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Excerpts From A Wandering Soul: Manali: June,'16

I wonder what it takes to "break away",in the real sense of the word. You know, fighting yourself for it,going against every one telling you to walk the trodden path.

" Why do you have to go?"
"What is it in the unknown that calls you?"

But I only wish I could explain. Words are only so shallow for that. Have you ever been told that your dreams are small? Have you ever been pulled down in your efforts to follow them? Been told what's right and what's not?

I remember how I felt once when I,for the first time,let go of my father's hand and got lost in a beach in Vishakhapatnam. Was I scared? Felt left out? No. Quite the opposite,in this case. I relished each minute. What can be more of an adrenaline rush for a six-year old than getting to see the world in her own way,really. The sea seemed happier teasing the shore,the sunset more quiet and the people more beautiful. I lived my time,before my family found me.

For the next ten years, I was made to believe that travelling only means going to vacations with your family. Plan three months before,pack your bags neatly,check-in at a nice hotel, air conditioned car for sightseeing and expensive restaurants to enjoy your meal in. To be honest, I had accepted that pretty well. My thoughts of travelling never extended beyond that. And so, in the process, the wanderer in me, that little girl gazing silently at the sun as it kissed the horizon,was killed.

But that wasn't to be so. Destiny had something else planned for me. One fine morning, during one of the family vacations to Darjeeling, I suddenly felt so detatched. As if the strings had been torn. That moment,what I felt is beyond expression. My thoughts reached the mountains and they somehow seemed to accept me. "Is this my calling?", as if some voice reverberated in the hollow of my heart,time and again. I'm yet to comprehend that,though.

How did I realize? How could I be so sure and safe that I wanted to travel alone,at an age as tender as seventeen? I had no 'security'. But,what is that we call 'security'? Family? Friends? Boundaries of familiar places? So,family said 'no'. So did my friends. But when the urge,the passion of doing something hits you,there's little else that really seems to matter. Yes, I had to fight a lot of voices,overcome them. But at that point, it was all mere noise.

And so, I travelled alone. Two thousand and eight kilometres, to the mountains. To the Himalayas. It was time to give myself a chance to comprehend the force that drives me everytime to the unknown, listen to an untold story and look at unrevealed sights. Went on my own, discovered places, walked as if I could walk all the way to the end of the world. I could sleep anywhere,eat anything and talk to anybody my heart desired. Not a mere journey across the country, but a journey of self-exploration and understanding.

But, my biggest takeaway is the memories made with fellow travellers I met on the way. The friends. Probably not for life, but to live the moment with,share secrets 'cause I knew they have nothing to do with me, laughed my heart out, sang and danced to the rhythm of the river. It's so true, even the toughest of the journeys seem so much easier when there's a person to share it with. No countries divide us, religion never a barrier, language no bar. Here I quote one such friend of mine : "What is more important? People or places?" We shared a smile before she said, "So I'll stay with you." You could travel the world, swim in the most ferocious waves, climb the highest peak.. But, is that really what remains etched in your heart? No, people do, the bond you share does. Love does.

So, here I am, sitting at a humble cafe by the Beas, sipping my Latte and taking in time and space. Today, after much introspection, I can say I'm free of shackles,strong enough to turn down every negative thought and ready to put myself in the "way of beauty".

Let me conclude by quoting Rumi here :

" Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there."

This blog was originally published on 'LittleMissSupertrampBlog'

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