Tag Archives: travel

Ambivalence


Enjoying a cup of steaming coffee
Looking outside at the rather unchanged view from my balcony
The mind wanders to the hills and its moss covered  pathways,
A longing for the cool winds and smell of the earth takes over.

Late at night on the rooftop looking at the city slowly going to sleep
Wondering what someone is doing inside their home on the 29th floor,
The mind wanders to the night bazaars far away that are brimming with precious metals, native foods and colorful puppets,
A desire for the bustle, unknown smells and exotic deserts envelops you.

Sitting inside the taxi while stuck in traffic waiting for the lights to turn green,
Staring at the timer as it runs out before you can make the zebra crossing,
The azure waters of a cove tucked at the end of the beach enters the mind’s eye
The heart pines for the touch of soft sand and tickling sea breeze.

A quiet, stress-free and well rested weekend inside a coffee plantation comes to an end
You watch time move slowly and gaze at the rain that drenches the earth around the clock,
That familiar crossroad that leads to home comes to mind,
You look forward to being back at your balcony sipping that all too familiar coffee, and smile at the thought of the view being unchanged.

image

The heart never fails to create desires that allow us the momentary relief that comes from escape.  A feeling of ambivalence, wishing to be else where but here and then awaiting the mundane, the regular routine and humdrum of our lives.

This poem by Gulzar talks about the leaf that never left and died on its branch. Every time I leave the comfort of home to a new adventure, the heart skips a beat, the fear of the unknown, uncertainties and ambivalent feelings envelope me, but as every traveler must, I don’t let the voices get too loud, lest I become like the lone leaf.

Tehni par bhetha tha woh

-By Gulzar

Tehni par bhetha tha woh
Niche talaab tha paani ka aur,
talaab ke andar aasmaan tha
dubne se dar lagta tha
na tera, na udha, na duba
teni par hi bethe-bethe bil-akhir woh sukh gaya!
Ek akela shakh ka patta!

One lone Leaf
Translation by Pavan Verma

It was perched on a branch
Below were the waters of a lake,
And underneath lay the sky,
It was afraid of being drowned
But….
It neither swam, nor drowned, nor flew away
It just sat on the branch and finally wilted
One leaf on a branch!

You may also want to read:

Touched by the soul


The sounds, the smells, the humdrum, the air, each city built on layers of history, presents to you a bouquet of these treats.

Living in the Indian subcontinent means that you have access to so many regions, cities, towns and villages which in another lifetime were kingdoms in themselves.

The smell of Mumbai, heavy and humid, greets you as you step on the tarmac; the chillness that seeps into your bones, smell of hot chai and omlette comes greeting you as you enter the hills of Ooty just as I can never forget the feeling of freshness accompanied by a light drizzle as the train enters the station that heralds the feeling of finally being  home, the city of Bangalore.

Street-Food-Chandani-Chowk

Each city lays itself bare, giving you the chance to seep into it, feel its soul and give yourself up to its chaos and humdrum.

On the other land in the quiet little villages that lie in the embrace of the Himalayas, this chaos gives way to new kind of emotion. Whether its the villages of Himachal or the town at the North Eastern border of India, with the most beautiful Monastery; each hilly destination is like that cool balm that slows you down and envelopes you in its warmth, cradling you to sleep.

This mellow and slow moving pace can be infuriating to some while soothing to others. The noise of the city can be a welcome distraction, allowing you to escape the voices in your head while for others cause angst and fury.

This week 2 stories came across my screen, one about tricksters and fraud that greet you at tourist locations and the other was the story of Shalev Paller, an Israeli soldier who wrote an article about healing and acceptance. The story of why so many Israeli soldiers make a pilgrim of sorts to our country after their tryst in the army.

His post lead me to thinking about the soul of a place, of cities made of crossroads, monuments, culture, history, languages, their pace and most importantly its people.

If we are ready to touch its soul, to be embraced and to relinquish our presumptions, and bare selves to it, it does hold the power to heal, doesn’t it?

This week’s poem by Gulzar talks about how the mountains refuse to leave him even after he has returned to the plains, back home he can still feel the air and the mist lifting him off his feet.

India, with all its glitches and shortcomings, like this poem refuses to leave you all too quick.

cropped-poster-may2014-e14529388674922.jpg

Transliteration

Paharo se bichadke lautata hu to

By Gulzar

Paharo se bichadke lautata hu to
Kaee din tak uttarta rehta hu unse
Khala main latka rehta hu
Kahi pao nahi padte

Bahut se aasmaan bahon mein bhar jate hai
Woh neeche nahi aate

Hawaaein phool jaati hai, pakad ke pasliyan meri
Kabhi raatein utha leti hai bagloan se
Kabhi din thel dete hai hawa mein…..
Kayee din tak mere paaon nahi lagte zameen se!

Translation

What I return from the mountains

By Pavan Verma

When I have to part from the mountains,
It takes me many days to descend
I remain hung in space
My feet are unable to touch the ground,

A lot of sky nestles in my arms
The winds puff up, holding me by my ribs
Sometimes the nights lift me from the side
Sometimes the days push me into the breeze
For many days my feet do not touch the ground.

If you would like to read his article, you can find the complete version here:

http://www.timesofisrael.com/lifting-away-the-weight-of-3-years-why-we-israelis-go-to-india-after-the-army/.

You may also like:

Mumbai and the Ocean