A few days ago, in a conversation with a friend, I mentioned , how I am so used to the slow mountain life. The life I chose, away from the ever ambitious chase of things, in some corner of the Himalayas, in the tiny village I live. How without that I cannot survive well. However, to put me in my perspective, my friend made me question how did I then spend now more than hundred days in a city. I do not even remember when was the last time I did such. Probably when I was yet to graduate from my college, and had no choice but to. Even now, my choice is nothing but a survival mode, however, it does me good to retrospect, how am I actually surviving.
I am not going to sugar coat the frustrating times, however, it is also true, life in this survival mode, has taught me things or two. What is funny though is the observations , and things that have been happening with me. Here is a try to put them in one article, so may be some of you might message me and say " Oh yes, Deep, I had the same feelings in recent days. " .
It's a whole different landscape, in a city. Architectural wonders and a man made concrete jungle covers the vast expanse of the eye sight. There is no end to it. It is of such contrast for someone, who lives in a naturally beautiful village in Himalayas, where the greatest mountain range in the world covers the earth mostly.
Every day in the evening during the sun down , I go up to the roof, to have a little workout session ( Isn't helping me against being fat , yet keeps up the fitness ). Then I try to comprehend how men used so much of their valuable time and energy to build up such unnatural settlements for their own species, and now when we live here, we want to run away. Safety and security surely , our species has provided for, surely, with our strongholds, and easily accessible lifestyle. Yet it does not quench the thirst fully. Makes us always feel incomplete. In such sense, even when I am living with more luxury than I ever lived on mountains with for last seven years, yet I find myself delusional. Walking around , secretly, waiting and asking for a glimpse of a mountain in the far horizon. At times the clouds somehow, shape up to give myself some hope. I also if not fully content, try to be as much as happy as possible. Isn't that what all of us living in cities do, " trying to be as much happy as possible" ?
While the lock down has eased a little, markets have opened up. Here I find a nice time that intrigues my brain , trying to differentiate between the different products on offer. More than you need to live, yet your life is incomplete without having them. That seems to be the motto of the exchange in city markets.
To start with the morning fish market, is good to see , all the different kind of fishes, albeit names of which I do not even know. that seems " could be tasty to cook." . I see people coming in from great distances now, to buy fishes and varied other items. Mostly , all of us are home, and cooking a fine meal to satisfy our appetite. It is seldom found in cities, people having this very luxurious item to use, it is called TIME.. Having it now, due to the situation, helps them to live like how they want to.
Also free advice from strangers on how to cook a certain fish or crab helps. After all, advice are always free around here.
Most of the people , have been indulged in the "work from home" scenario, and are the ones who are mostly happy to be staying at home and enjoying what seems like little pleasures of life. After all, it has been long since they actually spent time with their families or partners, cooked meals together or even enjoyed every bit of space of the apartments they pay hefty EMIs or Loans for. It is indeed good to see, some of the humans rejoicing, Makes a day bright ,ain't it ?
With lockdown being lifted, I also take excursions in the city. Places , I had no plans of visiting before, seems interesting now. It is due to the fact that, I had taken this parts , granted. Now after being caged for so many days, every wild flower that comes out from anywhere seems beautiful, and I look at it with same intent as I did to the orchids on the forest of mountains and national park. Suddenly when , I have no option, I started taking care of things I have, rather than seeking the far away beauties. Is it a mere coincidence or basic human nature, to think greatly of things that lie away, than for gifts we already possess.
Fault surely remains with me, to have never given the appropriate attention and importance. This made me realize, spring is as beautiful in the city flowers, as it is in the meadows of the mountains.
It also helps, that most people are still weary of the virus that plaques huge amount of victims, and keeps to home, avoiding unnecessary travels. With less human interactions, the nature can bloom to its original glory. All I have to do, is give my finite concentration to feel it's beauty.
People like us, who are always on move or outdoor activities, can be considered worst addicted to our habits. Our minds overthink, when our energy levels cannot be put to use in activities that burn the energy. Same happens to me , as I am in city, devoid of hiking or swimming. The city parks and walking in it comes to the rescue surely. What is funny though , is all of us, are wearing mask and practicing social distancing with fear. We survey each other, with utmost suspicion , as carriers of a deadly virus. We neither smile or greet , and politely pass off. After all, we are a culture who is expert in practicing social distancing , since we are used to our age old heritage and laws of untouchability and its practices.
As if, to our reward of social pretentious faces and fine performances of putting a act, in this life, our karma has blessed us with the use of beautiful masks, that gives us more days of life on earth now. Surely, it is enjoyable for us, that we have a apt reason, for not having to talk or smile to people that we absolutely hate, now. Hding our true faces in the mask.
While my natural way of life has been lost, a "neo-normal" life has also come into practice. Just taking a road trip somewhere, that is green and natural is enough to calm the soul for now. It is like a lullaby to a baby , who knows now how to sleep in this chaotic world.
The road trips do not need destinations now, like before, all it needs is road and some company. The google map helps you get lost, and then you find a spot for yourself. Without a reason, just to halt and take in whatever possibly you could. You do not need a mountain, or a beach, just anything that you have not experienced, is enough for now to feed your explorer inside. You silently understand, there were more to every kind of life, than you realized or ignorantly passed off. Judging them by value, by profit, or by what it adds up. Now, even if it adds up nothing, you consider it beautiful just for it's existence.
This time. it is yet to end, and the future is still unsure. I do not know for how many more days, will I adapt and see through this life that I completely ignored. When the survival matters, I will choose to do things that I took for granted, and still be happy. I hope I remember this, when all is well again, and when I can tell this story of how I survived in the place , that I thought I never could. T
Do connect over, if you had same thoughts like me, in the last 100 days. Also connect if you are used to a life of wander, and now stuck in survival like me.
Note from the Author,
" Travel made me rich and free. Magic and miracles are true , once you wander on the roads to places different and divine. I have collected so many thoughts and stories while being a Tour & Trek guide for last seven years. Sharing with you all, those memories and stories , and wishing you all , that someday you guys travel far and wide too. I am not a great writer , so ignore my grammar and spellings, read it with feelings, and you might just be affected with the wanderlust to hit the road"