Stories, photographs and thoughts from a travelling couple taking walks and mapping their routes, while backpacking around India, and parts of the world.
It's my last day of ‘living’ in Hyderabad.
I can never come back here feeling like the same person. But I guess no one really comes back to anything without changing. If you think about it, every tiny second in a day changes you in the smallest of ways you can't see or imagine. You live a little more. You love a little more. A little more hurt, a little more learnt. You know what I mean?
Change. Everyone talks so much about it, no? About how it's the only constant. About how it turns the world around and all that. But do they tell you that forces are at work every single moment. That there is a slow eroding of every idea you ever had about life, turning everything you know into something else altogether. It's slow, but it happens. And you don't know it yet, but you are waking up a slightly different person than yesterday.
But it's wonderful, don't you think, that everything just keeps evolving like one giant single-cell organism. Imagine if it didn't. Imagine if nothing ever changed and all you knew or got back from the universe is that narrow, little view of it that you had, say as a 18-year-old. Yes, maybe it was a simpler idea of the world. Idealistic. Black and White. No-strings-attached. But it has no character. It's two-dimensional. It's sterile.
You would never have all these scars and dents that are proud mementos of the sometimes fun, sometimes sad and most times terrifying ride that you enjoyed or maybe just endured to get where you are.
And as that exquisite and unsettling spine-tingling feeling called change fills up my system, I look back at 26 years worth of life and think about how good it has been!
I was never particularly on any pursuit of happiness, it just followed me around like a joyful little puppy. Yes, there have been stomach-churning scary moments, sad and confusing ones, angry and frustrated ones and times when I felt so futile and minuscule in the larger scheme of things.
But I’ve never lost my smile. Not to say I was a martyr who rose above the worst. I always just felt that being happier is so much easier than wallowing in self-pity.
I just think it’s easier to wake up in the face of the worst and shake off all the misery like a wet puppy does. Instead of just lying somewhere all damp and cold, whimpering away, with no one in particular listening.
I’ve seen so much, done so much. Experienced such heartbreaking beauty in the world.
Lost so much. Yes, even loss is part of me. I’ve seen it from a terrifyingly close distance. Leaving a bitter aftertaste in my mouth. But I’ve devised ways to accept it.
To accept this slowly revolving and evolving me.
Loss is not an alien being, it’s me. It's beautiful too, if you view it from an angle. Loss can be exquisite. Sublime. It makes you feel things you never knew existed. It brings out some essence of you that you never knew you had. It stirs up some beauty in your soul. I'm not trying to romanticize the bad things to feel better about them. I'm just saying that loss is as much part of me as every triumph I ever had. Loss is what helps me define the good parts of life. Making me cling on to the wins with double the tenacity.
And I’ve had a lot of wins. When you love every little part of being you, happiness is effortless. This I’ve learnt.
I am me. You are you. Don't you think it's magnificent? That you are no one but you. Such a lovely thing to be!
And I’m happy now. Deliriously, shamelessly happy. You know the happiness that dances with reckless abandon. Knowing that every single moment of your life led to this moment. And then the next. And a lifetime of them. Yes, that kind of happy.
Call it karma or just a cliché, but I feel what you put out there really comes back to you.
Or at least, it’s nice to believe in such an idea of life. Because it’s easier to smile when you know there are many more smiles in store for you.
So I won’t just label this next big step as plain change.
It’s more than that.
It’s my shamanic dance of joy.
It’s my shout out to life.
It’s life on the road.
It’s fresh air.
It’s rain and wet mud.
It’s puppies and rainbows and warm, fuzzy feelings.
It's the magic of finding joy in little things.
The best part is that this path is of my own making.
Every tiny bit of it.
And I think I can live with that!
So goodbye and hello. Or the other way around.