Thirsting for more…

Your sojourns in far-away lands will bring you face-to-face with hundreds of people. These people will be fellow travellers, tourists, drivers, guides, kids, locals, photographers, newspaper vendors, caretakers of your accommodation, maids, street urchins, etc etc etc.  They pass by you like the gentle breeze. Unseen, but pleasantly felt. If you are a traveller, no experience of yours can be complete without such people. No matter how many places you see, or how much money you spend, none of it will matter if your memories don’t touch upon a soul that touched you in its own way. There must always be that core within you where you safeguard those cherished whispers of the world that were muttered to you through words, smiles and glances.

You come across these people. People you wish you could spend more time with. Perhaps sit down over a meal or a hot chai and talk endlessly. Hear their stories, steal a peep into their lives just as you allow them a few into your own, laugh with them about their wonders, cry with them about their sorrows, contemplate with them about the purpose of life or even why India’s cricket team lost to Australia! It is all a part of our journeys, and the journey of life. It is an insatiable hunger, nearly a lost cause, because you have to forge ahead. You cannot stay at one place for too long. Your wanderlust keeps pushing you and you keep chasing it. But none of this takes away that feeling within you that someday, you must stop and dance before the music ends. Someday, you must sit down with Tashi, your driver in a small kingdom, who drove you around with a gaiety that you are not used to in your part of the world, a hopping walk as he came to you when you beckoned him, him randomly singing along with a song on the radio, and his shy goodbye as he blushed when you gave him a hug for being a sweetheart. Someday, you must sit down with Karma, a mother of 3 working round the clock to make ends meet and to fulfill her lifelong dream of having her own small hotel. Someday, you must sit down with the old, bespectacled caretaker of a guest-house who personifies Tennyson’s “…men may come and men may go, but i go on forever…”.  Someday, you must sit down with another Tashi in another part of the world and laugh in utter amusement and merriment as you see how books and cigarettes can form a bond among strangers in the most inhospitable of terrains! Someday, you must sit down with Torton and perhaps watch him play with his colouring book, feeling your heart melt under his angelic smile. Someday, you must take a walk with the old saadhu and listen to his monologue on religion and modernism…And the list is endless. The Tashis, Karmas and saadhus of the world are many. Everyone has a story to tell that is unique and remarkable in its simplicity, and yet intriguing in its endless diversity. It is upto you to sit down with the patience that travel doesn’t permit, and enrich yourself. You MUST thirst for more.

There is so much more to a place than just the tourist spots. People constitute culture, and the culture makes up a place. And this is undoubtedly the real essence of real travel.

The thirst must remain. To seek more, to know more, about people, about places, the why and how of everything and anything. Because only this thirst can propel you forward towards new frontiers, new shores.

Only this thirst can someday complete you.

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5 Responses to “Thirsting for more…”

  1. I repeat: A breath of fresh air, straight from Bhutan! 😀

  2. A traveler sees what he sees, a tourist sees what he has come to see. A good read from a traveler’s pen.

  3. Shreya, thanks lady! And just Bhutan but these are travel gospels for the entire world if you are a globetrotter. There is a difference between a tourist and a traveller 😉

    Navroze sir, always glad to read your take. Thank you!

  4. Glad to know poetic side of u…Shreya! Beautifully written….so touched specially about…Karma! Hehehe

  5. haha thanks Karma 😉

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