My Hellion Selfie Stick

Pokhra, Nepal

It is all in our mind.

It is all within us.

It comes to end when we swallow it without retrospection.

It is that form of our inner self that comes to test, the minute we step out of the house. Yes, the house, the place where all our comfort lies and cries beneath. We form new characteristics with every step towards the destination. It is through learning. May be more of what you are turning to be after this travel.

It goes like your alter- ego. It strikes you right in the middle of that linear brain nerve, which thought you would never change that. It strikes like that shoddy rain drop on a Thar Desert land. It strikes like that unimaginable apple falling for gravity. It strikes like that unmarked strikes on your mind, trying to make it as perfect as possible.

It is all illusionary.

It is all shimmery.

It is all that you always nodded a ‘NO TO’

It all comes to test, you know,

Yes you know, exactly where and how and when.

And that is the first time, you would shatter.

That would be the first time you cry through your soul.

That is the first time you shiver with fear of losing to exist.

That is the first time you would say no to the gatherings in time.

You would come closer to failure.

Yes, you would come a lot closer to failure.

A lot closer to the failure of discipline.

Not more or less, the failure of self-discipline.

It all rhymes well till it goes all right. The minute you use a spare word unintentionally, it all messes up right there. The same way you go out of balance, if you lose your attention. You are all disciplined when you are surrounded. May be because, you are in the circumference. May be because, you are told what you are supposed to do. Maybe you have to follow certain rules. May be you have to follow certain customs and over rated traditions or maybe you just have to do what you don’t want to do. It is all in someone’s control. You are woken up by someone else. Your work schedule is decided by someone else. Your meals are decided by someone else. Your pair of clothes is also decided by someone else. It is a rarity. You are just a body and indulged mind.

When you travel, you are all alone, all on your own. There is no one to guide you, no one to side you or no one to tame you. You are all your master and you are all your almighty. You are the decision maker; being the explorer. Now, this is the time when you are all ready to loosen up and lose your mind. For a small instance, starting with your morning habits, you can wake up anytime you want. You can eat anytime you want. You can explore anywhere you want and there is no body to guide or stop you. This is where the freedom comes in. You are the king.

Freedom by all means is freeing from all the tantrums. It is freeing from all those four congested walls. It is freeing from all those vulnerable routine days. It is freeing yourself from everything that is connected to you in the slightest possible manner.

In this freedom, the only thing which the nature demands is discipline. Travelling without discipline is like a car without brakes. It is very important to have certain basic self-discipline while you are travelling all alone or your with family or friends.

You may be the most notorious one in the group but when you travel, you should be the most silent one. By silence, I don’t mean all mute but yes, mute in terms of mischief. It is good to do things which you have never done before, but it is also important to follow certain rules and described measures before entering the sky for skyline. You cannot randomly go away. You cannot randomly swim. You cannot randomly jump off a cliff.

When you travel, it is very necessary that you have that power button in your hands. Discipline while travelling not only helps you but also saves others from falling off the pit. When you know you can’t perform certain activities and you still go there to show your bravery, it not only harms you but also the environment as well as other sapiens around you. For instance, if you know you have a meeting tomorrow morning and you still sit to drink till 2 am and expect the client to turn back, you are all mistaken. He would want someone who is self-disciplined in his own personal life before taking up his professional plunge.

If you know you are on a solo trip and you still go out with strangers to drink, despite of knowing that you cannot handle it. It is a breach of your self-discipline and there you get caught and land in trouble.

Travelling has simple rules. It gives you space for all the adventures, but at your own risk. It does inspire you to jump in a deep sea when you don’t know how to swim. If you still do, it is all your luck. If you know you are afraid of water and you still walk at the seashore, it is all your luck. When you know you are not a booze person and you still drink, it is all your luck that you are all saved and alive and unrobed. If you know you are on a budget trip and you still enter casino, it is all your luck if you reach home being rich. There are certain things which we know about us. There are certain things which we don’t do in normal life. There are certain things which we are afraid to do even in our fantasies. If you still do it for the sake of an extra adventure, then it is all your luck.

Travel demands certain discipline. We hear a lot of stories, where people die due to one or the other reasons on trip. I experienced it with bare eyes. I learned it very hard way. I learned it through thick and thin. I learned it, when I was almost about to lose my life. I learned it, when I felt it was my last breathe. I learned it, while taking a selfie on a broken bridge, all barefoot. I learned it, when I heard my cab driver shouting for my life. I learned it, when my silliness over crossed my brain puddle. I learned, when my senses went all numb and dumb.  

I know I can’t swim. I know I can’t handle myself. I know I can’t handle a small camera with a selfie stick. I know I can’t. However, all I wanted to do was a simple selfie on my phone for the memory lane. I opened the car door and ran towards the bridge with a broken edge. I ran all barefoot. My heart struck when the bridge slightly tried to slide down. However till then, I had managed to take two beautiful selfies where I looked my almost best. Above is the picture of the same. The red hair girl was saved!

