By the time you are reading this I hope to be lost in the Himalayas, lost in the beauty of the mountains and the forests, not in an ‘Into the Wild’ way. But right now as I’m typing these words, I’m lost in the ‘lungi dance’ as its blaring from a wedding reception from an adjacent ground! Not something you would associate with Rishikesh, right?
I once managed to lose myself in Munnar. This was years ago when I was just out of college. Amma (my mom, not Ms.Jayalalitha) had arranged for me to stay in the Government Forest Guest House. Don’t ask what I was doing in Munnar, a honeymooner’s paradise, alone. I’ve always been strange that way….The next day after arrival, I went for a walk to this obscure lake I heard about. It was ‘just’ 4kms away. Piece of cake I thought! There was not a soul on the road, I kid you not. There were houses of plantation workers on the way. Maybe because it was a Sunday there was hardly anyone even outside the houses.
Finally I reached my destination after much wandering about. It was heaven, a beautiful deserted lake and a small house by the side which was locked. I spent quite some time just sitting and enjoying the silence and the view. I believe I even dozed off for sometime. Important point to be noted here. I was not carrying any food or water. Insane you say? Absolutely! Maybe I didn’t take into account the Sunday factor or that there were very few shops on the way, all of which were closed.
I decided to explore some exciting scenery on the return leg of the journey and soon I was lost. I was in the middle of some jungle without a clue on how to get out, on the verge of collapse. I’m sure that was the day that I really prayed sincerely for the first time in my life. It was nothing short of a miracle that I managed to drag my sorry ass to a bungalow and begged the guard outside for some water. Finally after 8 hours of adventure I limped back to the Guest House. Hot tea was waiting which I gulped down and threw up within 5 minutes. I had cramps in my legs and I couldn’t move for a couple of days.
But it was a moment of enlightenment. I realized for the first time that I was hopeless with directions. It still holds true that I’m hopeless with all things spatial. I suck at reading maps. Even if I go to the same place 10 times in 10 days, I’ll still make wrong turns and get lost. Yes, a good handicap for a vagabond!
At present I’m trekking in the Himalayas for some weeks. I hope the Munnar experience is not repeated as there won’t be any fancy bungalows where I am headed.
Actually when I sat down to write, I wanted to write about something entirely different. Yes I’m a much disciplined writer that way, I do tend to get easily lost in the labyrinths of my mind. It also reflects on the number of posts I have managed in 10 years!