One moment I was clicking a tiger family as it crossed our path in Kanha national park, and the very next instant I was measuring the infinite sands of Jaisalmer atop a camel. But before the sands could enter my eyes, I found myself meters away from a Himalayan bear in Gulmarg’s snow capped peaks. Only to find myself spotting the huge rhinos in the Kajiranga grasslands.
Snap! A sudden blaring sound from the rapid life around breaks my reverie; breaks my symphony of four of my childhood vacations. Sigh!
I look within, and then peek around,
What goes round must come around.
I built a web, and got caught within,
Call for a sky now, I call for a ground.
At such moments of solitude and reflection, when one wonders the worth of the rat race, all one wants is to close eyes and dream of a life beyond the tentacles of the daily life; a life that speaks a language completely different from ours or a life that only hears the hymns of the glorious Mother Nature.
And when the world of dreams starts enthralling beyond any reason, one becomes a tourist. For, tourism is not an activity, it is an emotion. Tourism is a state of heart which leads the body to explore new sights, new emotions. It urges the body to carry its entire world in a rucksack and breathe afresh in newer worlds; and then ensures that you bring that freshness back to your principal life.
It may sound esoteric in today’s bottom-line driven world; but not for anyone who has traveled around India. For India is not a piece of land; it is a collage of life in its many colours. Whether you cross the smiles of little monks in the vast Himalayan terrains of Ladakh or marvel at the boat races in the backwaters of Kerala; whether you watch with caution the mix of contemporary and ancient within the pristine nature of Nagaland or move in the fast lanes of the western India, you realize how much there is to life.
One does not travel through land; one travel through cultures, languages, colours, smells, sounds and most importantly, smiles. No, one does not travel through land; one travels through life in all its myriad glory. Home is where heaven is, but India tells us that there are many paradises. One each for every state of life where one attains the highest with respect to one’s inner self. The more one moves ahead, the more one connects with the innermost. And quite like in dream, it does not matter what one does in a India. For, it is India, which does things to us.
And as one travels deep across India, all one hopes is of being a good traveler. All one hopes is of letting India travel deep down the heart