Life Is a Journey

All of us have heard the above statement, sometime or the other. Loved ones tell it to us when everything seems wrong and they want to make it right, face book memes and inspirational and motivational quotations tell us about it, in an elaborate manner. Yes, after all this, it seems as if this statement is so very complicated, that we will try to understand it throughout our lives. But, for one day, let’s just stop thinking about the inner meanings, and take the meaning of journey literally.

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I always wanted my life to be a journey, travelling is what I want to do my entire life. I remember those travel shows that used to be aired on T.V. when I was really young, the first of its kind in India, it used to be my Sunday ritual. All those amazing places that the host visited, and the fun she had, and her job was to do all this in front of the camera, just that. I would be just amazed at the possibility of me doing something like that, travelling around the world for free, and getting paid for it. I bet many of us wanted to and still aspire to do something like that. But the common thing among all of us is our love for travelling. It’s not just the places that we visit, it is the people that we encounter, the cultural changes, the language barriers, the food differences, the scenic beauty, everything just adds to it.  The best part about travelling and visiting places is that everything is new and an experience and it’s up to us, as to how we make that experience. Some visits are for fun, some are emotional and related, some are a little boring and unexpected, but a few of them are real life changing.  When we travel, we come to know a lot about ourselves. Travelling is not only fun, but it also helps us to introspect. We come face to face with something new in us, we rediscover ourselves through travelling. With family, travelling is all about unity, togetherness, happiness, lots and lots of love, but with friends, its love,  its fun, we become daredevils, playing on the dangerous side, taking chances, exploring on our own, without anyone taking our responsibility. One must admit, it is a thrilling experience, and if the place we visit is also different and exciting, then, it’s the ultimate trip.

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I have not travelled extensively, but there are a few things about few places which I would like to share.
Rajasthan, land of deserts, where stories of power and royalty are told again and again, where the entire state signifies power, is a very beautiful place. It is a tourist destination, because to the world, it is the ideal Indian image, but there is more to it. Jaipur is a very developed city, like a metropolitan city, but the towns like Bikaner, Jaisalmer, are a very contrasting image.  When I lived there for a few days, it was good, because it was a change from the regular towers and tall buildings, as I saw small houses with courtyards, and underground rooms, and the hot weather, but it also turned claustrophobic after a point of time. I would yearn to go back to my city, because here it all seemed so slow, and so basic. It was a good trip, but somehow I felt as a hostage in the place. At night, the vast barren desert was a very beautiful image, but a scary one too. When you look at that image, at night, with stars as the only source of light and a wide expanse in front of you, you begin to think. I did, as I thought of my life until now, the various happy moments, the sad ones too, the irresponsible decisions, some decisions that make me proud. It was a moment of understanding oneself, it sure was.

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Vrindavan, famous for religious reasons, with temples that reflect grandeur more than anything else, also had one element which just made me happy and sad at the same time. When you walk through the interiors of the place, you see  a lot of old women, a lot, in white saris and the Vaishnav symbol on their forehead, asking for alms, or just sitting and singing bhajans. They are all widows, who have been deserted by their children, left uncared for, and they all live in the city of Lord Krishna, devoting themselves to him, fully.  I thought about the disgusting and inhumane mentality of such families, who no longer care for their parents when they are old and dependent on them, and the people in Vrindavan, the various NGOs who take care of them, and make sure they feel at home. This is the part of travelling that I love, you get to know a lot about the human behaviour, positive and negative.

These are my two personal experiences, that touched me, and will remain with me my entire life. Malls, clubs, restaurants, these are present in almost every place, and it does not make any difference to you. But when you visit a place, and try to find things that you get to see or feel only there and nowhere else, that’s when you actually travel. You want to do something different, feel different, see different, when you are in a different place.

Of all the places I visited, of all the things I saw,
There are many, which leave me in awe.
I see myself surrounded by strangers all around,
Somewhere in them, it’s me that I found.

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