Driving out of Mumbai, we saw many Jain monks in their pristine white garb walk barefoot alongside the road towards a shrine very far away. Wordlessly, we marveled at the power of faith…
Shot taken of them walking from our moving car.
Posted in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge ‘On the Move’
An early start again, this time with Nupur at the wheel, we drove northeast from Amdavad in the darkness and watched the many transitions of dawn. We admired the first hint of pink change gradually, in many shades till the sun appeared like a flaming orange ball. And suddenly, we passed a sign that said ‘The Tropic Of Cancer is passing from here’. I yelled from the backseat, and we took yet another impulsive decision to take a U-turn and go right back to the sign. Google Aunty sort of freaked out for a bit, but it was well worth it. We got off and took some crazy pics (including two crazy selfies), not finding anyone reliable (there was a very doped out man who walked by) to take our picture! Why we didn’t remember that the super organized Rachna Khanna had a camera with a tripod stowed away in her backpack at this point, well, that’s anyone’s guess!
Being on the road is fun, but it also offers the opportunity to be in the traveler mindset. That particular state in which your disconnection from the ground realities of your life (the mundane stuff, the routine), offers the chance for your mind to wander in a free state. So many thoughts passed through my head on this journey from Mumbai to Delhi that I cannot even figure out where to begin writing about it.
Broadly, I’m thinking about the experience in three buckets.
The physical experience: A travel log that documents the route, the stops, what we saw, what we did. Food, sights and sounds. Conversation.
The social experience: Three women on the road, no male company, a whole lot of positivity that I definitely want to share about how its possible to be who you are, do what you want to if you try, plan, do… and also about the meaning of friendship, which is perhaps the most important social experience we have as humans.
The spiritual experience: In the interstices of the above two lies the most meaningful bit about being out there on the road. What passed through my head, a new view of life, a fresh attitude, a big step in the pursuit for the ‘centre’ inside me. And now, my struggle to retain the peace and balance I felt out there as I pick up my routine again!
It’s all very interesting, this journey. And it wouldn’t have been possible without Nupur and Rachna, my two best friends. They, who never intrude, always encourage, they who empathize but also call your bluff, they who are rock solid and who are always happy to be part of my journey. And me of theirs.
With that (and after I’ve sorted the zillion pics on camera and the trillion thoughts in my head), I’m going to let the posts roll…… 🙂 Stay with me!
I loved the Highway the film, despite it’s obvious disconnect with reality, despite its apparently pointless meanderings. Like Imtiaz Ali’s previous directorial venture Rockstar, the thing that struck me about Highway was the strong development of the protagonist’s character. I was involved right from the beginning with the story, gasping when Alia was kidnapped, trying to understand her state of mind when she babbled and laughed in unexpected places, sympathizing with her when she lashes out against exploitation and abuse. I think it is really hard to achieve the brilliant and unreal innocence of both characters, Jordan (played by Ranbir Kapoor) in Rockstar and Veera (played by Alia Bhatt) in Highway. And it’s not a bad thing to sometimes enjoy this sort of innocence for what it is.
Alia has been directed brilliantly in Highway and that’s what really worked for me. I loved the subtle point the film made, about the cage of affluence, the hypocrisy of elite society that still practices conservative values while exhibiting a modern facade. Even without the dramatic appeal of a situation as extreme as child abuse, I would willingly concede this point.
Alia’s attraction to her captor is bizarre, but the desperate rawness of Randeep Hooda was appealing nevertheless. The likelihood of finding the sensitive side of a thug in real life is remote, I agree, but that possibility is part of the romantic charm of Highway. It’s not about reality, its about storytelling. And Imtiaz does that really well!