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Sneha had always been accused of being a loner. She would often ponder though, whether she actually was a loner and if being one was a crime so to say. She was not bitten by the wanderlust bug. She found solace in books and enjoyed her company the most. Planning a holiday and then the eventual packing paraphernalia would give her the jitters- always. Was she downright laid back, she would wonder. Well for a long time her world was unfettered by any chaos and she revelled in the blissful company of her own self.
She did have friends but the shenanigans of a ‘Sex and the City’ kind of friendship was nowhere to be found. Was it even real, she would often muse. And in the absence of a ‘bosom pal’ it was quite convenient for her to lean back to books and her own blessed company.
Then she got married. And as luck would have it, she got hitched to someone who was an extrovert par excellence and who swore by ‘long drives’ and outdoorsy excursions. But, she remained unscathed by his exuberance and slowly and steadily they found a middle path. He could not move her from her comfort zone and life went on with the usual ebb and flow.
Soon monotony gripped her from behind like a dark stranger. She was miserable. Things that brought joy unabated- now seemed drab. What was missing in her almost perfect life? Sneha felt weary and soon realized that she would have to shun the land of the ‘Lotus Eaters’ and instead of living a life of languor look for newer exciting pastures.
A trip was therefore planned. They would spend a few days in the hills. Sneha was still dubious about this whole scenario. But, she conceded thinking how bad can it be. The hills were probably calling out to them.
The day she reached the sleepy hill city, she was smitten with it. It was as if life had come to a stand-still. And she was enjoying it. She liked the slow-paced aura of the place and those serpentined mountain lanes caught her attention like never before. She had extensively read Wordsworth when she was a teenager and even later, but never did it dawn on her that he was right after all. Nature do things to you which you cannot possibly explain in words- may be sketch out a hazy image to people like the Romantics did. But, it affects you way deeper than you can paraphrase through words.
The cool air cleansed her much tired mind and she felt rejuvenated. So- this is why people go about travelling the length and breadth of the world, she said to herself. The tiny break and the rendezvous with the hills gave her perspectives anew.
It is indeed good to be hidden in the safe vestibules of our home and mind, but, we humans cannot possibly reside in ‘a land where all things always seem’d the same’ (Lotus Eaters- Lord Tennyson).
And so, as the trip came to a bitter sweet end, Sneha realized that- “The vacation we often need is freedom from our own mind”. In these last few days she had not just come out of her shell that she had hitherto formed around herself but she also truly broadened her horizons-literally.
With a smile on her face and a glow that nature bestows on you- she headed home. Will she continue to be a loner and escape being a wanderer? Well- it is a start for sure
First published here.
The image is a still from the movie Kedarnath
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