Sunday, December 13, 2015

Mumbai - Leaving Home

Sometimes words are not enough to describe how you feel. Sometimes words are not enough to describe why you do things. I wish I could use sounds and colors. But now I have words. I will have to start somewhere. So this is where I start. This is a story of journey I took around India to understand why Learning is Beautiful. Maybe it is also an attempt to help me understand how the road can become a metaphor for life.

'You start the adventure with a childlike enthusiasm.
A joie de vivre
Then you are on the road
Alone. Hungry. Lost'
I don't know why I dropped out of college? I don't know why I took a year off? It was so easy. I could have just survived. Another year or two, that was all I had to commit to. But I had to run. Run far away. I was scared about the person I was becoming. I did not know myself enough. I did not trust myself enough. Maybe I was running away from myself. Or maybe I was running away from a picture of myself. I was lonely. I was afraid. I had no close friends I could speak to. No one to tell me bye. It was 12am, on March 12th, 2014. I locked the door of my house. Rickshaw! Rickshaw! Bandra Terminus. Kitna Logey?

I find an empty seat at the station. Then start reading an ebook on my phone. Oh! How I miss the physical book. My train is in a few hours. So I buy some food and walk towards the platform. A crying baby runs by. You hear the clink of the glass cup of tea, at the counter at the refreshment stand. People are pulling their luggage across the platform, to ensure that they are standing outside the right coach, when the train arrives. But it is a weekday midnight. Not too many people travel on a weekday.

The first leg of this trip would take me from Mumbai to Southern Goa, to a place called Palolem. A few friends from Hyderabad, would join me there. The loud screech is heard. The train has arrived. Fortunately, I have a first class ticket for this leg of the trip. The train stops and people start rushing in and rushing out. I wait for the chaos to settle down and then jump into my coach. I am carrying two bags. An 7 kilo back pack and a 2 kilo laptop back. I place them on my sleeper bed and sit down.

I miss home. I miss the few friends I had. I miss my mother's food. The words of the poet and naturalist, Henry David Thoreau come to my mind, "The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready," Maybe it is good that I am alone on this journey. At least I would not have to think about whether the other individual is bored in my company or not. Should I be funny now? Should I crack a joke now? Should I listen? Should I maintain eye contact? It is so hard to really understand where another person comes from.

To be continued...


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  2. I love reading your blog. Having read most of your posts, this one is my favorite. Something I can relate to.

    Curious to read more of such posts.