I recollect a conversation that I had with one of the cab drivers in Nice, France. We were driving along the Mediterranean coast. I was in a happy state to watch the gulls fly across the beach when the snow-draped mountains peeped from a distance, and I was like’ Wow Alps.’
The driver asked if we were from India and we nodded yes, yes, instantly. ‘India isn’t that the world by itself,’ he asserted. His face glowed as he said, ‘There are two important places that I need to visit in India, and I in a jiffy asked, ‘Where would you like to go?’
‘First the Bollywood. You know Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan and ya Madhuri?’ He exclaimed, ‘Oh what dance?’
He slowed down before mentioning the other one, and he gently turned towards me and said, ‘The Himalayas.’ Adding to this he said, ‘Ya Alps, good!’ But! The Himalayas’. After which there was silence.
I could just connect.
I keep attempting to write and pour all my emptiness into words. However, when it comes the Himalayas,I guess it will be in parts. Slow motion I guess. I often sit hours before I can write one word, especially if I choose to pen my thoughts on ‘The Himalayas.’ What they do is an experience and in my view can never be summed into precise words.
I notice I developed a distance between me and everything else from here, from the barren lands, deep, from the music of those valleys. It takes me within myself, revealing those secrets of the ego, and in the process, I shed. And drop a few calories too! The Himalayas do not spare you. There is no escape from the uneasy silence, which with time I am coming home to. And in this silence, I lose and find – again and again. A truth that remains a mystery.
Sharing those moments of silence.