A Travellerspoint blog

RANTS – Because I have to get it out of my system

Chapter - IV

A lot of things happened in a short time. I got a job which was not for me in the first place. There was a query if I knew anybody who would be willing to work as a counselor for an institute. I thought and re-thought and decided to apply for the job myself. There was a call from the Bosses’ Boss one day; we spoke for a very long time and the next day I was informed I got the job! So that “long telephone chat” was apparently my interview!

So there I was; back in the “work mode” after seven years. It felt good. At the same time I was edgy, nervous and doubted if I would be able to deliver.

The day I actually walked into the office and met my Boss, I just told him one thing, “I need four days off. Technically it’s only two days as because 25th is Eid and 27th is a Sunday. If this is acceptable then I am joining. I do not like lying. I could have easily made up a story for my missed days but let’s be clear and open from day one.”
“Where are you going? Why do you need the leaves?” my Boss asked me, as he sipped his cup of tea.
“Ziro. I am going for the music fest. Everything has been planned and I don’t want to back out at the last moment and ditch my friends”, I replied very assertively.
He thought for a while, walked out of his room to the pantry, which is also the “smoking zone”. He lit a cigarette and looked at me. I was standing near the door.
He extended the packet of cigarettes to me and said, “Do you smoke? You want to have one now”?
“No, I don’t want one right now”, I said and also added a “Thanks”.
I was waiting for an answer. He took such a long time for that.
“Okay!” he said. “You can go. I appreciate your frankness. But do not switch off your phone and internet.”
So that was it. I was happy. No! I was super thrilled.

But my happiness was short lived. One week on to the job and I had a major accident.
It was the regular early morning mad rush. I was making breakfast and I don’t know why and how it happened. I spilled some very hot water on myself, which I wanted to throw it in the basin. Think I lost my balance and the water from the saucepan churned like a wave and fell on me.
The pain was bad. More than the pain I could see the skin coming out and the sight was ghastly. I immediately took off my chain from my neck and my tee too. I had burnt myself badly. Things were horrible from neck down. All I could wear for the next few days was very light cotton stoles to cover me minimum.

My doctor when examined me said, I was taking this matter too lightly. My burns were what he termed as “second degree burns”. It wasn’t burns actually. It was scalding.

And after working from home for a week, I had to go to office one day. It was important and Bosses’ Boss also requested me to come to office for about an hour or so. I was picked up from home and dropped back too.

But for the first time in my life I stepped out of my home without wearing a bra! It felt awkward. I was wearing a very loose top and covered myself with a sole. Yet I felt everyone knew I was braless and that made me dreadfully uncomfortable!

I told him the day this mishap happened, “Guess what, I spilled some hot water on myself and things are bad neck down. Its painful. And it looks quite horrifying”.
He was shocked.
“Please look after yourself nicely. I wish I was there to comfort you”, he told me.
Much later he told me, “ I don’t need the skin, I need your soul Nans”.

A few days later he asked me, “Nans, can you make it?”
“Why not?”, I replied.

We still had three weeks in hand and by then my wounds would heal completely.
Its altogether a different story that the ugly scars are still there.

A lot of things happened in a short time. I got a job which was not for me in the first place. There was a query if I knew anybody who would be willing to work as a counselor for an institute. I thought and re-thought and decided to apply for the job myself. There was a call from the Bosses’ Boss one day; we spoke for a very long time and the next day I was informed I got the job! So that “long telephone chat” was apparently my interview!

So there I was; back in the “work mode” after seven years. It felt good. At the same time I was edgy, nervous and doubted if I would be able to deliver.

