“Time echoes its own tale through the crevices of the mountain.
The climb, the hike, the passage, the travel, or
The Story of life.”

If anyone could have the opportunity to run away from his/her busy schedule into the deep & lavish abyss of Mother Nature, to be lost, to wander, I wonder what life would be like for everyone. One second I imagine my neighbor sitting & working his ass off while being whacked by his rudimentary Boss over some or the other deadlines of a job. The next he is running in the field wearing nothing but a smile. Sometimes being accustomed to the lifestyle we pursue, we tend to forget the little joys waiting at our doorsteps, only if we could reach to the door & extend our hands to brace what wordsmiths & bards have so profoundly called ‘Happiness’.

The reason of such philosophical & day dreamy outburst or what Psychiatrists call ‘Euphoria of breaking the melancholy of Being’, is a recent ‘experience’, rather an opportunity after a long time to witness what I call here as a Pre-planned Pseudo-random Road-trip. It was just like any other road trip one would do, & still one would not.

The journey itself led through an epic start, which was more like a kick start with the kick malfunctioning before we could proceed. The trip started from Jamnagar, the land of The Jadejas (If you have seen Ram Leela. Leela’s folks are more than rare here). We had to board our bus from a place in the city beneath the shade of Guru Nanak Saheb. And to reach there, we had to board yet another bus from our Sarai (Don’t get me started about this place) 35 kilometers away. The travel agent, before I could start to feel the need of actually having a moment of glee in the shallow trenches of my warm heart, crashed a lightning bolt saying the bus which would take us to Rajkot Airport from Jamnagar has been cancelled due to the scarcity of passengers.
Well nothing could have been managed if this not so minor of a glitch couldn’t be covered by two adults with a mission & a firm belief & pinch of a luck to reach their destination no matter what. So we coped up over it & also got a chance to bite off at Dominos (Still overrated in my opinion) before boarding our flight to Mumbai (The City of Dreams, & 70 mm).

If it were probable that our tension must have eased with the surety of grabbing a seat legally in the flight, then our intelligence quotient must have dropped substantially. Though there were no further glitches provided by Mother Nature or Father Sky, our neighbor turned out to be my very own senior from the largely awed & renowned corporate office. This information was dawned upon me after we got to land at the completion of our journey Part IV (Bus, Bus, Rickshaw followed by Flight). But until then we had made all the poop out of oldies soundtracks from the eternal musical era, along with insightful adulterated aesthetic revival of many cult movies (including songs, dialogues & not to forget the storyline). Some examples include ‘Gunda’, ‘Jaani-Dushman’, ‘Prem-Agan’, ‘Apka-Suroor’, ‘Kick’ etc. (Too many movies, too much Fun!).

We ran from our seats before any further confrontation & greetings could be exchanged so as to avoid any more roll calls from office (Which was ditched by all over false pretenses). If only we were allowed to literally run inside the Airport, the option was duly considered no doubt. We finally got our way out as we knew we wanted far, but didn’t have the directions after that transition. Getting a ride is synonymous to trap in traffic here, more time for daydreams, accompanied with nightmares, stealing away from life. But we managed to reach the address with our ‘Banarasi’ driver & aimless discussions over existential inanity of the characterization of freedom, rights & collective independence.

The night was young, & so were we (Touché!) & also our plans for the days coming next were already holding their foot over the ground of conduct. Therefore, after having several not so cultural, but mentally tiring feminist Deepti Bhatnagar & Balaji Productions daily soaps later, we slept in the hope of being able to see a better tomorrow & not succumb to the nightmares of ‘Balika-Vadhu’ or ‘Saas-Bahu’ impropriety, sadly as terrifying as the switching husbands & plastic surgeries in it.

Sleep finally took us to Tel’aran’rhiod (Isle of Dreams). Little did we expect what awaited us in the days coming, the nights dark & cold. The winds churning. Each other’s shoulders, only we could hold…

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy & wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages & ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, & I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

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