just a little walk

This happened a considerable while ago, maybe 2 years, but is still worth sharing with all you loved ones. You ‘virtual’ friends. Is it not strange how the relative connotations of the real and the virtual changes in the context of the virtual world?
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I was home then. Mom wasn’t well, and I’d decided to stay home and help the bum’s bit that I can possibly do. It had been a while, and mom was just about recovering. There was this movie about Subhas Chandra Bose – what was it – the ‘Forgotten Hero’ or something, that I wanted to watch. Only, it was playing in Madras. Never mind, I thought to myself, and decided to make a trip and fulfill my desire.

It’s the bum way I suppose, and so, like always, I ended up blowing up all my money, and was broke. When I had to return, my dear friends whom I had spent the night with offered me some money. For some reason, I declined the offer, and decided to hitch hike. After all, this guy was dropping me off the city, on the highway, and there was nothing to fear.

So, with all of ten rupees in hand, I said goodbye to my friend, and started walking, in the hope that someone would give me a lift. A 150 odd kilometers wasn’t a long distance, and I was sure I’d make it.

The problem with this world, they say, is that the fools are cocksure and the wise, doubtful. Rightly so, I’d thumbed, stopped, even prostrated before every single passing vehicle – no matter how many wheels it had. And nobody was really bothered about giving me a ride.

Now I was starting to think that maybe I’d have to walk all the way home. I hardly had any money in hand, and was wondering how I’d manage. I thought that I’d buy beedis, as they come really cheap. And as far as food was concerned, I thought I’d just beg. I though I’d do the distance on foot, in say 3 or 4 days.

Just as these thoughts were crossing my mind, I see this guy cruising on his motorbike. He had this little satchel on his back, wasn’t riding all that fast, and was actually looking around – like he wanted to take in the scenery – as he was riding. When I thumbed, he actually stopped!

The first thing I did, was to thank him, naturally. He asked me where I wanted to go. Now, I had a long way to go and felt stupid to tell him I wanted to go all the way to Pondicherry. And, I’d assumed he wasn’t going to go that far anyways, and so I told him, I’d ride with him till wherever he was going. To which, he looked at me for a while, and said, “You know, I don’t really know where I want to go. I have no plans”.

That was fun! So I hopped on and away we rode, the two of us. We stopped for tea a while later, and when I was paying up, this fellow, the courteous guy that he is, said that he’d rather pay. To which I said I only had my tenner, and anything more, he’d be the one who’d have to pay. He was surprised I had hit the road with just that much in my pocket. Coming to think of it, I can’t myself believe I did something like that back then.

I’ve always believed in that something that drives us all, that directs this entire drama of all our lives entwined in strange ways. I suppose there was a purpose, even in this seemingly crazy venture of mine, for I had made a friend. We talked all through the next few hours, till we rode all the way to pondicherry,, and dropped me off right at home.

“Come in and have some dinner”, I had offered. That was the least I could do in return for what he had done for me. He seemed the bum kind too, for he didn’t care too much – either for the favour returned, or for dinner.

“I’ll go. Will probably ride to velankanni”, he said. That was another 150 km, further down the coast, from where we were. When I called him just after 10 AM the following morning, he was already at work. “Oh, I’m feeling a lot better now”, he told me. For someone who claimed to have been feeling sick, that was quite remarkable. That’s what 600 odd km of riding can do to someone.

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Addresses are given to us to conceal our whereabouts.
– Saki

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61 thoughts on “just a little walk

  1. FTC!How have u been buddywow, now that was some cool experience i guess, but i can never imagine wt i wud do if i were to get stuck in this kinda situation.lol. hitchhike, ya but still…:)but that entire stretch is damn good, and the roads make it perfect to go on long drives. memories i have :)see ya 🙂

  2. That is a strange and wonderful story.I’ve just heard that some of my Madras friends will be in London next week, so we’ll meet up. Haven’t seen them for nearly three years, so Hooray!

  3. correction buddy, i was also broke..n we blew the last bit having a burger or something…so was left with some 10 odd note. Well 1 hulluva adventure..u had and may u have many more n tel u the tale.-shek

  4. dharma that was a very interesting anecdote. i love it for the simplicity and for the fact that you live that life :)right now, i honestly wish i could be in ur place coz i know it feels so free to be like that…carefree with just a tenner on ur person. i feel very unconfident myself when i dont carry enough money with me if im out. once i decided to go out with only 7 bucks in my pocket carefully calculating how much the bus fare would be… its a simple thing but it matters a lot!also, ive never hitch hiked and i would have loved to meet interesting people like this fellow you met here! 🙂

  5. wow!that was quite a wild thing to do…adventurous and ur lucky u met someone sane and not crazy to offer u a life!so u still in touch with this guy?

