14 Jul 2007

the journey not the destination

today the Mint carried this article on art of traveling slow
the writer is on
" a 12-month slow, low-carbon travel circumnavigation of the globe without flying."

i have tried traveling by road with mixed success

the first time it was on the Mumbai- Delhi route
when I could not get a train ticket during the Diwali rush
I travelled thru Baroda, Ahmedabad, Jodhdpur and Jaipur
that time i did not enjoy much since i was in a rush to get home
but i realised that Rajasthan Roadways had the best buses in the country
at least one could sleep in them

another time it was
within Gujarat
i wanted to see Lothal, Patan - towns that have been lost to history
Lothal was off a highway and i had to take a tractor for the last five kilometres
all i could see a group of Japanese frantically photographing the excavations
and some Germans sitting and sketching in the hot sun

at Patan i ran into dismantled havelis
(at one point this town was known for its Patola saris
the high demand of which made many of the weaver families rich)
their wooden doors and beams stacked up
ready for sale

an autowalah took me to
Jain temples one after the other
there were supposed to be a thousand in Patan
(i did not count after ten and gave up)

tired of travel
i watched Sunny Deol
fight his enemies in

traveling by road
has its surprises
(and i am not talking about stolen luggage)
but can become very boring
if you refuse to interact with people you meet
they can give you nuggets of info
which you may never find in guide book
also you discover new places
only when on foot

today we are more used to traveling by trains or planes
with pretty much fixed plans
on the road there are many other challenges
and your plans change constantly

i had planned to reach Delhi from Gujarat on the 3oth of December
actually ended up staying on in Pushkar for a couple of days
ended up reaching in the new year
that was not planned
but then how much of life do you want to plan?

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is never intent on arriving
Lao Tzu

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