I am riding back home, my body aching for my warm cozy bed, toes yearning for the linen touch. Full moon night falls tomorrow but the moon is anyway, almost a whole, tonight. And it is going to be daybreak soon. It is 4 A.M. I have to ride 50 kilometers and there are still 40 to go. The cold is gnawing at my skin, and I feel like I have lost all sensation, except that of the wind whirring in my ears, so loud that I cannot hear my own voice over it. I ride on nevertheless, with my gaze getting gradually attuned to the thick intermittent white line painted out on the tarmac, screaming the kilometers skipping beneath my feet.
I stop by a small roadside cafe for chai. It has got indoor seating, so I quickly get inside those glass doors, craving for the warmth more than the chai. They don’t have it anyway, so they offer me coffee, which turns out pretty bad unfortunately. But everything is welcome as long as it is killing the cold. So the bland coffee seems okay. Even the ‘Soldier’ playing on their cable seems okay.
May be this is a year of firsts, may be this will be a year of firsts. I want it to be. The first time I pick a homestay over a hotel lodging, the first time I watch a seemingly-never-ending stretch of water sprawl before my eyes, and the first time I walk right into it, the first time I stay grounded against the waves no matter how hard my ankle might be slipping on the sand underneath, the first time I watch the sun vanish into the sea, the first beer on a beach, the first ever road trip mapping a city from one end to another, the first nightout under a beautiful glowering-white almost-whole moon making its presence starkly felt even through the branches, the first time I bring home gifts with my own money, the first time I leave a place with sand filled pockets and a bag stinking of sea shells.