Monday, April 19, 2010

Goodbye sweet memories

Time and tide waits for no man. Nor woman.

Only last year around this time I took on a job with a sector I had never worked in before. It is called the Non Governmental Sector (NGO for short) in order that I might get my hands dirty. And right enough I did – or almost! My interest was to get into the sector in order that I may be able to devote my time to the social sector, really playing with the real soil of India – the under privileged.

A year from then, I am returning to Delhi, with hope that I will be able to do my bit in my own way in a small circle, I will have to develop in Delhi’s juggi jhopadi.

Having said that, I must confess that the year behind me was enriching too especially because of a dear friend I met quite by chance. Without mincing words I have to give 90% of my ability to have stuck around on this job, to her encouragement and support. A good listener, forever available and open to my thoughts and anxieties, she had been the rock of Gibraltar throughout this period. Hence, with only twenty days to go, we decided to take a joint trip together to a place neither of us had been before – Jabalpur.

Trips and travels may be planned but there is a sense of the unexpected that is always there, which makes the trip all the more exciting. This time we were in for a new experience, not altogether happy.

As we completed the first day, having taken a boat ride through the River Narmada lined on both sides with the famous splendid marble rocks and visited the temple of the 64-yoginis (see picture on the link below) we came back to Osho Amrit Dham, where we were putting up, right next to the beautiful rock garden. We had hardly finished an afternoon siesta and a meditation, than we got the sad news that my friend’s father had just passed away.

All our plans of Jabalpur sight-seeing took the back seat as we struggled on a Sunday evening to get to the nearest airport in order that we could have her on a plane to Chennai.

Jabalpur is really one of those towns, in the middle of nowhere! To get to the nearest “city” points, you have to travel approximately 7 – 8 hours by train or bus! So, at 11 pm we took a bus from Chaudhury Travels, right where the Bus Stand is, to Nagpur, 8 hours away.

Ah! The sight of a large city – Nagpur, we could not savour much except that the broad roads took us to the Airport and once she was gone, I began my long and arduous journey back to Bhopal, by train and bus. By the time I was in Bhopal, my back had almost given way – 19 hours of travel non-stop in not the best of comforts, made me decide that really this was the journey, I call life. And here’s why.

Some journeys are marked by a certain flavor that is peculiar to life itself. You come to the world as a visitor, you travel distances, sometimes short and these days, many times long, between the two finite points – life and death, wearing your soles out, allowing the weather to beat your brows, loving some, hating some, making rules, breaking them, conforming and rebelling. You meet new friends, you lose old ones, you make a new beginning, but it does not move after a certain time, no amount of effort can determine which way the wind is going to blow. So you as a traveler set your sail up to the wind, and the best traveler is one who can allow the flow and go with the wind.

I may not be Marco Polo, but I have travelled over life times to know, why we meet and part, whether it is places we change or in the hands of death we surrender to. There is a reason behind everything. There are no accidents in life. The wealth of past experiences must do their round to expend their energies. All our meetings, all relationships, are but the fruition of a past coming the full circle.

Therefore, goodbye sweet memories, dear hours spent together. Be it time, space or the evil hands of death, time and tide waits for no man. Nor woman. It is but, the sweet essence of life, the lessons learnt, to love, to rejoice, when life is there, and then to mourn it not, for the hours once spent never return except in our memories. And that too will pass, in time.

Therefore, Goodbye sweet memories!

More pictures of Jabalpur

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