Tuesday, February 22, 2011
They were all exasperated with me.
Stopping a moving car every now and then, at every bend, uphill, downhill, foothill and hilltop to take a picture; of the same old hill, of trees (as if trees are uncommon and deserving of such attention).
It’s getting late. For them.
They need to reach the next town quickly to have some coffee. They need 4 cups of coffee a day. So what if they are travelling? And its coffee time now.
They are getting late. You should reach the destination in time, well before its lunch time, before breakfast time, before it gets dark... in fact just reach as soon as possible.
What do you mean why?
Because it’s our destination. Simply because it’s the destination.
Let’s first reach there. On our way back you can stop to take pictures.
On our way back….
You never know. There may not be so much light available. It may be cloudy. Who knows what will happen on our way back?
I, much to the anguish and consternation of all others, get down to photograph the brambles. Did you notice those red flowers all over the thorny shrub and no leaves at all?
I will never see it in Bangalore.
Then the coffee fruit on bushes; not this bush, that one - for their arrangement is special, they look like pearls on a string.
The house on that hillock that looks really old; a few decades if not hundreds.
A patch of grass below, that’s turned yellow and gold.
Monkeys - they give perspective to your picture.
Have you never seen monkeys before?
There are 25 of them huddled together in a ball. I have never seen them like that before. A ball of monkeys.
Yet another monkey on the parapet that had closed it's eyes, probably taking afternoon nap, looking like a meditating monkey.
That bull dozer.
Now that one you see in the city every day!
But this one is different. The ones in the city blend so harmoniously with their surroundings. And this one; the contrast is striking.
It will change the face of the hill forever. This must be a historic moment for the hill.
This way you can go on taking pictures. Is there an end? It’s difficult for him to drive. To stop now and then. How selfish you can be!
Take one picture of the lake, two of the temple, a few at the rose garden, one of the sunset. That should be enough.
And after a few hours, it’s time to return.
So why waste time, looking at the same thing again and again?
It’s not the same. We had passed by this spot in the afternoon. When it was sunny and white. It’s dawn now. Foggy. Misty. Blue. And only a small patch below is glistening yellow with the sun. It’s not the same thing. Try to understand.
We have to reach home in time for lunch and afternoon nap, and evening tea. We have to reach before it gets dark.
Because now home is the next destination.
Thus they went on. Most of them measuring life by the destinations visited and not by the journey itself.
As if the countless moments in between amounted to nothing.
And the only one who enjoyed the journey was thought abnormal.
So it is with their life.
That’s how they measure it. Not by the journey itself but by the destinations visited.
10 standard, then 12, Engineering Degree, then software job, America, then marriage, own house, car, then children.
The one who is simply happy, to be breathing, to be living, eating, singing, reading, writing, talking, joking, taking pictures, occasionally passing a few destinations now and then has no success to boast of.