The day I actually walked into the office and met my Boss, I just told him one thing, “I need four days off. Technically it’s only two days as because 25th is Eid and 27th is a Sunday. If this is acceptable then I am joining. I do not like lying. I could have easily made up a story for my missed days but let’s be clear and open from day one.”
“Where are you going? Why do you need the leaves?” my Boss asked me, as he sipped his cup of tea.
“Ziro. I am going for the music fest. Everything has been planned and I don’t want to back out at the last moment and ditch my friends”, I replied very assertively.
He thought for a while, walked out of his room to the pantry, which is also the “smoking zone”. He lit a cigarette and looked at me. I was standing near the door.
He extended the packet of cigarettes to me and said, “Do you smoke? You want to have one now”?
“No, I don’t want one right now”, I said and also added a “Thanks”.
I was waiting for an answer. He took such a long time for that.
“Okay!” he said. “You can go. I appreciate your frankness. But do not switch off your phone and internet.”
So that was it. I was happy. No! I was super thrilled.

But my happiness was short lived. One week on to the job and I had a major accident.
It was the regular early morning mad rush. I was making breakfast and I don’t know why and how it happened. I spilled some very hot water on myself, which I wanted to throw it in the basin. Think I lost my balance and the water from the saucepan churned like a wave and fell on me.
The pain was bad. More than the pain I could see the skin coming out and the sight was ghastly. I immediately took off my chain from my neck and my tee too. I had burnt myself badly. Things were horrible from neck down. All I could wear for the next few days was very light cotton stoles to cover me minimum.

My doctor when examined me said, I was taking this matter too lightly. My burns were what he termed as “second degree burns”. It wasn’t burns actually. It was scalding.

And after working from home for a week, I had to go to office one day. It was important and Bosses’ Boss also requested me to come to office for about an hour or so. I was picked up from home and dropped back too.

But for the first time in my life I stepped out of my home without wearing a bra! It felt awkward. I was wearing a very loose top and covered myself with a sole. Yet I felt everyone knew I was braless and that made me dreadfully uncomfortable!

I told him the day this mishap happened, “Guess what, I spilled some hot water on myself and things are bad neck down. Its painful. And it looks quite horrifying”.
He was shocked.
“Please look after yourself nicely. I wish I was there to comfort you”, he told me.
Much later he told me, “ I don’t need the skin, I need your soul Nans”.

A few days later he asked me, “Nans, can you make it?”
“Why not?”, I replied.

We still had three weeks in hand and by then my wounds would heal completely.
Its altogether a different story that the ugly scars are still there.

Posted by incommunicado 20:40 Archived in India Tagged me sunsets_and_sunrises people parties night trains backpacking hitchhiking Comments (0)

RANTS – Because I have to get it out of my system

Chapter II

I do not see any traces of myself in all that you do. It’s completely alright. I do understand what limitations are. Unlike my own self – when I went out of my way to tell the world what it is like to be a part of you; no matter how short-lived it was. As long as it lasted it was the most beautiful phase of my life.
I found me. I was nervous at first. I hardly remembered a time in the recent past when I was “me”. It took a while to let that feeling sink in. And I slowly and steadily I began to enjoy my existence. I had forgotten what it was to be like me.

And did I ever thank you for that? No? Seriously? I didn’t?

It took us such a long time to make this moment happen. And I think the whole Universe transpired to allow us this fleeting togetherness … it was very much needed.

I stumbled upon something very interesting yesterday and it goes like this – “there will always be a reason why you meet people. Either you need them to change your life or you are the one that will change theirs.” – Author Unknown.

We both have been through hell and high waters in our own separate lives. You have known it all and so do I. There have been times when we were not even in talking terms. I laugh now. That was such a childish thing to do. Now when I look back, yes, it did hurt me when we were not communicating at all. I missed you badly. It took a while but gradually I got over it. It wasn’t easy. But I managed to accept the fact we’d never talk again, leave seeing each other, that seemed next to impossible.

I clearly remember the message you sent me after a hiatus… was it after a year and half?
“Happy Diwali Nans”
That was the first message I read the next morning after Diwali. I checked the message and the sender's name twice to be sure it was you.
I felt vulnerable as I replied you back “A very Happy Diwali to you too”; and after all these years I still feel that way when it comes to you.

So we were back talking. Our conversations were short. Basic. Sometimes there were long intervals of silences.

But as of now I fear this silence. It’s my insecurity? Yes it is!

