Travelling. As much as the word evokes an adrenaline rush inside me, it also brings back reminiscences of the past- a time that has faded away yet left behind distinct memories. As a child the mere thought of travelling to a new place would make me daydream about the fun that I’ll have.
Whether it was the vibrant exteriors of Jaipur or the fascinating aquamarine life that I’d encounter – travelling was my window to a space wherein I wasn’t just a societal identity. I was a fragment of a majestic universe. The train whistle, the unexplored countryside, the little sugar sachets, the pantry chaos and the final countdown to reaching one’s destination: then, it was more about the journey than the destination. Today it is the other way round.
Two years back, when I readied myself for a trip, I paused to think why I didn’t enjoy the idea as much as I did then. Was it me or was it the world around?
Caterpillar ride: Train journeys are great. Period. A flight is fast, expensive, suffocating and sophisticated. It constantly reminds one of one’s city life. Trains, on the other hand, are friendly reminders of a life that a lot of us leave behind – unhurried, uncomplicated and unrestricted.
Who are you? : Didn’t travelling mean making friends on the way? Why do we think twice before talking to anybody now? And once we do, we’d rather that the conversation is limited to certain unsaid limitations. Back then, strangers never seemed so unfamiliar and friendship was never so selective.
Click Click: Yes, we all treasure our moments and our memories. But whatever happened to the good old eyes? Today we’re busy ‘capturing’ everything and anything instead of just sitting by, absorbing and appreciating.
Solace: Curling up with a book or plugging in the walkman was easier than working on a laptop. Managing a big laptop with a big screen is as difficult as managing a small laptop with a small screen in a moving train and/or a car!
“Chaiii wallaaaaa…..h”: Then, I would follow his voice till it faded. Then, I could sip the kadak chai. Today I’m not sure whether it is drinkable water or toilet water.
Highway not on my plate: No! Elegantly refined restaurants with a dhabha-like feel on the inside do not qualify as the good old ‘puppy da dhaba’ and ‘mame di hatti.’
Realizations strike. Lessons learnt.
Amends? Yes and No.
I’ll say the world has changed and so have I.