Category Archives: travel

Chaotic Winter Dreams

Dont ask me of the ways

or waywardness of the mind

nor of the sudden surges of emotion

that create runaway commotions

and rock the heart of its seat

hither tither everywhere

nor of the calm that sometimes possess

and emanate from the deep soul

crafting a carefree bubble as it were

and holds a pain and a smile alike

kissing it all azure love

in winters when the hearts grow warm in hope

dreams float in distant entranced thoughts

a shoulder perhaps hopes to hold a hermit

and grow together in dreams and do’s

dreams maythen grow roots in fantasies

and find ways to travel to realities

coz tomorrows come and paint pictures that

hold a hand, lend a hope, watch a smile and watch it again

Sky Madness

‘You must be mad’, said the sky

‘to cling to me like a child

to yearn for attention

and ask for affection

remember life is a lone toil

get on, get moving’

‘but, but’, she tried to express

‘I have always been strong

stood straight and leaned on self

sometimes to have a hand to hold

or a ear to hear

or a friend to share a smile

or just to laugh out loud

is just rightful wishing, hmm?’

‘Perhaps’ he nodded a bit annoyed

‘the stars are many

my vision unlimited

my journey is to the unknown

time is too precious

if at the turn of the horizon yonder

where the blue skies meet the rainbows

where thunders gather their light and fire

where the sun comes to fill his quota of light

there the stars dance till it is night

if we meet there we will see

till then, ciao, until we meet again’

and she was glum and a bit lost.

Just go girl!

Of many things that is difficult, is the ability to be with oneself. Really, to be able to accept who you are, how you are is a very difficult task.

For years I have known myself to struggle with self acceptance, I have sought validation from others, sometimes from work, at times from colleagues and often from my parents and always from my daughter.

The details of why this acceptance was difficult are not one but too many. Yet, there has always forever been a need to be heard and understood. If not understood but atleast to be heard, ‘hear me’, hear me out’ my soul seemed to cry out.

And then came writing and with it a huge sense of validation. A feeling of being heard and understood, maybe maybe not, but definitely the thirsty sharer in me, found a space, and a positive one at that.

Some time in 2014, I came to realise how all human experiences are more or less similar, though the timelines and the intensity may differ and that there is essentially no shame in sharing, that was partly because of ISABS and many other such experiences that I came to be part of. And that helped and stayed with me.

So, it is not difficult then to share, but to be understood is a different ball game altogether, but that is ok, I guess. Whoever felt understood totally, in life. When understanding self takes a whole life time, how can one expect others to make sense of who you are.

In all this introspection and the need to be heard, I decided to take myself out, yes, after quite sometime, I went out with myself. I was at leisure, I was the observer and the observed. I found it fascinating how the act of stepping out itself seemed to energize me.

Suddenly I was lighter and the world merrier and azure indeed!

Yes, I felt assured too, reassured of my time on the planet and maybe a small part of the ‘why’.

Sometimes, just sometimes then

go sit with yourself with a mug of coffee

spreading its aroma in the room and filling

your nostrils with an other worldliness

sometimes, just sometimes, go take yourself out

dress up and put on that dash of a lipstick

and admire yourself, feel beautiful

go saunter in the malls, stand and watch

its ok to do that alone, you are aware of it

for the onlookers you are just having a ball

so just have a heluva time with yourself

sit down at the restraunt and watch

and smile sometimes at random strangers

and be surprised when they smile back

the world is not all that bad or brooding nor dull

be your own good company, remember to love yourself

before you find someone to love you as your own.

Go pick up a cycle, barge into a dance class, enter a pub

do whatever that your heart calls for.

Cluck your heels, show your skirts short, long whatever

put on that pant, and that top and don’t be shy of showing

some skin, its ok, coz you know what Maya Angelou said

Coz in yourself, in your own true self, you are phenomenal too

go embrace yourself and put out a pic, don’t be afraid of judgement

after much living, what is with so much thinking

if in 50’s you are as you were in 20’s then what for

were the life changing experiences for you

what did you unravel, what layers did you shed

look yourself in the eye and the world looks up to you

Just go girl! Just go!

വഴികൾ

വഴികൾ പലതും അങ്ങനെയാണ്
ഇന്ന് വരും നാളെ വരും എന്ന് ഓർത്തു
വഴിയാത്രക്കാരെ കാത്തിരിക്കുകയാണവർ

നടന്നു വരാൻ ധൈര്യം വേണം എന്ന് ഒരു വഴി മൊഴിഞ്ഞു
അല്ല അത്ര എളുപ്പമല്ല എന്നെ മനസ്സിലാക്കുവാൻ
ഈ വഴിവന്നവർ കുഴങ്ങിയത് തന്നെ
വഴികൾ ഒരു പുച്ഛച്ചിരി ചിരിച്ചു കുലുങ്ങി നിവർന്നു

