travel


Packing up your whole life in three bags – 22 years in 69 kilos – can get pretty depressing. I was going through my old books, certificates and files, and found so many memories. They came flooding back with a force that hit me squarely in the chest. The diaries I used to write in school, the sketches I drew, the stories I wrote, the weird doodlings on the corners of all pages and the “chits” I’d passed around with my friends in class took me back to a time when I was still innocent enough to believe that babies are couriered by Santa Claus from the North Pole. Now that I am mature enough to believe that there’s no such thing as the North Pole, I miss those days.

Then there are the people I’m leaving behind. Starting a whole new life without those close to me will be a challenge. I hope I can survive.

Packing up memories can be painful. Tearing up my old school notes stung my heart, but I knew hanging on to a past will not make the future go away. I’m prepared now. The challenge will be faced. The notes had to be torn, and new notes to be written. As I said, I hope I can survive…

Posted by Tatu…

I’d been to Chennai recently and it was an experience I can never forget. The train journey was terrible, to say the least – 13 hours in all; 13 hours of sitting cramped in a crowded second class seat, listening to the thuds and the bangs of the train as it snaked across the South Indian plains, the screams of the vendors selling everything from toys to bananas to masala dosas to pirated DVDs of the latest Hollywood movies, the obligatory noisy baby, and not to forget the beggars, who seemed to live on the trains.

I saw a boy, barely 12, who had 2 flat stones in his hands and was using them as a makeshift drum, beating them together to get a rudimentary beat, and sang all the latest kannada songs and stretched out his other hand for money. If there’s one thing that hurts me the most, it is seeing kids in such a pathetic condition. I then saw a man with no legs crawl across the length of the train wiping the floor with his shirt and begging for deliverance from this horror. There were many who had deformed limbs and  sometimes, none at all.  Women carried their babies and asked us to place alms in the baby’s hands rather than hers, and I was caught between abetting a moral crime and feeding a hungry kid. I did my part… I ignored them, silently wishing I was heartless, because if I were heartless, then this wouldn’t hurt so much…

The Chennai trip was successful. I returned back to B’lore on the same train, and had to undergo the same sights and sounds again. Sometimes I wonder if its all worth it – going abroad, earning more money than my wife and I can spend, going to expensive places to eat and fatten ourselves. Well, I guess this is what the lion king meant by The Great Circle of Life.