india was a dream. and i achieved it in 2008. the memories of past lives, the staggering history of ancient civilizations, of beautiful colors and sounds. having lived nearly 3 decades with movies and stories of india, probably my future history itself could not bear to hold my urges anymore. india was a dream come true. it was a personal achievement of breaking boundaries and setting out into a new stage in life. of coming out of cowardliness and climbing a mountain there never was. it is a world which i have set apart so far away across the sea thinking I would never reach it ever in my lifetime. but the moment the plane landed and the familiarity of having 'been there in the motherland' sweeps in you know you are home, at last.
how or why india happened was not so easy to describe...ill try to put it in words.
back in school i started writing a story called 'india, an epic journey by a traveler never been there'*. it was part of my '50 things to do before i die' list. so this dream, like the story, sort of sparkled, fleeting in and out of existence as the years flew by (a good 5 years!). i wrote to about 20 pages and made my roommate at uni read from the withering paper of my 'epic' journey as i told him of my dreams. made him all teary when i said im going to set foot in the motherland to travel or to die. the masterpiece crumbled away into distant memory in one of the many shoeboxes hiding my stories. but i stuck with the idea, the principle of it. if i ever to get a passport to set foot on another political border, its going to be india.
2008 saw some of the worst moments in my life. depression over the years has reached unbearable proportions. and migraine and insomnia drove me crazy. each day was like a jail sentence for murder, waiting in fear and in wanting of the electric chair. towards mid year i was averaging 2 to 3 hours of sleep a day and going days without sleep sometimes. suffering from bad back pains, fingers going numb and sometimes in tears as i rushed to meet deadlines, my mind was working as if it was programmed for a servant robot. constantly crying and dismissing one by one people in my life. isolation and darkness gave me solace.
there is another chapter in this which happened unknowingly. while i will never regret going through it, it still fleets as something stupid that i have done during that time. probably a great loss in life is an opening for a great find.
i gathered my courage and much of whatever is left of my sanity and made a decision that india must happen now. for good or for worst i must leave and reach there for whatever life wants has in store of me. took a piece of paper and wrote 27th september on it. the day ill go to india (which thinking of it now sounds funny because i had no passport, no visa dont know an inkling of something called 'booking a ticket'!). i had 20 days to plan and fly. it all ended up happening in 10 days since i at many times tried to talk myself out of it...even after getting the visa and ticket! during this stage i had good friends encouraging me. still could not forget the day i picked up this laptop and my dslr with velan. the guy was more confused than me on what i was doing but he did not stop discourage me. my parents and family got the worst deal, a blunt sentence...' im going to india and i wont be back anytime soon'.
and so this reluctant wanderer made up his mind and went to the 'his cradle of civilization'. and how india went was already written somewhere in this blog and other minds. ill do a proper recap sometime later.
*i wrote a lot back in school, thanks to an amazing English teacher i had. he encouraged me a lot. and yes, most of my personal titles had 'epic' in it :P
//how much 'epic' is epic enough for life to unfold?