Sojourn with Self

It was not a pleasant Saturday morning; the sun was high before 8. The place where I usually have my breakfast at this time was undergoing some cleaning activity.
The simple animals, some four dogs howling as if they were in a concert, three pigs squeaking in the road side drain, and two donkeys accompanying there canine neighbors, it was apparent they were not in a great mood. Probably they had a disturbed sleep last night, courtesy the early monsoon.
Some how I manage to get up and pick my self ready for my plan for today, Sojourn with myself.

I had no idea of where I was going or what I will do, but I was clear I want to spend time with myself away from prying eyes. So with this thought in mind I set off, with “Only Paranoids Survive”. It was 11 by the time I could zero in on to a spot. Ok!! “Lets make a move” and I set on one of the most interesting sojourns ever.

The road was fantastic, unlike the other Indian roads, not a blip or glitch all the way {of course barring a couple of railway crossings}. The lush green vine yards seemed to be exhilarated at the thought of my spending some time with them. The coconut palms could not contain there joy, seemed as if they were breezing me with there long leaves. The Sun who was dancing with all the anger pacified his gaze to let me help in my mission. As if the platter is set the rain god drizzles down the skyway, knowing very well how much I enjoy the drops flowing down my hair, over the forehead, along the nose into my mouth. The setting was perfect for any nature lover to be one with the nature. As I proceeded further the lush greenery gave way to pale grey. The sun came out of his slumber to shine on the granite quarries, the light played on my eyes fantastically. The rain has just disappeared as if it never existed and I was left stranded on the road with not enough words to appreciate the beauty of the hills that were in myriad shapes and sizes.

On some enquiry I got to know that I am headed to these same hills, little did I know that the beauty of this place would change the course of my life.
I got down at crossroads where there was nothing but a small kaka hotel. Hungry I am from the morning; I got into the place, and ordered for a plate puri. Slowly I was feeling better, I chatted with the fellow for some time, and he was excited to see someone talking to him on so friendly terms, that he narrated his life story to me in just a matter of quarter hour. I was so engrossed in his story, I barely noticed (nor did he) that I finished what was offered and it was raining heavily. Suddenly one of my co passengers informs me of a sumo that is going to this undisclosed location I started for. I pay back the hotel guy and bid farewell to him. Such beautiful soul was he and of course his wife who was cook par excellence.

The last leg of the journey was eventful with spiraling curves and the raindrops lashing at us as if they wanted us t stay away. But the human spirit and the desire to succeed along with the experience of the driver saw us through.

I fumbled, dumb stuck, awed, shocked, what should I say of the first reaction of the place. The Palatial entrance laden with freshly wet trees, with the drops falling down as if from heaven, the beautiful flowers in crimson violet and greenish yellow covered the path as if they were waiting for my arrival. I put one step inside this paradise that the orchestra of the nature sing a mellifluous song, accompanied by visual treat and the welcome shower of flowers and the pearl drops of water.

I started out into the unknown territories away from the crowd. It was as if I was on a trek in the jungle. It was breath taking, and if not for the material bonding I have with this world, I wished I had my last breath there. The dead leaves from the lush green trees helped the slippery path in improving its efficiency to let the best of the materials to slip over it. It had some fun with me, but was deterred by my determination and stopped troubling me after a few attempts.

Crossing the jungle I entered the edge of a cliff, famous for its suicide attempts, only the lack of a paraglide stopped me from venturing on what lied beneath. The temple on the cliff, the granite plateau next to the jungle, the wind through my hair, the clouds and the sun all were have the time of their life. I chose a location down the cliff, which was reasonably safe to sit, to begin my sojourn.

Time went by, or should I say flew by, when I was woken up by the sounds of a group of monkeys who were above me, shouting as if asking me to come back as it was getting dark. I make a move reluctantly as I also have to search for a place to stay by for the night. It’s 6 in the evening when I begin my hunt for a roof. Being as fickle as the English monsoons, I never had the time or inclination to plan my stay at this place until the time for that has come. Now I find that my best skills could not help me in securing 6 feet for a night.

Reluctantly, I leave for the bus stand. But wait the party is not over. I try my last attempt with the lone stall fellow. I some how convince him to let me stay at his place for the night. Then comes the bang, in my excitement I spoke so loudly that the guard nearby comes and outright reprimands the fellow and me for something like this. On further inquiry I find that there are strict orders not to allow any single individuals to give entry to the place (lest they should commit suicide!! he he). Any way by this time I lose all my energy to fight for a stay. I decide to board the bus back to my abode at 2000 hrs (the last bus).

The wind blowing in my face, the small child playing his key board, the young couple cuddling in the cold, the old man lighting his bidi, the close family sharing a joke, the hotel fellow and his assistant chatting with me; all near the bus circle under the big banyan tree. I would never forget this setting for some time to come. As soon as I boarded the bus it started raining and without my knowledge I slipped into a wonderful dream. When I wake up from the dream it is 2300hrs and I am in Bangalore.

If you thought this was the end, then again you are wrong, there was some more excitement. I had my dinner at a road side stall and was chatting with the owner. We found many common interests and if not for the last bus to my place I would have been with him for the night.

I come back home by 0100 hrs and start my day with “Maverick”.