~ 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!’
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!
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.
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.
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.