Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Then as of now

Winter had set in. I had already been slumming it out, been on the road for almost a month. Me, myself and a backpack. From delhi to haridwar, kedar to badri, hemkund sahib and everything on the way including Gorakhpur, the armpit of India. Gurudwara, telephone booth, 50-rupee rooms, railway platform, sleeping bag, when night came, anything was shelter enough. Trains, innumerable buses, shared taxis and a truck ride later found me walking across the border into Nepal en route to Tibet. It would still be another 20 days before I would eventually head back home. For now though, the bus that would take me to Kathmandu beckoned. As the bus left Sanauli, I realised I was the only non-Nepali in a crowded bus. And would be for the next 8-odd hours as the shuddery old bus wound its way through the picturesque mountainous roads. For the first time in all those days, I felt a sense of alone-ness. Not lonely, but alone. Perhaps it was this song that did. The driver played it a couple of hours into the journey. At that time I did not know what the words meant. I still don’t. No, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know. To me, at that point it captured that ineffable sense of ‘being away’. Of wanting to be with someone, but not just anyone. A sense of glorious desolation. Alone, but not lonely. Today, three years on…when I listen to this song, which I am as I write this, I am instantly transported back to those days, those roads, that bus filled with smiling happy people. I know this journey is but one of many that I need to make to get to wherever my heart takes me. I still have places to go, places to see. As I did then.


subbukl said...

on the same road and similar bus 4 years back, my whole bus got robbed by 4 teenage kids and one of them put a big shiny Kukhri to my neck just to take 150/- away !

But still nepal is a severely beautiful with mostly good people.

Shenoy said...

now. thats what you call memorable!