An adventurer always starts out as an ordinary person. That day, you cannot call that person an adventurer. The first step across the threshold is tentative and heavy with excitement and dread. The next step is fueled by intrigue and curiosity. Then the next step and then the fourth. The feet become ever so light with every step as the long walk continues. As you walk along you recall the wonders that you read about, when you were immersed in the chronicles of other adventurers. You wonder, when you will face your first wonder. Events define an adventurer; not the intent. Not all adventures are made up of dragons, long walks along the ridges of mountains and fighting unknown beasts. Some are. And dragons, tall mountains and deep valleys have a way of manifesting themselves.
Time passes, you have taken many steps already but the canvas of adventure is a summer mountain-scape in the mountains of the Deccan. Sameness pervades and you wonder if it may be worthwhile to imagine a wonder that would be the first chapter of your chronicle. Stay true, you tell yourself; they will come, you assure yourself and plod along. You recall the long journeys of ancient adventurers across seven seas and seven mountains that were completed in a couple of pages – you remind yourself that the number of words or pages is hardly ever the measure of the extent, the breadth or the depth of content.
A tall mountain looms.
It’s filled with wonder, but you fail to recognise it as such. You make a note of it and it strikes you: this is indeed the wonder of my adventure. Without warning you have met with your first wonder. Does that make me an adventurer? You hope it does, but do not say it loud, lest you jinx it.
I wonder what lies beyond that mountain.
A long time and fewer pages later, you meet others like you. Some have set off on the adventure before you, some after you. You exchange chronicles and barter myths. Some seek to discover wonders together, some choose their own adventure. Not all wonders amaze everyone. From a seeker of wonders, you never realise when you have become an adventurer; till that day – when someone calls you that: an adventurer. Uncertainty and euphoria grips you on either side.
But there is no time for you to debate and evaluate. You seek the wonders, and you walk along. You celebrate the wonders with fellow-adventurers; you speak of how long you have been a seeker. Sometimes it is not so wonderful. You do not move because you are laden with disgust and disappointment. You question the purpose and the value of what you seek. You question the authenticity of the initiative. There comes a time when you are trying very hard to stay true and you fall in a quicksand. You don’t drown because the Archangel of wonder-seekers watches over you; pulls you out. Scarred though you may be, slow though your walk may become, distress though may run in your veins, you pick yourself up. You walk. And though your eyes refuse to see clearly, the wonders don’t cease. Distracted though you may become, you keep to your path.
In the league of wonder-seekers, if you have been seeking for a long nine years, you are known as an adventurer. But, what they know you as, matters less, because after nine years you are inherently aware that the adventure is the biggest wonder of all.
To all the seekers of wonder out there, whether we still share the same wonders or not, whether our paths crossed for a moment or for years, whether you are still seeking or not – thank you – my adventure has prospered because of you.
It has been a wondrous nine years with you all.