When I got high on travel stories!

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~ About a rendezvous with a gypsy soul ~

How long have you been travelling for? – I asked him.
It has been 5 years Saumya
How much have you covered?
‘I don’t travel to cover. .
I travel to be, I have been to the same place more than twice and stayed there for months. I am not an explorer.’
Is there something that you are looking for?
‘When I come to think about it, I believe it is humanity that I am looking for. I find it in the mountains and the oceans! For the last five months I was in the mountains now I feel like the ocean is calling out to me. Do you like to travel Saumya?’
Hard to say. May be I am looking for the wrong things that I think are only available around here!
‘Maybe you don’t need to look for anything at all! Maybe there isn’t anything that you can’t have! Well, I want to raise my glass to you lady! Cheers to you being a photographer, it’s not easy to be one!’
Cheers!
Tell me about photography!
What do I tell you? It is still a long way to go!
Why is that? You are doing great already!
I am not! I guess I am diverted. I need something to bring me back on to where I was headed.
Where were you headed?
I never wanted to chase success, I just wanted to create art, create magic through art, tell stories through art. And all I can find myself doing is bargain with my clients for glamour they want in the pictures.This is not where I belong!
I like to do photography as well, i bought this camera but I could never find work.
Do you do travel photography?
Yes yes I do. I will show you some!
Pic no. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5! That’s all?
I was once kidnapped and thrown into the river, you meet many criminals while you’re hitchhiking! Obviously i don’t carry my camera along!
What?
Yeah so I click it without the camera!
Through your phone?
No I never carry my phone either.
Through your beautiful eyes?
‘*Laughs*! Haha not so typically!
Wait I will show you! Like right now, if you want to capture this moment and neither of us has a camera, how would you do it?
*Takes out a diary. Asks me to go through it!*

There were pictures after pictures of the big beautiful mountains, the sea and the rivers, there were pictures of kids running, a man having his morning chai and of the beautiful sunrise, there was some psychedelic art that only he could explain to me.
Yes the diary was full of pictures that he never clicked but still managed to save as memories. He painted them. For me, in that diary, there was a photographer making art not a painter making photographs. The pictures made me feel his shaky hands and the beautiful sights. His pictures made me travel the places I have never been to. The scenes were full of colours in my head!

I had an ear to ear smile. I found a way back to the start! All this while I was so focussed on being a photographer that I forgot to be one. I have been doing business, not art!

I told myself twice, ‘He travels to be not to explore!’

It takes a lot of detachment from the worldly things, people and emotions to be a traveller. But along with the detachment, there is a certain abundance of compassion and good vibes in people like him. His beautiful grey eyes told me that I may never see him again but with some people just one meeting is enough. They are so dreamy, they force you to start dreaming again. Such encounters leave you with happiness, a sense of longing and something more. It is indeed beautiful.

__________________

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I met him 18 months back, he intrigued me so much in so many different ways, talking about travel, detachment, photography and Bonobo! He spoke about his reasons to be alive and his energy to be always willing to live life on the edge. Nothing scares this man, as if he is a born nomad.

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This was  long before I started travelling myself, I have been able to escape various times and travel ever since this conversation and I have been able to find a musafir in myself, and I feel I am doing it right, because I  don’t travel with destinations, it’s just the journeys that matter.

Who am I? – The biggest question ever!

Things change. Perceptions change. Some things mattered yesterday. They don’t anymore. Some things never mattered, now they do. People change and the biggest difficulty comes when you are asked to define yourself. Isn’t it?

Who am I? – the toughest question. For certain things I feel I have always been the same girl with the same set of beliefs but for certain other things; I am very much aware that I have changed, to a huge extent!

In a creative writing assignment, I was asked to write two pages on myself. The question was simply put – ”Who are you? Describe in 250 words.” If the assignment was to write on the girl sitting next to me, I would have written a book on her but the assignment was to write about myself and I failed miserably, I was shocked to note that in reality it’s impossible to judge oneself and the ease with which we claim to know other people is just ironical.

I thought I will talk about my hobbies, my morals, my motives, my aspirations and then I realised that those things keep changing from time to time, I am not sure if they will change more in the coming days but in the last three years they have changed drastically. Who am I? Am I the one from 2016 or the one from 2007 or the one from 2013 or the one who would become of me 3 years later?

Will I have the same answer to this question if I am asked a few days later? If my answer will be different, it could be self contradictory as well, then how will I be able to do justice to myself by contradicting my own answer? Will I even have an answer?

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I knew I couldn’t answer that question, the question left me perplexed. I was feeling hopeless, what do I know of in this universe if I don’t know myself?

I thought, thought and thought. And I realised that I know of nothing and I am nobody. This answered the question on the assignment paper. Yes, I know nothing and I am nobody. I am not the girl from 2007 or 13 or 16, I am the girl from 1993, who takes birth every new day to define herself in a completely different way each different day. I am a new person every new beginning and I will be a new person by every new end. This doesn’t mean that I won’t take a stand for anything or that I am fickle-minded, this just implies that I evolve. And to me that’s what life is about, evolving! Not just revolving around the same set of thoughts.

On January 13th 1993, I was a little baby who had just come out of her mother’s womb to experience life. Today I am a 23 year old girl who woke up with a bright smile on her face to get molded by life yet again. One thing that is constant is change and another is the willingness to change.