The sky was a pale pink with smudges of soft red and orange. A few traces of gold and blue highlighted the coming of another morning as the sun readied itself to make its grand entry. The breeze was soft and pleasing, almost like a gentle caress. Suddenly a tiny bright red head peeked from behind the wooly tuft of cloud. The colour of the cloud transformed from a weak, greyish white to something bright and incandescent, glowing from within as if going pink in its vain attempts to hold on to a secret, but of course with the grace of an ethereal beauty. This whole spectacle was reflected in the still waters of the creek. And it looked unbelievably surreal when a lone fisherman’s boat crossed the flaming red river of rays reflected in the waters. The sun continued to climb higher into the sky, searing the clouds with its blazing oranges and yellows. All this before I could even take the next sip from my cup of tea. How can so much happen in so little a time?
It’s not every day that I get to witness this kind of a spectacular welcome to the day. I savor the calm of the mornings before the harsh realities match step with the blinding brightness of the sun. The quiet often beckons thoughts; thoughts which otherwise would inhabit the subconscious recesses of your mind, niggling and making uncomfortable appearances at the most importune of times. It was during one of these solitary ruminations that I thought about my carefree days of youth when I would just pick up my bag and drive off with no destination in mind. Those were the days when the cup was full of unbridled adventure, passion and lust for life. The chains had not yet started to form which would bind the spirit and load the heart with responsibilities and expectations.
I stood there, cup of tea in my hand, remembering the many beautiful mornings I had seen during my trips. Rain-soaked watery sunrises, golden sunrises, sun rising from the distant horizon, the red ball making its way up from behind the daunting snow-covered peaks, golden slivers trying to get through the thick green foliage as the chirping and twittering made for the most invigorating accompaniment. It felt like I belonged to every place I went to, as if it was destiny, as if I had to be there. Every moment was a story etched forever into my soul. As I stood there in the balcony, I wished I could be in the boat, moving slowly with the tides, heading towards a destination only the winds knew of.
It was then that I realized how small and insignificant our lives are. There is this whole unexplored world and we know nothing about it. We sit smug in our homes and restrict our worlds to our material comforts. We no longer want to know or see beyond the screens which have so successfully blindfolded us to this beauty. Globe trotters we may have become, but have we truly seen the world? We have a hoard of picture-perfect clicks, made even more perfect with the filters and apps, but is there any way in which we can capture the essence of the place, smell the smells so distinct, feel the spirit of the place? I don’t think so. An impromptu stop at a wayside tea-stall, chatting with the locals, sharing a simple meal with a farmer and his wife as they rested under a tree, exploring a long forgotten fort off-the-road and by happy happenstance meeting the caretaker whose family has been doing this for generations. Can I somehow capture these moments somewhere?
I can’t wait to pick up my bag and move again. Maybe with my caravan but move again I will. If there’s something I can never give up on hoarding, it’s the memories on the road, travelling and being one with this beautiful land.