My every journey had some or the other story to tell … Each of the VISA stamp on the passport has a story attached. May it be haunted apartment in Seoul, may it be a real tiger sitting on my lap in Jakarta, may it be me delaying the international flight, may it be Amitabh Bachchan in Bangkok or may it be lost laptop at Singapore. Every time, it was happening. This was the first time, things happened in Pune and not abroad.
Not sure where to start from, however if I decide to restrict this to the journey only then it would start from Saturday Morning. My mom discovered that my passport and other documents were wet … badly. And it was equally surprise to me! But soon realized how all that might have happened. What else one can expect after spending almost 6-7 hours in heavy rain. It could be another interesting topic to write about those 6-7 hours. But anyway … VISA was big concern that time. Damn! Even that photograph on the VISA stamp was half wet and the colours were like about to fed. Someone scared me saying, they might send you back from SFO airport if the VISA thing becomes an issue. I had and I have no wish to come back again! At least not that immediately.
This was the beginning of journey. Though I explained my mom the whole story (which again was not very pleasant for her) how the passport got wet, it was not going to help the passport! It was the slight hint towards the happening journey ahead.
With all the herculean efforts, finally we managed to settle (cool!) down all the docs, passport everything and with the fingers crossed, I started the journey to Mumbai airport. This time there were bunch of 14 people with me traveling to the airport in that mini bus. There was some missing link … and it was making me restless. I requested the driver to stop the bus at one place …
"Dude, where are you? I have stopped the bus near your home… want to give you something."
"I am not home, am near Bonsai!! Should I come back?"
"No … go ahead … enjoy! Can't wait that long … "
Honestly I was big time angry, pissed off, frustrated and lot more things at the same time … for various reasons! But realized soon, have no time for that, also have no time to go back home n sit n relax to come back to normal.
I called her back. She said immediately.
"Where should I come?"
"… would stop near the signal at the chowk … be there in 30 minutes, might not be able to hold the bus for long!"
"Bhaiyya, want to give something to a person near the signal at chowk … would you stop there for a while?"
"Girl friend hai?"
I wonder, why the heck it was his problem! Why do I have to explain this relation to each and everyone every time? But as always, had no time to sort out his queries. He had already done a favor to me by stopping there.
"Can you stop or not?"
"Thanks … and yeah … she is girlfriend … but not mine! (happy??)"
Well … he did not look happy with the way I answered.
Things started happening pretty fast … It was a small thing. Had we not gotten chance to meet that time, perhaps it would have always made a mark in my mind. What did we do after meeting? - nothing! But still wanted to do that. The Bus stopped at a place hardly 5 minutes away from that chowk. The driver had suddenly remembered something, perhaps. I saw an ATM center there and got down to withdraw some cash. Driver knew about it. I was thinking about that 5 minute meeting at the chowk. With these thoughts I entered the ATM center … got some cash … came out … and boom!!
The Bus was not at all there!! Vanished!!
Boy!! For a moment I thought, if I was in dreams. I asked a fellow there and he said …
"it went straight just now."
"How can it go that direction?? Rather … how can it go anywhere?"
That fellow smiled and I also was not expecting him to answer anyway. :)
I was totally clueless and with no luggage. Hand went in to pockets automatically but there was no mobile phone. Useless pocket!! You are truly disconnected when you are with no mobile and no internet! (reminded me of all those events when I used to comment on someone's affection towards mobile!). I had no contact numbers of that driver, their travel agency and neither my company travel desk person. Everything was stored either in my mobile or laptop and neither of which I had that time.
These moments teach you a lot. I mean, we do nothing but start realizing some big time gyan which generally is of no use that time to help us out. I did learn something … mobile, laptop etc all these gadgets make you big time handicapped! Ok … ! Nothing great. I was still in bad fix. But next fact rather than gyan was even more interesting. How was I supposed to reach airport and even if I reach how do I get my luggage?! And again that wet passport/VISA was another concern anyway. I tried to call mom so that she could find the numbers from my cell phone but in vain. I knew my cell was too complex for her to handle. Same was the case with dad. I soon remembered that I had asked someone to wait near chowk for me! Damn! I again spoiled her plans. I do it every time. Now even if we meet … I had nothing to give since everything was gone with the luggage. I called her up anyway, asked to come as soon as possible where I was standing. I really wonder why every time 'something' has to happen when we decide to meet! Maybe we realized that late that we were not meant to meet at all.
