Different, But Same

This is not the first time I have felt it. I smile.

Just standing there, alone, out there, in that perfect afternoon makes me feel excited like a child. Again.

*

My earliest memory of having like that was in Singapore, some fifteen years ago. I was sitting on a bench on Orchard Road. It was a nice evening; my friend and I had walked a lot that day, taking in the scenes of the city, with some lovely conversations to go with it. He wanted to get in to one more shopping mall, to get something for his wife. I asked him to go ahead; I’d wait outside. As I sat on that bench and looked around, there was hardly anything like the environment I was used to, back in Mumbai. It was all different — the people, the vehicles, the buildings, the colours, the streets. It was fascinating. Yet it was the same me. I was the same person — thinking, feeling the same way I would, if I was back at home. I had travelled before, there was no reason for this sense gliding over me to be unique. It was the first time, however, I had paid attention. In a 3d-esque-Google Earth-Fly-mode, I imagined myself flying over the earth from Mumbai to Singapore, watching the terrain below me. I became acutely aware of how far I was away from home. I kept saying, everything around me is different, I am the same. I couldn’t for the life of me understood why that feeling is relevant or significant. But I was feeling excited about it, and I was smiling to myself.

Since that day in Singapore, I’ve travelled many places. Some, really far away. Whenever I have found a moment alone, this friendly feeling has always been at my side.

*

I am at break from work. I’ve come out of the building where we are working. Out there, looking at the beautiful afternoon sky, I have the same feeling. This time, in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Everything around me is different, I am the same. Fifteen years have gone by, I still do not know the relevance or the significance of that feeling. I spent just a few more minutes, out there. I ask myself to understand what it means. Why do I feel this way, when I am far away from home. Why does this feeling recur? I take a photograph. Perhaps, when I am back home, when I think of this moment when I was far away, thinking how everything around me is different, I am the same, I’ll know.

16.08.10: Blue Skies

Fifteen years later, (older and wiser, apparently), I have no answer. I don’t mind.

I like the feeling.

Mind the Gap

Some people should write more often. Definitely more than a post every two months, on an average. It means a lot to the readers. But, perhaps these folks should not write more often. Supply demand economics will come into play. I am not sarcastic by default, but I can be sarcastic when I feel the need. I am not being sarcastic at this time. The Ides of November called into question (and answer) much that this year has been about.

This year died a long time ago for me. I am just dancing on its corpse, awaiting January, so that I may alight. I would elaborate on this thought, but much has been said about the tone of recent posts (Go to Archives, and read all posts in 2014) on this blog.)

<start:pet peeve>

Each entry that you write is a post and this collection of posts makes your blog. That one entry that you make in your blog is not your blog. That’s a post or an article. That entire collection of your entries? That’s a blog. Each of those entries in your blog? That’s a post.

<end:pet peeve>

I like the “gap year” concept in the post (post; not blog) that I have linked to, above. It makes so much sense. What’s interesting is that it is never obvious and we end up writing about it in November – the fag end. If you have read my blog for a while, you will know of my love/hate relationships with dates, especially rounded numbers and milestone dates, as well as the conflict I face with social sharing. That notwithstanding, after I read Amit’s post, I’ve decided this has to be the gap year (for me) that he so wonderfully describes. I didn’t need the post to inform me about it; his post just confirmed it, in a way.

9240: Small Gaps

Which, in a funny way, means that I have less than two months of left, of the gap year.

There’s this notion of point of no return. It has always intrigued me. I always measure distance in terms of the time it takes you to go there “and” return here. So, in my head, the point of no return has to be more than half of getting there. It’s like middle-age. People say, Oh, I’ve hit middle age. I always wonder how people can say that. To be able to say, you are in the middle age, you have to know when you will die. Else you are just statisticalising (Yup, I made up that word)

The one risk I face, come, end of December, is that I do not learn from this gap-year. Irrespective; if I chose the learning or it was imposed on me. The next year will have to be different. Either we will board the train or we will exit the platform.

Else, we risk another gap year.

Returning Home

Everybody should leave home.

One, we get to see what’s there in the world outside the small world that we live in. Most of the things we hold as true, aren’t. We see shades we have never encountered. There’s surprises galore that will shock and awe us. 

Two, it’s a wonderful feeling to return. The place is warm and your people invite you back in a way that you feel at home. With the experience of the world outside, our own world becomes slightly richer. The sense of comfort is satisfying.

After a while, we should leave home. Again.

10/10/10

Please note that the date in the title is in the dd/mm/yy format.

IMG_1459

Three years ago, this day I was in a popularly acknowledged exotic place in the world – Fiji. Traveling long distances has always been an intriguing experience. The context of it all – being so far away from a familiar place. Everything around you is different yet, you are the same. That instant difference and the sameness is the intrigue, and therefore the excitement and curiosity. This photo in particular gave a sense of a gentle touch, a connection with the environment I was in. It could have been taken in Mumbai, for all you know (it wasn’t), but the fact that it was taken on the other side of the world, made it ever so beautiful.

Not all discoveries you make during travel are about the places you see.

Come Home

%22You can have houses in a thousand places; only one will be home%22

Over obstacles, under the clouds and through the barriers,
Sans the compass and making sense of torn maps.
You’ll find a way, home.

My Home

Vengurla Port, MH, India

I was not created
To be at anchor.
My home is the open sea.

Vengurla Port, Konkan, MH, India. December 2005

 

The House Must Mean Something – II

I owe an apology to my readers for the previous post. Of course, I’ve already apologised, at the end of the previous post. So, this apology is for those who gave up before they could reach the end of that post. It was a post full of possibility that was, unfortunately never converted.

But this post is not about the apology. It’s about the last post. So, it’s a post about a post. Or a non-post, if that’s what you would call the previous post. (which is potentially a non-post).

A long-lost-and-now-found blogger friend offered an insight into what the actual content of the previous post could have been. Well, she didn’t actually suggest that it could have been the content, I made up that part for myself. It was about Going Home. There is envy when you see such beautifully written posts, but there’s happiness in equal measure, because you were able to experience it.

370827883_1a8e041a35_b

The House, for me has always been the predecessor to a Home. A home is an existent experience of many a splendour and wondrous things. A house, not so. The only thing it can mean anything is a possibility — of being a home. You know what I mean – the oft-quoted cliché: “four walls make a house and four people make a home” and the various permutations of that idiomatic expressions. And while I still cannot put a finger on the genesis of the title of the previous post, the house does mean something. Just one thing, actually – a possibility. And in that, there is much we can do; much we can achieve.

And, of all the things that we can do with it – is that we can make it our own; make it our home. That is what a house means. But we will have to be open to that possibility, give it due consideration – walk around in it and see where we can hang our dreams, how we will fix our hopes, and with what hues we will paint our joy. Some houses are easier to consider than the others. They are stencils that provide a sneak preview of how our home could be. Some other are blank canvasses. They are a little difficult, yet full of opportunity.

And when the house is your home, it can mean much more; much, much more.