Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The long and winding post

Sometimes the lights all shinin' on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip its been.
~Truckin' (Grateful Dead)

Lethargy kept me from chronicling what has been the busiest phase of my life; places I have managed to visit, people I have met, things I have done. A new notebook (Acer 4720Z for the record) gives me the opportunity to pause and recollect.

First things first. Heartiest congratulations and a great married life ahead to my cousin-in-arms and dear bhabhi - latest addition to the family.

It was great fun having everyone around for those 2 days. I also indulged in probably the most uncomplicated dance form known to human kind, and the only one I know, with much glee that night - the baraati dance. Heck we even danced to "Ye Desh hai Veer jawano ka", why it was there in the band playlist in the first place we had no clue. Trivialities.

A part of the fun was the shifting of the 50 odd bags and baggages, all of them obscenely stuffed, from one impossible place to another. At points of time there were more coolies handling the luggage than people following behind to whom they belonged to.

Chandigarh reminded me of Jamshedpur, the grid structure, no high rises, small town feel and all that jazz. The level of organisation though was slightly unnerving. Thank God for all the chaos I've seen in Mumbai. At least every place in the damn city doesn't look the same. Eerie.

Going back, we had this sick-of-the-city-let's-get-out trip to Rishikesh, Haridwar and Devprayag. The trip coincided with my work group's trip to Murud (a random beach near Mumbai, some 20 hrs travel from Delhi). The fact that a friend and I envisioned, planned, pitched and convinced colleagues of the worth of that place, only to back out and plan a parallel trip did raise a few eyebrows and resulted in a few conspiracy theories, but everyone came back happy (we took the credit by the way) made everyone forget everything. Win, win anyone?

Coming back to our trip, we had a hang of the laid back lifestyle that these places offer. We were on a spiritual-but-not-religious tour which meant that none of the temples got the honour of being graced by our presence. No ones loss. No rafting too, we decided to save our adrenaline for better days. For hours we just sat by Lakshman Jhula, the Ganges riverside, whatever it might be, and soaked in the spirituality oozing out of the pretty, pretty surroundings.

The "Har-ki-Pauri aarti at Haridwar" deserves a special mention. There is something about the earthen lamps and their reflection in the river that touches the deepest chord of spirituality, and the sight there is sure to give you a spiritual high. The flickering cotton lamps disappear in the troubled waters, most put out by the forceful waters, the ones that remain glittering like far away stars in the galaxy. Spiritual trance.

Then there was this really express visit home for Holi. Nothing eventful except that I traveled 24 hrs to get home, reached and got sick in my 24 hr stay home, traveled back 24 hrs and rejoined office.

It had been a long time and I could feel Mumbai calling. The valfi of my juniors provided the perfect reason to answer that call. Batch mates from here and there dropping in at the same time made it a memorable re-union of sorts. It was another packed trip, try living your 4 years in college in 3 days and you'll know. I did manage a respectable lot; the night out, Maddu Mess, Pop Tates, trips to HN, Colaba Causeway, a million faces to meet and greet. The Hard Rock Cafe visit was a special one, a much needed respite from the usual gayish music at the usual joints. They played Led Zep, The Who and the likes at full blast. No one talked. Everyone listened.

I'll be back Mumbai.

Right now it is back to the grind.

So long Dear Diary, until we meet again then.