I took me a long time to put back together a very damaged me… from a very agonizing relationship. It still scares me every time I think about it. Think those damages were yet to heal when we met after five long years of wait.
And as those five days after five years of wait, were nearing an end I secretly whispered a prayer to God, “Dear God, please don’t make the Monk stone cold once we part ways and return to our own respective lives”.

Posted by incommunicado 07:49 Archived in India Tagged me sunsets_and_sunrises people night trekking Comments (0)

RANTS – Because I have to get it out of my system

This is going to be a very confusing write – up/ blog/ feelings …. Whatever you may decide to name it by the time you reach to the end of this whole thing its absobloodylutely okay!

AS OF NOW

It’s not been easy for me… to get you out of my head… my system and in totality. To be honest I seriously do not want to let that feeling go. I love to hold on to those moments. Which mean so much to me. But on the practicality it is so difficult to function normally, to get back to my regular routine and carry on with the life of mine the way it is and the way it was… I hope for a change… a better one… but then you see, life is such you have to wait… to anticipate… its never like a transaction you did inside an ATM counter. Blame me… for my restlessness… my impatience… there are times and instances when I seek answers and results “Right here …Right now…”
This is perhaps one of the reasons why I intimidate people.
But you are different. With you I tend to lose a track of time … about where I am… about the situation and surroundings I am in.
With you…at least to know that you are there… forget the geographic locations… the miles… just that you are there in my friends list in Facebook…. In Whastapp…and in Instagram too makes me feel close to you…especially when you “like” something I just posted. There is a strong urge to get back to you immediately… to message you because I know you are “online”…. But I restrict myself.
I don’t want to suffocate you… and I have told you this over and times again… but as you know me “in my own times… the I, Me, Myself” times I end up sending you messages which later I feel I should not have sent you. It’s so very me… I don’t wanna sound clingy. I never have been one… especially when I have grown up on my own having lost my family when I was just learning about life. And maybe it’s one of the reasons why I bother you so much… I cannot let you go… I mean I cannot let go the feelings… the ones I share with you. It means so much to me. You give me the wings to fly and explore my own soul.
I wish I was a poet… a lyricist and a vocalist. I’d sing and dedicate all of them to you. But here I am now. Just an ordinary mortal. Who have been through and done that. Who learnt the hard ways of life just by fluke …. Who lost her innocence long long ago when she never saw a normal and a happy family.
But why on the earth I am telling you this!
Sometimes I feel you really do not care and there are times when I feel you do but you are scared to let out those feelings because you have never been in love truly… at least for a decade now?
I always tell you “Do not be cold with me”… I do not know what that means to you…
But I have this uncanny fear… I have to the moon and back and that is what precisely scares the hell out of me…
Sorry state of my life … its messy… my heart… my head… my brains… my soul and everything else that encompasses me… but I embrace that mess with all my might… because at the end of the day that is one and the sole reason which keeps me going.

Posted by incommunicado 09:54 Archived in India Tagged me mountains people backpacking Comments (0)

