Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Day 5 April 20, Forced rest at Visakhapatnam :)

Day 5, The unforeseen rest day. April 20, 2015

Feeling waiting for my destiny.

It is the fifth day or my journey.. and I am at the Grand Hotel in  Vishakhapatnam.
Missing Tenzing, my friend and guide, my fellow traveler.
Tenzing, my Thunderbird. Royal 
Enfield Thunderbird 350. 
Tenzing is undoubtedly my friend. He has been named so, after the unforgettable P G Tenzing. 
The IAS officer who traveled all over India on his Thunderbird.

Palden Gyatso Tenzing 1963-2010

Hearing and reading about his travels, I felt the deep desire to own a Thunderbird. 
Though I always loved a Bullet, that was when I started to be serious about owning a Thunderbird.
Because there is no bullet as safe and dependable as it for solo travel. 
I have read P G Tenzing's book over and over again and I love the book and have been inspired by it. 
I have named my Thunderbird after him, out of my deep love and respect for the man and the rider, 
P G Tenzing.
My Tenzing has a different initial though. 
He is T Tenzing. 'T', for the Thursday, that he came home to me as my friend. 

Today, it is Tenzing's fourth service. It is not yet time for the 4th service, but that
is how I have given him for service.

Today, I will talk to you about how I reached Vishakhapatnam. I will try to tell you the story behind it. 
Like all stories, this too has a flashback.

Now, on this fifth day of my travel, as I sit in room number 104 of 'Grand Hotel', let me travel back.....

I started my journey 5 days ago, from Kaloor in Ernakulam district of Kerala.
From Kaloor International stadium. My plan is to travel a distance of 5555 Kilometers. through 9 states and complete the journey in 21 days. But then, a journey is a mission, a destiny. No one can foresee how it will be, what will happen.  I am traveling alone. I weigh 57 Kilos and I have a traveling companion who weighs 200 kilograms. 
And again, life can be full of surprises. Nothing need happen as planned.  One can always expect the unexpected.
As with life, so in a journey too. 

I travel a lot. I have have always loved to travel..  Even now, I am on a journey. Many a time, my friends and well wishers ask me, why and where to? Even now, I do not know why I travel..  My aim is the travel itself. It is not a destination I aim for. And that is a fact.
And now, this journey, spanning a distance of 5555 kilometers through 9 states in 21 days. Yes, I will be passing through the 9 states. But it is not planned where all I will travel there, or where I will be staying for the night. Yes, there are assumptions and calculations. On a given day and terrain, I could travel 300 kms, or  350 kms or maybe 400 kms. And, I calculate that I might reach a particular place and stay there. 
But in these 5 days, I have never even once stayed the night at a  place I had calculated that I would be in. 
It has been unexpected places. And at times I have traveled beyond the place I had thought I would be in. 

Travel is always a vast topic. We meet a lot of new people, go through a lot of new experiences, all unexpected. Good or bad, it all adds to ones growth.  What we glean from a long trip or travel is much more than the experience that we get from long years of study at a university. That is my humble opinion. 
The understanding, awareness and knowledge that I have gathered from my experiences, be they good or bad, have all been gifted to me through my travels. And, that is my wealth.

Let me rest a bit  for now. Tenzing is back and resting too. :) 
I will continue as and when I find more time. 

Almost always, my travels are not preplanned. Nor are they made with any expectations.
Out the blue, the thought would come to mind. Why not go on a journey! And that is it.
I throw some necessities into a backpack, and off I go. I think, that is how I would like to be known as.. a backpacker.
I'd like that very much. Instead of being known as a journalist, a photographer, or a social activist, that is what I would like to be known as. A backpacker. Because, that is exactly how I am.
I travel without making any preparations beforehand. I go wherever I want to. Wherever it takes me. And, on the way, if see a place that interests me. I get down there. Spend time with the locals.
The decision is not made with any calculations. Do I have enough money in hand? How long will I be away? I make do with what I find and come across. At times, it would be lavish: and at others,  I might go hungry.
Often, during such travels, without us even thinking about it, it develops an aim. Unexpected, but maybe, preordained; and we become the cause.

For me personally, my travel experiences have been mostly good. But the things we see around, the experiences of others', those touches you deeply.
Many instances might leave you helpless to react. But I have done what I could; I have reacted and taken action to the best of my ability.
And then, we come to know. Our country, our people. what are the problems we face. How much rampant corruption is. All that will make one very sad.
Another thing is; when we travel a lot, mainly we attain two things.
One is patience. The ability to forgive others. That is something great.
Second, we never get angry at others. We will be able to face any situation with a cool mind. When we travel a lot, we come to realize how insignificant man is. 

Then there is hunger. Nothing is bigger than hunger or as devastating. The only thing man can say 'enough' to, is food. He can't say enough' to anything else. That is how man is. That is how humanity is.
Haa.. deviating from the the subject at hand.  So, let me stop being philosophical, and come back to what I was talking about.

So, like I said earlier; my travel started 5 days before, from Kaloor stadium in Ernakulam. But this time, to start on this journey, I had to wait for six or seven months. Many times it would get derailed. get postponed.

Normally I never make my travels public.
But, this time why is it different? Why is it necessary to share this, give updates.

A journey is a mission. It will happen only when it is meant to. And when the time comes. It will happen. No matter what! 
Nothing can stop it. 

As regards to journeys, many faces come to mind regarding each... Especially this one. My friends have always stood by me. They have always supported me in everything I do.  
So many come to mind. Always, I have had the support of all. 
Always my good friends all. I am ever proud of the fact that I have friendships even more precious than blood relations. That, many friend circles exist through me is a fact that gives me great happiness. 

In this journey, in this solo travel, there have been friends who supported me, and stood by me staunchly. They are many.  And, I will never be able to name them all. But they all mean a lot to me.  
Still, there are a few names that I need to specially mention.  
First, my most  dear close friend and aunt. Usha aunty. Then my very dear friends Veena, Asha, Asha's husband Giri, their daughter Lavanya, Shivamayi, Meera, Geethu, Asha's mummy....
There  are  many who have supported me with their encouragement; through messages  or in many other ways.
Then my room mates. They have all asked me not to mention their names. Because they all need their privacy. But here too, how can I not mention Anil. He has helped me such a lot. 

I mention these few names only because they are like my  own. I can take that privilege with them. It would be wrong not to mention them. They have always stood by me; and they have all supported me so very much.

Last but not the least ... my mother. Amma knows. 
If I am travelling, without elaborating too much, she knows. Alright, you go and come back is all that she says. It is the same during any of my travels. Whenever and wherever I go, I inform her about that. There is only one thing mother asks of me. That is to call her at least once in a day. Sometimes when it would not be possible to call her, I tell her that. And amma always understands.

These are the people who have been with me during all facets of this journey. And, I can never ever forget them. 

.........will continue

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