Exploring India On Wheels Through My Colorful Lenses

by | May 20, 2023

A photo captured from Pauri Garhwal while I was traveling with my colleagues Amir, Shamshad, and Saddam back to Rishikesh.

I recently completed 25 years of around the Sun. After this, I felt the need to recollect the most beautiful moments I had spent appreciating various monotonous landscapes of this country. A country of diverse people from various backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. Despite these differences, they unite and collectively contribute to the nation, considering it their “motherland”.

I use my time while traveling to reflect and find beauty in what I see. The arid landscapes sometimes sing a rich song of history and adaptations. The colors come alive and celebrate life as we move fast from one frame to another. There is so much to process, absorb and reflect with the ever-haunting fear of not drowning in the internal typhoon.

The lights in the sky, playing hide and seek, have always engaged me. I have found meaning in the most mundane winds. Sometimes it feels like I go a little further painting a world of my own, but then, who doesn’t? And why not? After all during travel, you do have time for yourself right?

Second-class train seats have particularly been astonishing as one can find a huge spectrum of people struggling through their daily lives, accepting realities and if you are lucky then, even enjoying them. I might be a romantic here and it’s fine. I believe one needs to be a little biased to see that there is bias, also to like a hopeless life.

A photo of a mountain in between Manmad and Bhusawal station, reminded of the mountain behind my house. The golden grass has a nostalgic feel and I believe the dried landscape is the prestige of Marathwada.
Mahinder uncle was looking at photos from his recent visit to Nanded. He watched me shred a few silent tears as I was sad about leaving my parents behind. (Even after all these years I do that)
Later near Bhopal, colors took a different tint and the horizon reminds one of Deccan and its massive spectrum of ecology. At this point, I knew I left home and cannot go back now.

State buses are my second favorite travel option. Nowadays, I like not having a window seat. It creates the opportunity for more interactions which can go either way but it is always worth the risk. This combination of internal and external interactions during travel is something that I tried to acknowledge throughout recent times. I agree these journeys are not always comfortable and sometimes can leave one with a lot of questions and backache. Yet I keep opting for them.

I also find it strange how come closed window vehicles charge more than open ones. Shouldn’t it be the opposite? Or is it like that nowadays, we like to see but do not want to participate? Well, I don’t understand many other services and their costs like drinking water or land but then it is what it is and we can question it only because we have it. I believe my write-up is also becoming like my journey where I get distracted and pulled back consistently!

The journey was taking longer than expected and watching the kids being restless was not easy. But their mother tired to distract the younger one with animals, trees, and birds. When nothing worked she scared him saying the driver will drop them.
It was early afternoon and I just woke up from a nap to see and smell these fresh mogra flowers. Mogras are my mother’s favorite. And my dad is allergic to them. Coming back to the bus, I loved to see the classic hair bun with these beauties popping and shining like in a garden.
Another late afternoon which ended with a beautiful sunset and then a great dinner. It felt like the pink tints stayed back for longer that day. Sunsets usually remind me of how huge the universe is but when you get to experience them in motion they hit differently.

The local transport services are different in rural areas as compared to what we have in urban spaces. This makes the travel experience very different. These journeys are shorter, resulting in no interactions or shallow ones. But the motion is still there to accompany you. Sometimes acknowledging someone by saying, “It’s getting really hot these days!” can also deliver a sense of belonging to the same sky, breathing the same air. Short but smiley glances of rikshawalas when you crack a good relatable joke on the phone. Or when you ask them to share the jalebies with you are so cute. Watching people excuse each other or an adult giving their kid to the elderly to hold, makes my day.

I have discovered that one just needs to keep an eye to experience these magical moments. There is always a chance of being misinterpreted when all you wanted was to be nice. But then I conclude by asking, so what? One can always correct. It’s not all flowers and rainbows and we do come across perverts, but why should that change who we are?

गुलाबी सर्द

गुलाबी सर्द

रात के ग्यारह बज रहे है। मैं एक रेलवे स्टेशन पर बैठा हूँ। मेरे सामने बहुत सी...

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