Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Don't drive silly, cos road is hilly!

Only some 200 kms away from Chandigarh, one can see board with big bold letters inviting "LEARN TO SPEAK GOOD hindi IN 30 DAYS". In a place where goras flock to attain spirituality each year, some decided to stay back forever in that elusive search of moksha. All the more better, if those fews learn our national language super fast.
And me... well, me and my husband were at Rishikesh for what anyone can expect from 20+ somethings, a weekend getaway and a quick river rafting!

We thought to be brave. Refusing the luxury of a boat, in which someone else toll, letting the excited tourist practice crazy poses and smiles for FB uploads, we decided for a raft where it is all about team work. The ticket comes with a warning though, if we get stuck in the middle of a huge Ganges tide, we might be thrown cruelly into the river by the ferocious current. But then, well, we had an experienced looking guide with us, a pretty sturdy life jacket and yes, our all willingness to give it a big yes! "So what! If it is raining, this is the best challenge Rishikesh can offer, we shall take it up, mate."

The raft went as promised, scared our wits out at every single high tide. We screamed and sang along! The weather too blessed our efforts, with a brilliant display of sunlight which seemed a huge relief for drenched with water souls. About three hours later, our raft hit the jetty. A little tired now and very hungry, we went back to the ashram where we met our parents with whom we came along.

After few minutes, sitting inside a restaurant, waiting patiently for lunch to come, suddenly we saw a new Rishikesh. The immaculately dressed Rishikesh, radiant even in her old age, the feel, the smells, the sights and legends surroundings the city beckon us. :-)

The city which seems like a abode of a householder and a wandering ascetic both. The householder who refuses to budge from the cosy nook, and the latter who has no home at all. I found both within the city. Rishikesh has, as my father says, changed a lot and steadily growing into a residential place. Earlier it was out and out a tourist mecca.

I had a life time experience in those two days, ate piping hot Maggi sitting by the roadside, felt the air which has the classic hilly contentment that one only reads about but rarely finds anywhere else, few tea-and-snack stalls, locals sitting peacefully around, drizzling which happened every now and then, we ordered chai post lunch as I thought over few lines, read few months back,

"The summer no sweeter was ever,
The sunshiny woods all athrill,
The grayling aleap in the river,
The bighorn asleep on the hill.

The strong life that never knows harness,
The wilds where the caribou call,
The freshness, the freedom, the farness, Oh God! How I am stuck on it all."

Sigh! the real world called us back soon, but for this Rishikesh, we would happily return.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Young and foolish!

...You Live Only Once :-), now just a month back I stumbled upon this idea. Well, to be precise, yes, it was Twitter and a leading publication who rather suggested me this one, and I realized that this is me!
unabashedly, in perennial state of YOLO (You Live Only Once). Infact, in a way, we all are, aren't we?

...Are you not happy that we have been living in this age of social media boom, AAP effect all over, aare...why don't you Google it thought, please WhatsApp me that pic fast.

...don't you want to live each day as if it were your last?

...itching to go into unknown territory even if it's full of unknown risks so that you get to learn something new?

...make spur-of-the-moment mistakes and be cool about it?

...lol, have you ever thought to do try bungee jumping again at the age of 80?

...always want to learn a new skill every year?

...not afraid to experiment with your wardrobe, once a while?

Yes, if you heard a little yes inside, you are following YOLO philosophy like me. Come on, you won't get another chance to do it :-)

I was surprised to know that the philosophy has been in existence over the years, just that it has become more well defined in recent times. The history is evident, here's Bahadur Shah Zafar for you -

'Na dekha kahin woh jalwa, Jo dekha khan-i-dil main,
Bahut maszid main sar mara, bahut sa dhoonda butkhana'

* vague translation, I saw no light same as that came from within my heart. Much I battered my head in the mosque and looked for it in the temple.

I have decided to live by YOLO, because life is short. And...
Thank God, He has been kind to me for the husband whose WhatsApp status is "You are taking too much space, if you are not living your life on the edge." That's makes two of us! And just now I am going to fill YOLO under the religion section of my FB page.

And as I live by YOLO each day, there will be more to come on this. Till then, let me end by few lines of my favorite poet.

What were those wonderful lines of Yeats ?

" She bid me take life easy as the leaves grown on the tree,
  but I being young and foolish did not agree."