175 Monday Musings: On Road
Indian roads may be bad for the back but are are balm for the soul. Road travel by and large will score over on all other modes of travel . Air travel is aseptic, clinical and wholesomely lacks character. Train travel is poetic in many ways, at least second class long distance certainly is. More on that some other time, Road travel is a lot like life.
Like life, one can chose the road one takes but cannot predict the twists and turns, the traffic and signals, the climb and the fall. Like life, you can make broad calculations about how much time you will take to reach the destination and how comfortably you will accomplish the journey, but beyond that the road journey has a mind of its own. It will slow you down when you least expect it, it will run unperturbed and smooth in patches and then it will run into a rough patch where it will only inch. Many a times you have to take a detour, a diversion because the roadblock is substantial. When the going is good one should make the most of it to cover maximum ground, because you will lose time when the going becomes tough. There will be stops, and you must stop to reinvigorate, both your body as well as the machine you are making this journey on. Rarely but sometimes you may also realize that you have taken the wrong road.
The road also teaches you to not to speed too much that you lose sight of the view. There is great fun in absorbing the terrain, the barren nothingness that separates habitation, the isolated tree in wilderness holding fort, the wavy hillocks which may have been mountains of yore, the one man walking to his fields out of nowhere. The road travel makes you aware of nothingness and makes you appreciate the calm that lies between cities. One can see life coming in slow motion as one speeds down the road and at that 80kmph.
At that speed, the mind also becomes fertile. The mind can become still and you can hear the silence in your head, something that you so terribly lack caught up in the din and bustle of existence. The mind at 80kmph can thoughtful and sensitive and can start relaying memories of the past, love and hate of today and vision of the future. It uplifts you to a new level of awareness, should you chose to listen to it. The loneliness of the road tells you of the futility of so many things. You can meet yourself during such a road trip. You may even begin the journey of reclaiming it.