Thursday, October 3, 2013

Where I Belong

When John Denver goes “Country roads take me home, to the place I belong” West Virginia may not be the place I intend or can travel to. The local line buses here in Mangalore, when relatively free of all their crowd give me this feeling, the one with which he sings. I slip into a reverie of sorts sitting in a corner with my arm resting on these low railings of the window with the breeze brushing past my face. The speed at which these vehicles bolt and their very characteristic honk is very contradictory to the serenity they bring, my thoughts effortlessly fly like a grasshopper and turn along with the bends.

I go into a world that is quieter, amongst people of whom I know none and yet the town looks unsophisticated, very familiar. It has to, after two and half years. The coconut tree greenery around greets, the clouds that may burst any time any day and any way loom large. There is hardly any sunshine unlike during the heat of the summers. The air smells of the salt peculiar to the sea, and then there are those frequent occasions when it smells of the fish. I am a Mangalorean, but that has got nothing to do with the hundred and one reasons I can give this world on why I detest fish. When I look up to the sky there are birds flying more than I can correctly name one. I wish I could do that, go wherever I want to whenever I feel like, all because this strange silence in my mind makes me miss all the noise back at home in Bangalore.

I know I am not very far away. I have always believed that I am not the hippie kind who can manage to live anywhere. It was not about the place, it was not about the people. More than anything else it was about me, what I identified myself with. I have always, essentially, been waiting and trying. Waiting and trying to become something, waiting and trying to be that person I always thought I am on the verge of becoming. In my head, it was possible. And in that process day by day, today I wonder if life has begun. Sometimes it feels this is it, this is the way. That thing I was waiting for, those moments  unfolding silently and patiently. The doorbell from the milkman at sharp six who refuses to take the last two months bill amount and says “Give it next time Ma’m”, and the next time is for eternity.  The old autorickshaw fellow at the auto stand who refuses to pick up others and waits for me till eight thirty for some absurd reason that I look exactly like his dead daughter and chats on one day about why Narendra Modi SHOULD become the Prime Minister of India , and how we can cook good food without onions on the other. And then there are some very nice and new friends who explain me on why I should stay back here in this town, well this way:

'The Big Bang Anti-Theory': On how and why people can be together despite moving away.
[ It made sense unlike this final picture ;-) ]

I do not know what Jon Krauker meant in Into the Wild when he wrote this:

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun”

What is unconventional living according to you ?
Living in one place differently everyday, or living in different places everyday? :-)



I Romanticize said...

I think it varies from person to person. Some people enjoy their comfort zones while others can't help but crave for another adventure, and there are always some that just want to run away from everyone. Most of us have a little bit of all of this in us.

On a side note, I grew up listening to this song, and live right next door to West Virginia. The Shenandoah Valley is beautiful.

Rajesh said...

Small Towns have this effect on us. It seems that time slows down a little and so does the incessant clutter of honking horns.

Beautiful write. Thank you.

Raksha Bhat said...

@Raaji: Take me to that valley, and in return I shall take you to the sea :-D

@Rajesh: Thanks to you too for reading and relating Rajesh :-)