പല വഴികളും പല തരമാണല്ലോ, യാത്രക്കാരെ പോലെ തന്നെ
ഞങ്ങൾക്കുമുണ്ട് സ്വന്തമായ ചില ഇഷ്ടങ്ങളും അനിഷ്ടങ്ങളും
പലപ്പോഴും ആളുകളെ തങ്ങളിലേക്ക് നയിക്കുന്നതും
തിരിച്ചു പിന്മാറാൻ പ്രേരിപ്പിക്കുന്നതും ഞങ്ങൾ തന്നെ ആണ്
വഴിമുത്തച്ഛൻ ഒരു നെടുവീർപ്പോടെ ചേർത്ത് ചൊല്ലി

എനിക്കിഷ്ടം ഇത്തിരി പുഞ്ചിരിയും ഒത്തിരി കളിയുമുള്ള
യാത്രക്കാരാണ്, ഒരു കൊച്ചു വഴി തന്ടെ ആഗ്രഹം അറിയിച്ചു
ഗാംഭീര്യമാണ് എന്റെ ശൈലി, ചിന്തിക്കാനും പഠിക്കുവാനും ആഗ്രഹിക്കുന്നവർക്ക് ഞാൻ എന്നും സ്വന്തമാണു, മറ്റൊരാൾ പറഞ്ഞു.

സരളമാണ് എന്റെ താല്പര്യങ്ങൾ സരളതയാണ് എന്റെ മന്ത്രം
ജീവിതത്തെ സരസമായി കാണാന് കഴിവുള്ളവർക്ക് ഇങ്ങോട്ടു വരാം
കർമമാണ് നിങ്ങളുടെ ശൈലി എങ്കിൽ ഒട്ടും ആലോചിക്കേണ്ട
ഇങ്ങോട്ടു വന്നോളൂ കൂടെ ഞാനുണ്ടാവും എന്ന്നും എപ്പോഴും

എങ്ങൊട്ടും പോകാനില്ലാതെ വഴിയോരങ്ങിൽ പാർപ്പുറപ്പിച്ച മരങ്ങൾ
വഴികളുടെ ഈ ആത്മഗതം ഒരു നേരമ്പോക്കായി മാത്രം കണ്ടു

കാലങ്ങൾ മാറിയിട്ടും മാറാത്ത മനുഷ്യ സ്വപ്നങ്ങളും
മനുഷ്യന് മാത്രം സഹജമായ സംശയങ്ങളെയും കുറിച്ച് അവർ മറ്റാരേക്കാളും ബോധവാന്മാരായിരുന്നു.

സോളോ ട്രിപ്പ്/ Solo Trip

ജീവിത യാത്രകൾ എല്ലാം ഒരു പക്ഷെ ഒരു സോളോ ട്രിപ്പ് മാത്രമാണ്. സ്വയം നിശ്ചയിക്കുന്ന നാഴിക കല്ലുകൾ ഓരോ മനുഷ്യനും സ്വയം തന്നെ വേണം കീഴടക്കാൻ.

അപ്പോൾ സൗഹ്രദങ്ങൾ, ബന്ധങ്ങൾ അവയുടെ പ്രസക്തിയെന്താണ്.കളിക്കളത്തിൽ ഇറങ്ങാതെ പുറത്തു നിന്ന് ആവേശം തരാൻ ശ്രമിക്കുന്ന ഒരു കൂട്ടം ചിയർ ലീഡേഴ്‌സ് ആണ് ചുറ്റിനും ഉള്ളവർ. അതായതു നിങ്ങളുടെ ജീവിതത്തിലെ അടുത്ത സിർക്ലസ് ഉള്ള ആളുകൾ. എത്രത്തോളും ഇൻവോൾവ്ഡ് ആണ് അവർ എന്നതിനെ ആശ്രയിച്ചിരിക്കും സോളോ ട്രിപ്പ് എന്ന ജീവിതമെന്ന ഈ നീണ്ട യാത്രയിൽ അവർക്കുള്ള പ്രസക്തി.

എങ്കിൽ കളിയുടെ ഫലം ആരെയാവും ആശ്രയിക്കുന്നത് ? തീർച്ചയായും കളിക്കളത്തിൽ ഇറങ്ങി നിൽക്കുന്ന കളിക്കാരുടെ മനോഭാവം, സ്കിൽ സെറ്റ് പിന്നെ അവരുടെ അർപ്പണ ഭാവം എല്ലാം കളിയുടെ ദിശ നിശ്ചയിക്കുന്നു.

സോളോ ട്രിപ്പിലെ സ്മാൾ സ്റ്റോപ്സ് ഫോർ ഫൺ ആൻഡ് കമ്പനി അതായിരിക്കണം ഫ്രണ്ട്‌സ് അല്ലെ. അല്ലെങ്കിലും സോളോ ട്രിപ്‌സ് മാത്രമാണ് ജീവിതം എങ്കിൽ കുടുംബ ബന്ധങ്ങളും സൗഹ്രദങ്ങളും എന്തിനാണ്?