  6. hey there DB! we r back from vacationing = ) still too tired to update the blog though = ) but i hv tons of dutch lessons to catch up on and a big test to do, argh! wish me luck….totally not in the mood for any studying…. think i need another vacation heheheh Hv a great weekend! Loved this entry! Made me smile and think of home, dont know why…. Mush

  7. wow u have some great adventures… but it takes a adventurous person to have them eh?a great story.. so did u find a friend for life in that person? or was it just someone passing through

  8. Facing the dark road with a 10 rupee note…Have been there, but unfortunately never found such compliant and mild-mannered travellers, when I wandered. Here’s to many more such economical wanderings…. Psst: No more clamp downs on comments.

  9. SHUZ,ah, the memories, can play either ways, no?i been good. and u been busy, right?Z,stranger things happen. hope the meeting went well.SHEK,were u broke? well, u always remember better than i do, so u must be right.yes, may we have many more.VEENA,hello 🙂 yes, i did, it was towards the end of her illness period, and bum that i am, was growing tired of having had my bum stuck at home for too long by then :PBACKPAKKER,yeah, the movie, was playing in anand theatre, as satyam had lifted it by the time i decided to watch it.SHANKARI,:) *hugs*TRINNIE,thank you – but i don’t chose my life, it seems to be choosing me more often ;)i am not confident abt doing it too often, so pls don’t think i’m too brave – that day was an exception and i learnt a lesson – that i cud survive, and that there are always ppl to help :)MADDIE,yes, those happy accidents, like my bumping into sophie’s world 😉 thank you, for you.EKTA,i wouldn’t know about the sane and the insane u know :Pand yes, am very much in touch with himNISHA,it was probably just a brash decision, not bravery. but, it paid off, and how :)HDWK,i liked that quote soooo much too.yes, therapeutic, thats the word.DEVIL,thank you :)he is lost, and yet, we do keep bumping into each other now and then, and continue wandering again our own ways.ARTI,glad u did, thanks!MUSH,thanks for dropping by, great to hear from u.PINK,thanks!VASU,u do? join in, sometime. and yes, i will try and document. off late, have been letting life get too mundane, so had to recall one of the stories from the past :)ADITI,a friend for life? i only have one such friend – myself. i don’t believe anything is for life, but thats just me.but i digress. yes, we’re in touch :)GAZAL,:)IYER,maybe it is poorvajanma vaasana, i don’t know :PSUPER,thank you!KESHI,luckily unluckily lucky :PVENUS66,hey!! such a pleasant surprise. thanks for visiting, remembering and wishing :)warm wishes to u too.DB,been there? thats interesting!cheers!PS: nope, am still unable to. comment, i mean.

  10. DeBum.You continue to impress me as usual. That’s like being totally free spirited. Venturing out to Pondy with 10 bucks in hand and getting picked up with somebody as free spirited, who was riding for the heck of it and decided to drop you at home in pondy, man..that’s something, seriously.Sometimes, life can do such things, don’t know what to call it.Nice…really nice.

  11. Good one! And very well written 🙂 It’s an adventure not because of the Rs.10/150km equation, but because of the learning that comes from it. Most of the finest experiences in life are bought with no-money.I had been to Goa and back with a hundred rupees. But that was no match to this as I knew of the free accommodation on beaches and free rides in trains. Almost like travelling with tickets and room booked in advance. LOL. One experience that’s somewhat close to your experience was more of deliberate than impulsive in nature. One night, while drinking late, this crazy friend of mine gave me this idea. Take a few rupees and get on a bus in the morn and buy a ticket with all your money. His promise was that I’ll learn more about life in a day that I’ve learned in 20 years. I took a tenner, and spent 6 on the ticket and the rest 4 on a tea and cigarette as soon as I got down the bus. That day, I traded 6 cigarettes I had with me for money; learned people will readily give off 5-10 rupees if you are not dressed like a beggar; went broke thrice in the same day; gambled and won Rs. 140 and lost all of it; made friends with a few fishermen and got a free arrack-lunch at the shack of one of them, and a fishing trip with them a few weeks later; went to the police station and filed a case that I got pick pocketed, got a Rs. 10 loan from the inspector, which I returned two days later, and that acquaintance with the inspector saved me from getting beaten up in another police station two years later; and walked back 20 kms to my room. While walking back in the early night, a police jeep passed me by, and got a shudder thinking what if it’s the same inspector. They didn’t stop, though. By the way, that wise friend of mine too was from pondy. :)P.S. Only now I realise it was a long comment. Verborrhoea happens!y

  12. My friend,I used to be that way (carefree seeming) and had much fun and many adventures (both good and bad) and I envy your sense of adventure.Time moves on and so do we and it’s been a long, strange trip and continues to be so.I wish you all the best and I wish you peace, love, harmony and understanding. Keep on truckin’ baby.~ RS ~

  13. aahhh…150 kms!!!! some stamina u’ve got!!but must have been an amazing experience…i envy u for the life u lead!!!and thanks for best wishes….well exams..i’ve never taken them seriously until now..but now its kinda “high time to take things seriously”…neway..cheers!

