Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Next Destination


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.
Why?
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.

Like me.

5 comments:

Rishi said...

Sowmya,
I think destinations are always there for everyone, the only thing may be you want to differentiate here is well know destinations vs those created by one for oneself and ofcourse what path you take to reach them.

I get your point here though and agree to it. Basically in the focus of reaching your destination don't overlook the road be it a drive or life. There is lots to enjoy there. Yes "Enjoy" as it is a choice one makes.

Rishi.

guru said...

very well written ...

i am feeling like you have put my thoughts in the form of english sentences :-)

i was thinking on similar lines from yesterday evening after my "Performance Evaluation" got over at my office... :) everyone wants to a promotion, move from one job grade to another as soon as possible without fully enjoying/relishing what they are right now. People slog just to reach the next destination.

i am feeling like meeting you once after reading this particular blog.

Sowmya said...

Thank you Rishi & Guru for your comments.

Yes Rishi. Everyone has to decide their destination themselves. Sometimes, we dont even know our destination very clearly.

I, when asked about my future plans, have no definite answer to give. I have never had 'plans'.

Guru, you are talking about materialism and having materialistic goals. Nothing wrong as long as you have other subtler goals in life too...

Rishi said...

Sowmya,
Plans and destinations are different. But then one thing is common. They are very personal to oneself. What people ask as plan is a very trifling (choose the right word :-)) question. They are not looking for any serious answer, just to keep conversation going.

Rishi

reNUka said...

The journey is as important as the destination! :-) Nicely written.