‘എല്ലാ ചോദ്യത്തിനും ഉത്തരം പറയാം എന്ന് ഞാൻ ഏറ്റിട്ടില്ല കുറച്ചൊക്കെ തന്നെത്തന്നെ കണ്ടു പിടിക്കണം. കുറച്ചു കാലമായല്ലോ ഇവിടെ കൂടിയിട്ട്? അല്ല പിന്നെ.’

ഓരോ പ്രാന്ത്. ശകലം മാറിയിരുന്നു അയാൾ സിഗരറ്റ് ആഞ്ഞു വലിക്കാൻ തുടങ്ങി.

രാവിലെ തന്നെ തുടങ്ങിക്കോളും’.

‘All fundamental questions of life are to be answered by the self.’

He scribbled on the wall and walked away.

Travel Thoughts

Post my trip to Kolkatta, my confidence in my travel skils has improved. I am thrilled too at the experience of awesome hospitality and great fish, delightful conversations and the sight of the most quintessentially beautiful bengali bride I have ever seen and her loving, deeply caring parents and their love for eachother.

My heart aches with tenderness at such sight. I look away and think of a daughter back home and of her wedding someday. It breaks my heart to think of it but time has its way and one cannot stall events in life.

When my daughter talks of her trip back to the hostel or for work now, I struggle to hold myself. In a rush, my mind schemes of finding company and not living in a sense of delirious loneliness… which is an exaggeration for seriously, I have been working at solitude and have even learnt to enjoy the phase as it comes.

I think so at least and that is when the thought of travel appeals to me again.

Of packing bags and going off for the sake of going, that must be something.

My travels have been utilitarian so far, there has been a purpose- to meet someone, visit parents, drop someone, learn something, but the travel that is truly enchanting is the one that is for its own sake… that requires a hell lot of courage but I seem to be getting there, so I think.

I am reading ‘Road to Nara’ and about Narayan’s constant travel and am deeply inspired, nay pulled to do something of the same.

A few years ago, when I had still not sold off my car, I had suggested to my daughter that we go on a road trip, mother and daughter and she had little confidence in me perhaps, so she shrugged and said, ‘you real crazy! aren’t you?’

But it does look like the universe is calling me to the road or the road to me because, every single friend of mine that I happen to connect to these days has to compulsorily say, ‘Listen, we will go for a trip ok. You and I, hmm..maybe we will take our kids….maybe not, how about that?’ and I just smile.

I am constantly surprised by the universe who seem to think ahead and bring about new possibilities, at least in suggestions, things I would not have even thought about, but ever since I learned to trust her infinite wisdom, I am merely her humble vassal.

Thathastu to great travels and great living now and forevermore!

I have come your way

Don’t ask me how many times

I have come your way

knocked on your door

peeped into through the windowsill

to see if you would lift your head

I have often sung my heart’s content

chosen words that I thought you would like

set them to harmony and let them out

in my not so soulful voice

just for you to hear

I have often picked a thought

loved it enough and let it grow

ripening it with care

and then sent it to the clouds

to reach to the corner of your heart

yet, friend I must say

they get lost, all my labour of love

in gusts of wind and storms of anger

in your rare indifference and your

happy carelessness, your obsession with self

my notes are trampled by your

single minded pursuit of your dreams

yet I send them in the hope of

a recipient somewhere in the universe

and the sky eggs me on eachday

being himself so vast and profound

he makes time to sit by and listen

and that gives me hope

a lot of hope and yes, a lot of love.

Kolkatta Ahoy!

It is been on my mind for sometime, nay, years, the deep desire to move, observe and travel places at my own pace.

Finding courage, convenience and other essentials for the same was somehow was not happening.

But then, the universe has a way of letting one realise one’s aspirations, so before I knew I had said yes to travel to attend a wedding of a dear girl, yes, even amidst the pandemic.

But life doesnot present opportunities again and again, and to be invited to a special event with such love and euphoria is an experience in itself, if in the past, I dared not to step out, in fear of censure and ridicule, it is not so anymore, so I venture boldly and say, ‘Kolkatta ahoy’ in the style of Ishmael in Moby Dick, that timeless classic on whale hunting…

We were discussing how we train and teach boldness, yet when it comes to our personal choices and lives, we are exceptionally hesitant, that’s hypocrisy, right?, or something to this effect in our lady group.

So, we said, let’s try walking the lane and practice what we so often advice, perhaps we may end up wiser!

Besides one realises that it is more difficult to live by one’s own terms than succumbing to the social norms to which one conforms willy-nilly.

Definitely the lady group is abuzz with talk of travel,figurative and otherwise, the ship is ready to sail….just that the sailsmen should be kindred souls… it looks to be so ..as of now.