Saturday, August 29, 2015

This Ride.

I have been on the road since January the 18th, 2015. Started from Ahmedabad, been to almost as many as 17 states, numerous cities, exotic locations, small villages, mind-blowing roads, people, food, experiences, and what not. Many of my friends are looking up to me for the kind of life I have today, saying I am living the dream. They keep checking for my posts on social media, and keep tabs of my escapades. They do not fall short of telling me how proud they are of me and what I am doing with my life. They go to the extent of branding me an inspiration. Being trapped in their careers and corporate lives, they look to me as someone who, finally, has found a way not to get lost in the wide world out there. They call me up more frequently these days, in comparison to my prior life when I was more free, and ask me of my latest experiences on the road.

But has it been easy? I can not really answer to that question earnestly.. No good adventure, they say, starts, or ends for that matter, on a note that 'everything went as planned'. No Sir, it did not. And unplanned experiences have a peculiar way of knocking on your forehead right about the moment you think everything is actually going as planned. The open road, with a million dollar view, a mild breeze, and a good song in your head, your motorcycle vrooming at 90 and suddenly you have a puncture in the middle of nowhere. Whats next, you are dragging that 200 kilos mammoth uphill, hoping to spot a puncture-wala down the road. And a puncture, I'd say, is easy. Those are perhaps the smallest of hurdles you find on the road. An engine that just spluttered to a stop, that might be a bigger issue. But problems, also, have a peculiar way of presenting a solution in your face, sometimes in 5 minutes, some times in 5 hours, but eventually they always do. So are these hurdles really so troublesome? Not really. What then is the more difficult part of the journey, you might ask?

Unfortunately, the problems with being on the open road are quite similar in many ways, to the job I get back to every alternative month. And that is the isolation. Isolation from your family; isolation from your friends; isolation from your loved ones. That has got to be one of the top problems that I have been living with in the past 8 months. Yes, they are just a call away. But isn't the same. Yes, they understand the nature of my work, and the passion for my ride, and my love for them hasn't ceased, so hasn't their's. But still, it isn't the same. Yes, the long wait to meet them is totally gonna be compensated the moment I meet them, and that is a good enough consolation. But still, it isn't the same.

The ride has blessed me with so many new friends that I have almost lost count. How could I have not, some of them I do not even know the names of. A face that lingers in my memory, for a good deed they did to me, a selfless gesture with which they touched my life, is all that I treasure deep in my heart, perhaps for a really long time, if not forever. And that is something not everyone is blessed with. Not everyone has a similar chance to do such a thing, I am completely aware of that. And yet there is something, that pinches you time and again, reminding you of the gone-by days, the close ones, the good old days. It's definitely not the same.

But this ride, sure has given me one thing that I will, forever cherish in my life. It makes me happy. It gives me hope. More on that next time. Time for a bidi.

Till next then.


Monday, March 16, 2015

To see or to sense?

Do we sense things beyond the world we construct from our ‘five senses’? I am sure we do, and there is enough scientific data to prove that. But does our reliance on our ‘five senses’ hinder our ability to truly sense things. Are the yogi’s right when they say that we should shut out the world to truly ’see’ the world.

All of us have had such experiences, and most of us deny ourselves those experiences, by calling it a play of imagination. But in my experience, these moments have been of extreme simplicity and clarity. The sensing is of the unity of all things beyond analysis and understanding, in the realm of experiencing. These are meditative moments that force you into the clarity of ‘now’. Not always in meditation – but events that can lead to that which meditation is hoping to achieve.

In one such moment I actually decide to write at random, about my experiences with the 'beyond'. I do not meditate, not the conventional way, anyways. And its not exactly meditation that's the aim here. I am trying to get to where people get to with conventional ways of meditation, but just without meditation. Your senses will react to the surroundings by default. It is when you take full control over all your senses, your sense of sight, the touch, the smell, when you are totally in control over all your senses, that perhaps is when you have attained the desired result of meditation. To meditate, is to look into yourself, feel every molecule in you, every movement inside your body, every sound it makes, the feel of owning yourself and at the same time, being fully aware of your surroundings. And people have numerous ways to do that. I ride.

And it isn't something I have done for a very long time, but long enough to understand that I was born to do that. I was born to ride. Most people find it an activity they have to do in their lives to move from Point A to Point B, as part of their lifestyle, a compulsion of sorts. I somehow, find solace while I ride, whether it be for work, or any other purpose, I seem to always look forward to it, At 3 in the noon under the scorching sun, or be it too windy, or be it 5 in the morning on a particularly chilly winter, it always seems to lighten my mood, and cheer me up. But we are not here to see me be cheerful. What happens after, is what intrigues me.

Whenever I take a long ride, I mostly go for an open face helmet, a light backpack with my camera, phone charger, a change of clothes and chocolates and just leave. And there are stages to what I feel. I will probably check on the health of the motorcycle at first. Then I will start enjoying the wind, be cheerful. But then after some time, the difference between 'happy' and 'sad' somehow seems to dissolve. There is no emotion. No thoughts too, for that matter. Just the moment. That very moment. And it feels like a long empty bridge that connects your senses to you. And you look at yourself. 

It's something I tell you. surprises me all the time. I would not be particularly concentrating on the road, to ensure a safe ride, its like the subconscious takes care of that by itself. What happens to the conscious, you'd ask? I think, and it is just a hypothesis, the conscious surrenders to the subconscious. Your senses are so much in sync with each other, they feel and sense as one single unit, in perfect harmony. And I think in that particular moment one is fully in control over their senses, even though consciously they aren't making any effort to do so whatsoever.

And that brings us to the final question. What we see and sense in regular life, is that all a lie? I ask because it is quite different from what I see when I have that clarity of thought. It's like our senses are somehow muddled during our day to day lives, while we interact with people and situations around. What do we believe in, and what not? And in our 'busy' lives is it too much to ask for a clarity of thought every once in a while, a little solace for ourselves?

Till next then