My insanity

My madness

Almost crossed the puddle

Almost ended in a cliff

Almost non- alive

For what, and for whom? Was I same when I was at my home? Did I ever bend down hard in my balcony to look down for the cat? Did I pick up any strings to pull it hard, to hurt me while I play? Then, how did I lose my senses? What made me do such a thing which all my life I had said ‘No To’.

Was this the fun I had in my mind? Was this the tour of fantasies dwelling fine? Or is this the butterfly in that unborn stomach who tries to give the flatten rise? I was not me. I was not at all me. It was pure her and her harbour. I was a self-care taker. I was calm. Yes, but that day I was calm too. I was clam a little differently. I was calm like the thunder waves.

This was the time, I realized how we change so surely and immediately; when we spung out of our nest. All we do is just spree free to the heavy trees. I realized how my indiscipline could take my life and I would wake up next day in the diamond studded teeth, all sharp and pointed, in the crocodile’s shit.

And that day, it changed it all.

It changed the way I looked at travelling plans, the way I looked at plane tickets, the way I looked at fairy beaches and most importantly the way I looked at the gusting wind. Through my little tiny eyes, I saw my death, sliding down from a snow flexed shade. Deep and deep and deep beneath! It all came to a rounded end.

In case you are crackhead too, like me for ‘Selfies’, share your horror-comic story with me at readywithriya@gmail.com

Travel As A Traveller And Not AS A Tourist!

There is a difference!

There is always a difference that you and I… don’t understand.

I always travelled at places like a tourist.

Like, I’m there just to see the place and not to understand it.

Like, I couldn’t hear those winds and those squirrels, jumping trees to trees.

I played snakes and ladders, I played Bowl – a –rama, but all I couldn’t play is jumping jacks.

For all I knew, I was there for you; to check on your puddled shoe.

I never ever knew there were synonyms for squirrels around the world.

Because, all I did was not paying attention.

I would happily call that ‘Chipmunk’ by my hypocoristic name and expect her to hear me back,

For all I neglect, by heart, her oxymoron reality.

She forgives me every single time for not knowing her breed, just to give me space to pull a boner again.

And I, yes, like always, I fail to recall one more time; her materiality.

How uneducated, untaught and unschooled I was to confound her pain.

And there I was…

All shut up,

All unbalanced and senile,

To look up to the benign sky, for my misapprehension.

All these years, I never thought it was important enough to know about a particular place or about a particular community. Being a Gujarati, I could hardly make a difference between a Madarasi and a Malayali. And, not because I was not educated enough but because I simply didn’t make effort to know.

In the same way, I would just visit the place and come back. Yes, I would see the gliding tress and graceful water but I would never question their realities. I accepted the place as it is. I accepted the place as it was shown in my 4th grade’s geographic textbook. There was no difference in me after my travels. I would just be the same. I would not be a little marginal intelligent among my folks. All because of pure legit ignorance.

The pictures in the wallpapers wowed me then as it wow me now. However: with a cosmic difference. It wowed me then as I would get to see my text book pictures live and it wow me now as I would get to learn about the place in its true sense. I would pre-search about the place, about the food, about the people, about the air, about the water and most importantly about the language.

I pre-learn some of the words of that particular language in advance. It is not because I face problem in communicating with the community but because I want to converse with the locals in its true originality. I want to have that same accent, I want to hear that same accent like I had heard them in the television, and I want to know them in their own way.

I want to change for them like earlier they changed for me albeit I landed in their own town. I want to eat their food as per their choice and not interrupt my own taste. I want to drink the water in the same way as they drink and not in my style. I want to dress up in their costumes and not mine. I want to dance like them and not like how I twirl my feet. I want to sing their hymns and not mine like I do in my sleepy voice. I want to sleep like them and wake up like them, I want to speak like them and listen like them, I want to turn like them and swirl like them, I want to climb like them and swim like them. All I know is, I want to be like them for the next 5 days.

Exactly like them!

No pushing, no gushing, no smashing.

Just like them, all calm and jamb.

We often travel to a destination in the name of a travel but when someone asks us regarding the place and culture and traditions and political party!!! We are often speechless.

We spend lots of money just to make our wallpapers live but we never make a little effort to know about a place, about its origin, about its history and its victory.

If we don’t know about a place, we should not travel or make a big about it. It is like staying in the same apartment for years and not knowing your next door neighbours. You just live for the sake of living. In the same way, you just travel for the sake of travelling.

You walk and talk like a tourist and not a traveller.

A traveller in true sense doesn’t need a tourist guide. A traveller cultivates his own habits of exploration. A traveller would be able to explain the routes of the unexplored parameters of that place to everyone once asked. A traveller would be able to talk and sound like a local when he’s back. A traveller would explore every possible inch of the place just because of the burning curiosity in his pump. A traveller would be a guest in the stranger land.

Feel it.

Live it.

Sulk it.

The world is all yours and you have the ability to know it all…

Next time, you go for a destination…

Be loud, be mad, be humble and be a traveller and not a TOURIST.

There is a difference.

There is always a difference which you and I… will know!

If you have such stories in your life, do share with me at Readywithriya@gmail.com