Friday, March 08, 2013

Lone traveller

The calmness at the railway station was disturbed by the loud siren of the train approaching. All of a sudden, everything sprung to life as if they have found their purpose; as if that’s the moment they all had been waiting for. I looked at the clock hanging at the platform, it was close to 2 AM, train was just late by about 4 hours, nothing special if you are used to how things operate in India, being late and laid-back is the way of life here. Everyone expects it, in fact, I guess quite a few people in India will miss their trains (or bus or whatever) if those things started being on time. The train made a stop and there was a mad rush everywhere, people who had reached their destination were in a hurry to get down but they were being pushed back to the compartment by the crowd which was in a rush to get inside! I don’t know why everyone over here is in such a rush, as-if you get a prize for being the first to climb up or get down, maybe you feel a sense of pride if you are the first. I didn’t have to put in any effort in boarding the train, I was pushed into the compartment by the crowd behind me trying to get in.

I settled myself besides the window and started looking at the lights from lamp posts outside. As the train slowly pulled away from the station, the lights went dimmer and dimmer and by the time the train had picked up speed, I was staring outside at the dark emptiness. I closed my eyes and the same set of questions cropped up again in my mind – Where am I headed? Why did I even board this train? Almost everyone who cared about me had called me out of my mind when I had said that I want to leave everything behind and start afresh, and for that I needed a little time off to do some soul searching, to find out what my higher purpose in this life was – the mountains seemed to be the best place for that. There is some sense of calm about the mountains, the sound of the river streams as they come down the mountains, that you just want to lose yourself in them. By the way, I didn’t understand when people said why I want to leave everything behind, heck I had nothing unless living an aimless life and going through the motions day-in day-out just to keep you afloat is considered everything. Yes, I had a well paying job; a plush house loaded with amenities but is that all that you need? Isn’t there more to life than things that money can buy?

It wasn’t an easy decision to just let go of a life that you are used to even if it is not worthwhile, we humans have the tendency to not come out of our comfort zone, we just hate changes even if they it is good for us. I took a long hard look at my life as it had panned out over last 5-8 years and didn’t find even a single moment that I cherished, a moment which made me smile – yes, there were good times and there were bad times and really really bad times but there was not even a single moment which brought a sense of satisfaction or inner peace. I think I had become like someone who is terminally ill, you don’t have any dreams, anything to look forward to, and you just live everyday as it comes, just trying to survive one more day. I knew I had to break out of that life as I don’t think I could have sustained that lifestyle any longer. And now that I have left my old life behind, I can only hope that the soul searching would lead me somewhere. Perhaps, I will love the mountains & the new life so much that I wouldn’t even want to return back (anyway you need to have something to return back to). Sometimes I do wonder though, if this soul searching is even needed? I already know what I need, it’s just that I am not lucky enough to have what I need. There is a saying – “you don’t always get what you want”, I guess in my case  “I don’t ever get what I really want” would be fitting. Perhaps, I am indeed terminally ill.