A streak of madness

22 03 2008

You are only given a little spark of madness
You mustn’t lose it

-Robbie Williams

[continued from the previous post]I turned and took the road which led me out of the city. I didn’t look back; Just kept looking down [and in the way I very nearly killed myself by a bullock cart]

On the entire way down I kept walking, contemplating whats the issue with myself. 🙂 Trust me! I didn’t find anything wrong. I let out a muted scream in my frustration and managed to scare the school kids away. Frustrations as they say! For a moment, I was almost close to breaking down, the next smiling and then the next talking animatedly with myself. 🙂 It was crazy, I tell you. 🙂

I kept on walking and I dont-know-when reached VGP Golden Beach. The lawns were well maintained, you know? Visited a chapel in between.It was SughJivam Holy Mother Church.Took a seat on one of the chairs, but how long could I stay silent?Unfortunately the Padre felt I was talking more to myself than the fellow up in the heavens, he saw towards me and gave a disapproving look. I grinned at him.

My next stop was half an hour later. I came cross a road which led itself to the sea shore. It was called the Sparkling Sands Avenue. Trust me for one moment, I forgot, that I was supposed to be frustrated. The pink flowers on the trees, the trees laden with beige leaves, the road ahead and the roaring, inviting sea ahead. I, for a moment felt, this is life.

I didn’t think twice. Took the road and walked down in the cool shades of the trees. The air was laden in a heady aroma of the spring flowers and the leaves rustled in the mischievous winds of the sea. For the next half an hour I spent drenching myself in the blue waters alongside the street urchins and the kids of the fishermen.

It was around 11.20, I guess… I kept on walking. I don’t know what all happened around me. Milestones came and went. Buses stopped and left. People kept on gesturing that the next bus will be soon, but I kept on walking. I don’t know. Lost in the thoughts of mine.
“Whats the problem with you dude?”
“I dont know”
“Tell me, what do you want?”
“I want… I … ”

Sholinganallur [dont try to read it even] was left long back. VGP was far behind. I walked around 11 kilometers from the last place I knew. I was still wondering.Uthandi [u-tan-di]. I was staring myself at an entire troop of policemen, searching for the god-knows-what-contraband.There I was, nonchalantly walked right under the very nose of all those SUV owners and salon drivers.

Uthandi Toll Plaza was half a kilometer away, and trust me, when I crossed the toll booth, the journey just got shorter. The road turned itself from a lifeless entity to a joyful merry life, tempting me to keep walking. The East Coast Road just got a life.



Image courtesy TNRDC


Image courtesy TNRDC



I kept walking and around 12.15 reached Muttukadu [mu-ttu-ka-du]. I sat on the bus stop and had a swig of the bottle. My first swig of water in the last three hours. The milestone said Chennai, 26 kilometers. I thought and then walked up and down the length of the shade, then thought again and for sometime I didnt think at all.
Then it came!
It was here, that I found my answer. It came as a dim ray of light and came flooding in when the realization dropped upon me. I understood what was the reason for my unease. I smiled, thinking it was so easy that it was right in front of me. I felt foolish and then grateful. I smiled, and the old man sitting beside me, flashed a toothy grin. I smiled even brighter, appreciating the beauty of the moment. Here I was 26 kilometers from Chennai, 17 kilometers of walk, tired, drenching my parched tongue with some water, a stranger sitting beside me flashing a toothy grin. It was surreal, let me tell you. I extended my right hand, the bottle in it-
“Tanni?” Water?
“Kurunge” Give.

I soaked in the nature around me. The wind was light. Breeze. Leaves rustled and birds cooed. I took the bottle, emptied it and carried onwards. The ECR got increasingly desolate with only two or three cars rush away at a time. The road ahead felt like curving away to entice me,tease me, with its beauty. Life couldn’t have been better. My legs had started to ache long back. But this was turning out to be a dominating mistress. And then a moment came, when I was all alone, not a single car, not a single life present. I looked back, looked ahead. Zilch. It was so lonely that I could hear my own footsteps, the calling of the birds and the roaring of the seas. I wondered if they can hear all these sitting inside their SUVs and Sedans.

Taj Fishermans Cove, Dakshina Chitra, Green Coconut Resorts…


Image courtesy dream chaser


and then Covelong , 29 kilometers from Chennai, 20 kms on foot. All left behind.

