On the way to attending INK conference, in association with TED (2013) – http://www.inktalks.com/.
A little back-packing trip made to Kerala turned out as an initiation into travelling – have been journeying since then.
The water there, serene, stood still. The lone tree, too, standing. The field just opened out, saying, “Come”. To the left were homes; to the right was... “Oh my God”. What would you do? I, obviously, chose the right side. And that is how most of my journey was made from Mumbai to Kerala – standing by the doorway, on the little 4 x 4 footboard to the right of the train. My feet didn’t move an inch, for all movement was within. And thus were born the ‘Discoveries of a newborn traveller’.
Travel – a state of moving in search of stillness.
Travellers were trying to find a home in their journey, in everything they did... but alas, they struggled. All I was trying to do was find everything but home.
I wondered, consciously, if I felt scared – because, surprisingly, I was not. My home was now new – everywhere. I was going everywhere. The horizon was expanding, as was my view of the “world” around me.
I realised I did not know, as I discovered:
The mountains are big. Their denseness is captivating. After a while, it creeps into you. Soon, you become the journey. Then you wait for it to push you to the next threshold – where you really belong, nowhere, while you are welcomed into that awareness. And, thus, the vastness emerges closer to you... more intimate.
(Travelling makes you loose, opening you up towards what you can grow into. Everything is complete at its place, you suddenly realise. Nothing is pre-decided. You lose all your pre-conceived notions, just like the day loses sunlight – effortlessly.)
Secretly, under the dark, everything outside wonderfully transforms into “night time”. That’s when the evolutionary nature of life emerges forth.
The night whispers its little celebrations, illuminating the presence of life. The sound of thudding (the train), like the beat of horses running, exclaims. The wind blows, waving fresh breaths of life, blatantly. The black sea stretches afar. The sound of the train is enchanting; it freely communicates with you, like an elephant.
This is the journey.
It is pitch dark outside now, and you don’t know what’s coming. The wind keeps you awake. You are conscious. And, suddenly, you start to see the sky down... then you realise, the waters retain the sky through reflection.
The train makes its way through the lushes, like a child, while people sleep their way off into the night – the bunk beds, by the way, seem like those of a prison. And, for what’s being missed, they may as well be.
It is magical.
Sometimes you wonder if you were trespassing a forest – seemingly infinite expanses of green, dense further, spreading expressively across stretches. The train steadily makes advances into the daylight, gently exiting the far-reaching tunnel of the deep night-sky.
Through all this, you don’t know where you are anymore. The openness is calling, inspiring, enchanting. Stunning silence.
And that’s how I discovered ‘God’s own country’ – Kerala... indeed.