Seize the day




This is a post for the entry to "The Perfect Road Trip" contest organized on Indiblogger hosted by AmbiPurIndia
The trip on the map
“I am really bugged up, need a long break from all this-”
“From all of what?”

“You know – this whole schedule of getting up early, the boring tasteless breakfast, the leaving early for work, spending countless hours doing without having the slightest idea of its sensibility, smiling at the crackpot named boss, all these defects, the dumbest customer of all, these meaningless thrillers I read before going back to bed and the stupid movies I watch over weekends because I don’t have anything else to watch - all these are making me a machine.”
“You just pointed to all about yourself.”
“Yeah! That’s all I want to get rid of and do something else for a change.”
“Oh! And what would you want to do?”
“A road trip – I have made up my mind-” (thumps the wooden table with strength & determination.)
“A road trip?”
“Yep, a road trip – long, unplanned and carefree; not like something any other guidebook will tell me to but something different, something spontaneous.”
“Go on, I am all ears.”
“Okay, I am not a copycat but if you have watched ‘ZNMD’ (read Zindegi Na Milegi Dobara, the 2011 extravagant Bollywood comedy melodrama about three upper class men getting on a bachelor trip across Spain and facing issues of their own as well learning to move on past them with life by living free), you’d have some idea of what I'm talking about.”
“Really, now? (Chuckles) You plan to go to Spain? Did you hit upon a lottery or something? I mean no disrespect but is your pocket big enough to bear a hole to accommodate what you actually saw on that movie?”
 “Err! No, not Spain – our own India, of course; I don’t think it’s the idea of Spain that attracts me to it, rather it’s the idea of roads and the maddening wildness, the oozing power of a grand SUV rummaging the rough Indian roads, the entire ruggedness of it that draws me towards it.”
“You surely have some fascination for what you don’t have.”
“Don’t we all?”
“mhm, point taken. So, go on- you told me about the vehicle so far, anything particular in mind?”
“I’d prefer something as powerful as Renault Duster or perhaps the Mahindra MUV and it has to be black. Black is a symbol of power, mind it.”
“You barely manage to drive a hatchback for years, isn’t this getting a little too optimistic?”
“You want me to go on or worry about such petty things?”
“Go on, definitely go on-”
“Okay. So this will be about a long trip – about 1200 kilometers along NH-34, starting from Kolkata ending up in Assam.”
“Eastern India surely have some bumpy roads and potholes along the way mate – May not exactly be the luxury that you are used to.”
“What am I telling you? I am going to shake off every ounce of comfort, I want to be free, I want to be myself, the daredevil, carefree young man I once used to be when I trekked or climbed rocks.”
“I know, but that was a really long time ago.”
“We are talking about the perfect road trip here – okay? Don’t kill the flow. Let me go on with it.”
“Okay, okay…go on please.”
“We’d stop after driving every two hundred kilometers or so - having snacks in the roadside 'dhabas'. You know the tea they make in those places with a lot of milk and sugar, and serve you in this small clay containers - taste so wonderful. First night we will stop over at Bolpur or Shantiniketan, the place known for the university Tagore had set up, it’s a blissful place – calm and serene. There are some unique hotels, which are small rooms in the open air in shape of real huts, having mud walls outside and straw roofs above the actual ceiling. We’d be lucky if we get to stay there at night - difficult to get the reservations, though. May be we will spend the next day in Bolpur as well, drive across the land of red soil in Birbhum, see the place, beautiful crafts made by local artists and then head north by crossing the Farakka barrage over Ganga before it splits and enters Bangladesh, one of the longest ones in the country - I am so thrilled to even think about it. See goosebumps rising on my skin! (extends hand)”
“Sounds interesting so far!”

“We will pass remnants of old palaces and temples on our way that you won't find on map books, see the face of rural India, up close, take photographs of those green landscapes, fields with full grown crops, the birds that we don't get to see in the city, clear sky, the plateau and of course meet people and know their stories – feel one with what makes are truly Indian. Who says I won't be able to write a book when we finally complete the trip!”
 “You are good with words man, and then?”
“On the next day, we’d reach North Bengal and stay in a wooden cottage in the middle of the Jaldapara reserve forest, though we’ll have to get special permit for our vehicle there, but believe me, it is one of the best place to live, surround by the sound of murmuring of dry leaves, hooting of birds and animals drinking water from the stream that flows around the cottage; oh and the sharp noise of elephants of course. The taste of chicken in that area is a real treat to our taste buds, if you trust me. We’d spend a night there, probably waking up most of it watching animals in the salt lick in front of the cottage (Usually a heap of salt is kept next to the stream for attracting wild animals who lick from it for taste) and then travel in the jungle, head north as far as Buxa and then return to base, only to start the following morning to Assam, where will taste the fresh tea from the passing estates and then end the extreme end point of the tour at Himalayas.”
"And then?"
"There is a bit of twist here - driving at night has its own thrill. So the last part of the drive from North Bengal to Assam could be a night trip. Once we reach Guwahati, we will take some rest and get directions to go north as long as roads can take us from there on, looking at the green valley, bracing the mist and then open arms as wide as we can, feeling one with one of the natural wonders of the world. When we finally stop - we will make a bonfire and watch the sunset from the top of the hill, that would be bidding a good bye to happy memories. While coming down, we could stop at villages on the hillside, listen to folk music and it would be the perfect end." 
“Sounds like a good plan, as a matter of fact, fairly alluring. Doesn't sound unplanned at all to me."
"Well, these are minor details, I mean a mere direction, a plan - the idea is to follow it in terms of journey but enjoy all those elements we'd come across while we move on. On the road, we get to see a different life altogether."
"So the perfect road trip happens all inside the brain?"
"As of today, yes - but won't be when time comes."
"But I think you've missed something very important.”
“Sure, I didn’t – what do you think it is?”
“Who are you referring to by 'we'? Who would be there with you? A trip can be a mess if you don't have the right partners.”
“That’s easy! I’ll call up all those who'd be in town at that time and in a mood to go. I can think of 5 of us who were in college together, sworn to a lifelong friendship (smiles) - that would be including you and of course (clears throat) without our spouses or kids.”
“Seriously? Count me out in that case.”
“You may be obsessed with romanticism of a road trip and I must say fairly imaginative considering a lazy man you are – but I’ve grown to be a wife abiding husband, don’t want to put my marriage at stake by coming along.”
“You know what – that’s why you will never have it – the perfect road trip. It’s not just a road trip it’s our redemption. What is your perfect road trip going to be – a drive from home to the amusement park? Seriously man, shake it off and join me. It will be just us and living a life that is all lost in running work and family. Open your eyes my friend and seize the day!!”
“It’s about time mate, I’ll look forward to the day when you do.”
“It’s not about me, it’s about us!”
“Okay (smiles), count me in when you plan.”
“That’s the spirit, my boy. ‘Jis toofan me dushman ke hosh ud jate hay, us toofan me hum chaddi sukhate hain!’ (The tempest, that scares the shit out of our enemies, is what we use to dry up our underwear - a tagline aptly chosen by the group to describe themselves.)”
“All in good time. Cheers!”


2 comments:

mysay.in said...

hahahaha.. loved the last lines .. the most hahhaha.. wah kya dialogue tha :)

Abhra Pal said...

I couldn't help adding that as a punchline...it has been a college tradition.

Post a Comment

I'll bow before your verdict, so please leave your thoughts whether you like my writing or not. Add your URL if you wish me to connect to you.

 
;