I walked on, 21 kilometers and counting till I reached a bend on the East Coast Road where the road ran parallel to the shore. And I mean dead parallel. From the grey tarmac you could see the horizon vanishing away, the catamarans drifting and at the midst of all, a guy sitting all alone on the scenic ECR facing the blue seas. Heaven!
Time 3:00 p.m 11th March 2008, 24 kilometers on foot, 28 kilometers from Chennai.

I reached home that evening and contemplated on the past two weeks. It was time to act. It was time to prove.
Today, I have joined office again, and doing things which I do the best. I am back doing things which I love doing , sort of back in my elements. Solve challenges, crack problems and reignite my desires . And in this entire process, I understood what I desire and I what I aspire.

Someday, inshallah, I will make this journey once again, only to relive these exciting times, those exciting days… that exciting moment, when I walked 24 kilometers from my office just on a bare whim.

The entire jouney can be found in my google map : here

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Two weeks and the walk back to life

11 03 2008

I don’t know, how to start this. I don’t know do I even need to do this. Zilch. Nada. Sifar… I really don’t know.

Many of my friends, almost everybody were offended. I didn’t take up their calls, didn’t reply their mails. When they came in knocking, well they didn’t find anybody inside. Its not just with my friends, it was with my family too. Poor fellas. I didn’t take up the newspaper, no mails, no news, no sms, no nothing…. Nothing which I consume[non food of course]. No corporate mails too. I don’t know from where did the idea germinate. I really don’t know. I was lying on my bed, half-sleepy half-contemplating [ okay don’t ask me, how do I do this, I intend to scare my gfs away with this], then that idea came to me. It was more of a realisation.

“What am  I doing? God! what the hell am I doing”
[trying to sleep? one tiny voice said almost as if asking me]
[Shut up!]

“This sucks! This sucks man!Something is wrong!  I am…. I am..err… yeah… I am not happy, something is wrong! I got to fix this”
[yeah right!]
“Yeah.. I need to fix this”
[but whats wrong?]
[I dont know!, gotto figure it out]

And I don’t know how did the solution come to me, but it was weird. I looked at my cell to check out the time[the revelation hour], and I got pissed off.
No time. No contacts. No news. Nothing…. From now onwards, I don’t know till when maybe days/weeks/months, till I feel like coming back.I switched off my mobile.

The next day I got up[ imagine, if we didn’t have bio clocks] and set onwards to my office. The same slumping thoughts. F*** I hate them. As if all my life force was taken out from me. I thought, okay lets give it some time. In office, once I reached, I pulled out the jack to the server. Pfoof* . Kiss the broadband connectivity goodbye, baby… But wait!! I had to update my files to the common server. What about that… okay, I connected it back, but resolved, No Outlook, no Thunderbird, no Rediff, no Mozilla either. 😦 No news, no sneek peak at newspapers too, no blogs[yeah that included the WordPress one too.] and I didnt carry my mobile at all.

Honestly for the first half an hour it felt awful. But you know what? I survived. In fact I started enjoying the solitude. Honestly [no doubt cave men were very satisfied fellas]

It went on. Till today. And honestly I didn’t find an end to the gnawing corrosive thoughts inside me. I was getting stagnant, almost devoid of any life force[ a la Calvin].

I got up pretty early today in the morning. Was good. Felt good[at last!] I dressed up and reached the road that leads to the office. Its where the auto wala leaves me, and I make the last two minutes of my walk.

Two minutes thats it! Just two minutes. Its such a small time. But still thoughts. The same thoughts came to me. I was getting stagnated. I had to solve it. Now and I mean right now!

I slowed down. The sea straight ahead was visible. I looked back.
“Chuck it! I am not going to office today”

I turned back, and was standing on the ECR road[read the wiki slug]which connects Chennai to Pondicherry along the Bay of Bengal coast.

I had the option. One side lead me to the city, the other out of it.

Authors note: Trust me, my family is still spooked out when I told them what I did today.

[Continued in the next part]





10 things to do before I hit 30!

7 01 2008

Image by ms4jah

Life is no brief candle for me. It is a sort of splendid torch, which I have got hold for the moment, and I want to make it burn as bright as possible before handing it on to future generations.

-George Bernard Shaw

No, 30 is not the beginning of the end. No, no, you got me all wrong, 30 is not when you start settling for less… 30 is just a milestone, is another year. For me, it just marks my end of recklessness and start of something more anchoring. I have often in past talked about overcoming fears and oft harangued mindsets to make a better you. Thought about applying the same for me. I took the pen and started jotting down things which actually excites me and makes me feel insecure/afraid. Read the rest of this entry »