  14. That was a very interesting story. Thankfully you met this nice person. But jus think wat wld have hpnd if u had not. Anyway these few people we meet in life are the ones who re-instill our faith in humanity and God. So cheers!

  15. Wow – good fun ya. Though I’m not the long distance biking kinds, get a bum ache you know :)A close friend of mine does these aimless long distance bike rides – west to east, north to south…

  16. Wow! Two people so out of planning? When will something like that happen to me?! I could never ever be so consciously careless as to travel with a tenner in my pocket. Perhaps it has something to do with being a girl and trying to be safe!

  17. KESHI,the easier option out would be to forget it.and update wil come soon, or so i hope, for i have been quite busy with work.NANDITHA,thankyoo :)IYER,it actually sounds like an exciting prospect, for me atleast.IWOBM,thanks, but to me, the idea of touching is more important than impressing :)free spirited sounds nice…not sure if i am that, but will definitely make an attempt.thanks for being here.JUBIN,couldn’t agree with u more. the most adventurous experiences are also the best learning experiences.your story is quite something too. you should write a post about it, never mind it being written in retrospect, as most things are perhaps?another pondy friend? only difference is i don’t think i be half as wise :pKESHI & ASH,belated happy deepavali to u too.RUBY,a long and strange trip, it certainly is, for what better way to call it but that. and the highlight is the meeting with the most wonderful souls, like youthank you, peace and love to you too.VITRUVIAN,yeah, maybe u shud – take things seriously i mean. just kidding ok? :DDIVSU,of course i did.ARPITA,if i hadn’t, i’d have learnt how i ought not to be. and in all probability, i’d also have blogged about it :)JOVIN,thank ya :)i get a bum ache too, but the other things u get sort of compensates for the bum ache and all the other aches :)the rides are not aimless – the aim is to possibly try and discover the aim (if any) :DMEHER,thats the most heart warming comment in recent times.thanks for dropping by, and do come by more often.SMITA,thanks!D,probably yes, i must admit its a lot easier being a guy.

  18. Really? You really fancy that? How about not being able to celebrate karthigai… not being able to light up the apartment for fear of setting off the darn smoke detectors and water sprinklers! :-/And thats not the only thing I’m missing out here. Trust me!

  19. WOW… there was something that i thought was getting delayed… I guess not anymore… i am going to get her as soon as I am back home….Thanks for this amazing post… THANKS

  20. felt good goin thru the post.. reading how u bumped into a total stranger, somehow made me remember this incident and take the liberty of penning it down here.i ws in school, maybe 8th or 9th grade, and waiting for a bus.. there ws this youth standing by, and he smiled a huge grin at me and asked, “which bus?”49, i said.. he asked 4-5 more questions, which, though i answered, i tried to accompany those with a shrug of indifference. He jus wudnt give up, and went on with the ‘conversation’ unaffected.The last, he asked, “O, so ur school, NR is the one near Shahibaug, right?”I was fed-up by this time, and jumped at this opportunity to lie.”yes yes, correct, tht’s my school.”He had this huge grin similar to the one he started the conversation with, and quipped: “Jhoot bol diya na!”lord, i still have a good laugh when i think of this witty stranger.. ur post, though un-connected with this comment, made me remember this time suddenly and it felt so good!

  21. ANIL,thank you. he went by the name girish.MISS I,i am sorry you are missing all that. somehow, i am just not the kind – i’d probably go discover things that belong there and in the event not miss a thing back home :)ASH,i loved it. wouldn’t want to trouble u with sending me a copy though – will pick it up when we meet someday. ok?KANNA,awwwww…orrey feelings ma. am waiting to post too!OM,not sure exaclty what u mean, but thanks!SHUZ,been good, thanks buddy. and you see quite clearly :PANON,saari pa 😛

  22. GAURI,welcome and thanks for being here.strange is not – how we are reminded about things through totally unconnected events?enjoyed reading your own account with the stranger. do keep coming by – your comments are much valued :)NOVEL,as always, thank YOU! and am glad you are back – thanking god too!ANON,yes, i am sorry i have been inconsistent. but then, bums are that way na! 😛 and who is this, btw?

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