I didn’t step out all day. I didn’t miss anything.
When I was very young and subject to all kinds of social pressures, I would often sleep a lot. Probably my way of avoiding the inevitable. Wishing the event away. But lying in bed didn’t mean sleeping, it meant daydreaming, of a better situation, where I would be the hero and the then current reality the villain, to be crushed under my foot. Ofcourse, eventually I had to get out of bed and accept the inevitable. Those daydreams however still stayed with me and upon introspection I realised what they were.
A trip around the world. Going from one country to another, where no one knows you and you can chart your own route according to your best capacities. Ofcourse my daydreams were not so organized as my trip is, but I remember it had the same theme: getaway!
Where you can eat what you desire and learn foreign cultures that you carry back to gain a better respect. This chilled me. Am I still running away, or am I completing my daydream. Maybe both. Maybe I am in my daydream. Ok, that’s Vedanta now. But, all the time I have met so many people, all of whom never planned to meet me. Some were nice, some reciprocative, some very nice and inviting. There were none who were rude. Maybe I’ve grown up as well.
On the ‘Quest’, that’s the name of my ride, I’ve stayed in all kinds of hotels, motels, lodgings, couch-surfing, friends houses, with my kids and family. Every day a different bed. Wow! That sounds romantic. So, every day a different bed: alone. Sometimes my wife joined me for a holiday and then we would part ways and my bike would wink at me.
I’ve had the loneliest ride crossing Russia, where you don’t even see the humble crow. Actually, I did see two of them across 9000km. Tough looking birds, maybe they were Ravens. Europe was more busy and populated with street activity. Even the highways were more participative. USA had a copy and paste of the same civilization pattern every 200 km. So you knew what was coming was exactly what you just rode past. Asia is like coming home. Heat, humidity and people. Lots of people everywhere. So I have to get used to the concept of someone looking at me all the time. Eyespace management! But when I was in Russia did I miss people? That would be an unsocial thought, for I have to stay amidst society.
So probably my adaptability quotient has improved. I don’t know; but my son told my wife: ‘Mom, the guy who is coming back is not the one who went away’. So will I have to ride the existing highway, or make my own. Surely this ride has given me a new identity, a better perspective and to discard that would challenge the Quest itself.
Real fear is when you are alone, logistically defenceless and tired. I lived in this city. I became friends with Fear. I learnt what I didn’t know earlier. Become friends with Fear. Accept your own mortality.
Its evening now. I’ve just come back from a Club tea and cheese sandwiches, that only a club can prepare. I’ve almost finished my packing. Some clothes are drying outside my cottage. I am feeling much better. The day will surely end in better control of the situation. Does Time surpass Mortality?
Ok, enough: I have to go for dinner with my host. Need to get ready.