I was back on the road with mischievous smile on face. Life was thrilling, happening and painfully kool for last several weeks. The trend was not over. And I was happy about it. I suddenly saw the bus! Alas …! They came back … perhaps they realized something had spilt out of there bus. Whatever! I was about to go to the bus but then again, there was another mess … I had asked her to come to that place. I called her back … she had reached already. I ran into the bus … the driver tried to start some argument - "where had you gone" n all … but I was in no mood to listen, I pulled out some stuff from my bag … n told him to wait and I'll come back in 2 minutes n then we can finish that argument at length. He again did not look very happy at my gesture. But really had no other option. There was someone more than that driver, bus, ATM, argument standing outside with no hint of what is going on.
She was standing there on the other side of the road, perhaps with no clue what had happened in last 5 minutes. I gave her what I wanted to give, she had also something for me. She said, "Happy Friendship Day". That's it. Few more words here n there and we were done. Not even 2 minutes. I ran back to the bus and was all happy. Perhaps she was too. Journey continued towards Mumbai … and it started raining again. Well, this time, these stupid rains missed the drama by just few minutes. My leg had one open wound. It had started paining, but who cares. All those rain droplets, that open wound, my thoughts and lots of memories - everything was forming a beautiful rhythm, music … Guru ka music!
Journey was still happening, heavy rain on the express highway, land slide and then a big time traffic jam. Somehow reached the airport in time though it took 2 hours more than usual. Every new such obstacle was making me more n more happy … life was still happening. Nothing had ended. There was another surprise waiting for me at the airport though.
Damn … I saw him there. Just few meters away. Why the heck all these stars come across me when I am in no good mood. But one thing for sure … boss … what a personality!
Happening Journey, it was. It was just the beginning. I was perhaps back to Good'ol messy days.
Before leaving home, I had an intuition, instinct that I might forget my jacket somewhere. All the while when I was enjoying the time convincing myself that I am back in those Good'ol days, I realized that I actually did not take my jacket back from baggage checking. I was literally waiting at the gate for an hour and when final boarding announcement was made, it struck to me that I forgot the jacket way back at the baggage checking! Thrill continued … I ran back again to the counter. I got the jacket back … reached back and got the privilege again to be the last person to enter the flight. :-)
Somehow God made sure that my mind is always occupied by something or the other and the journey becomes happening. Otherwise … empty mind is always devil's home. Perhaps God was either fed up or scared of my Davil's home.
The new journey has started but in a same old happening way. Maybe somewhere in my mind there is a desire of doing something good for a change for someone somehow. Maybe it is a feeling of compensating for something wrong, I might have done in past to someone. This is the spice of life … you find things in a way you want them to be. Now when I look at it, it is actually about what you want to feel rather than what you feel. And today I want to feel it in this way. Things always happen in a way you want them to see. Is it really about the wet passport, missed bus, traffic jam or that jacket mess that made the journey happening? Perhaps not. Things might anyway had happened in the same way. But today the way I am reacting to them is what I have decided for myself.
Things might just go off if we react by saying what a mess! Wet passport! But perhaps today I have decided to enjoy each n every bit of it. Someone has taught me to live the life as if it is the last day. You never know if you would get chance to react to such scene again. So react in a best possible way - we are actually on the spree of creating memories. These are the things, we might remember a few years down the line. Why spoil them now?
At times nature throws some very interesting riddles which when you solve, you realize in very straight and hard way that even you are human and no great. More you struggle to digest this fact, more ordinary you become.
Yes … journey has started …! Someone once said to me … "I am done with my life" and I had hated that sentence a lot! Somehow it is still there in my mind. And not I am just making sure that nobody would say that ever again after meeting me.