
I'm afraid 'cause I think they always will

And I'm looking for space
And to find out who I am
And I'm looking to know and understand
It's a sweet, sweet dream
Sometimes I'm almost there
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
And sometimes I'm deep in despair

All alone in the universe, sometimes that's how it seems
I get lost in the sadness and the screams
Then I look in the center, suddently everything's clear
I find myself in the sunshine and my dreams

On the road of experience, join in the living day
if there's an answer, it's just that it's just that way

When you're looking for space
And to find out who you are
When you're looking to try and reach the stars
It's a sweet, sweet sweet dream
Sometimes I'm almost there
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
But sometimes I'm deep in despair
Sometimes I fly like an eagle,
like an eagle
I go flying flying.. :D


  1. Travelling is the best education :)
    Absolute freedom !

  2. Splendidly put Abhishek, couldn't get truer! :D
    Though i'm not too convinced about the 'absolute' part of it. ;-)

  3. More anecdotes related to this trip please!!!Love the picture that you have put up!:)