The Land of Country Music, Guitarists and Football Lovers

Chapter I - On the way home

I don’t know when I fell asleep. The screeching brakes of the car woke me up. My left arm felt numb. I don’t know how long I had held on to the handle right up there on the left side of the car hood. I had held I quite tightly, blame the roads – the zig-zags and the death traps…
As I opened my eyes all I could see was dense fog. The driver was maneuvering the curves slowly and for the first time we spoke.
I looked into him and asked, “Where are we”?
“About to reach Umium Lake”, he replied.
I sat up straight, stretched my arms, rotated my head in clock and anti-clock wise direction and looked at the watch. It was close to 01:45 hours. The Baul music was still ear-piercing. Not that I am saying this with disregard. I was wondering how could I have dozed off with such loud music blaring from the car stereo and my earphones glued to my ears still playing rock classics!
I had been travelling close to twenty hours now. I’d home in another three hours. The nearer I was reaching home the urge to get out of this travel schedule, to cozy up in my own bed in my ultra faded and over worn tees soared… and I knew I’d not move an inch for the next day. I’d hibernate for a day.
My mind is always full of thoughts. I did not hear what the driver was telling me. Its only when he nudged me I looked at him and asked, “What”?
“”Why don’t you go back to sleep”? , he said.
I looked behind me. The two women with an acutely irksome nasal voice were finally asleep. The two men travelling with them were asleep too snoring away. They were my co-travellers since 18:00 hours. And I must tell you they made my journey quite horrifying. Firstly they reached the taxi stand late; secondly they spent about forty five minutes in the railway station trying to get a refund for a missed train; thirdly they had nauseating body odor and fourthly in that terrible nasal tone of theirs they were singing songs!
I looked at the driver and said, “They all are finally shut” and we both laughed cheekily!
“No, I am not sleeping. It gets quite monotonous for the driver to keep steering when everyone shuts eye, especially the one sitting in front. This is what I do when I drive. So let me be awake”, as I told him checking my phone for yet one more time if there were any notifications.
And we got talking, about his life and mine, until one point I felt I almost hallucinated… sleep was coming back and my eye lids felt heavy.

Posted by incommunicado 07:04 Archived in India Tagged me landscapes sunsets_and_sunrises mountains churches skylines people trees night trekking backpacking hitchhiking business_travel Comments (0)

THE JOURNEY OF MY LIFE - ZIRO

overcast 17 °C

How strange it seemed when I secretly wished this journey of mine should have never ended. I came back leaving a part of me there. My happy part!
It was not my maiden visit. I was in Ziro a few years ago when I had sales target to achieve. At that time I did not pay much attention to the place or the journey as my mind was occupied with so many things. But this time around things were different.
I was restless, my palms sweaty. I wanted the wheels of the train to get rolling as soon as possible. My friend sitting on the opposite berth was observing my uneasiness and finally asked me why was I not calm. I did not have an answer. Now when I think about it, I feel it’s because I wanted to get out of my home town badly, to be somewhere where I’d see only unknown faces, my phone would stop buzzing and also getting the 3g connectivity would be next to impossible.
And as we moved finally I felt better. The whole train was full of travelers like me, going to the Ziro Festival of Music. The excitement in every pair of eye was so evident. We all wanted to be there and set our souls free.
Sleep never seems easy inside a moving train. I woke up every time the train halted, be it at a station or in the middle of nowhere waiting for a clearance. As I peeped outside, it was almost dawn. There was a slight drizzle too. We were in Harmoti, which meant we would be in Naharlagun in about forty five minutes or so.
The train reached Naharlagun right on dot. As we got down from the train it started raining quite heavily. The ones who had not made their Inner Line Permits were in a queue to get the needful done. I saw many artists disembarking and wrapping their guitars, drums sets in huge sheets of plastics. I badly wanted a cup of tea, but to my utter disappointment there wasn’t a single tea stall in and around this quaint little station.
We took a taxi to the town which is about fifteen minutes from the station. Went straight to the Sumo Counter to book our seats. We did get the seats but the next Sumo to go to Ziro was a ten thirty, which meant we had close to two and half hours in hand. We put our backpack in the Sumo counter and walked around looking for a place to eat. The breakfast was the longest I had in my life! We had a lot of time at our disposal.
The Sumo started right on dot and soon we were ascending the hills. The road was curvy, rocky and the higher we went worse it became. The rains had made it slushier. The Subansiri River flowing below looked muddy with strong rapids. At a few places there were landslides too. It should have taken about three hours to reach Ziro, but the condition of the road, the slush and our driver getting down to help another Sumo driver whose car had a break down made the entire journey close to five and half hours.
Mr. Tam who was hosting us kept calling me to keep a track. At one point I felt I had completely lost it. I just wanted to get down from the Sumo and start walking.
But things did not take such a bad turn. We reached Ziro at three thirty in the afternoon and Mr. Tam came to receive us. As we hopped in his car, the first thing we asked him, “How far is your home from the Fest Site”?
“Oh! Don’t you people worry! It’s just a kilometer”!
That was perhaps the best thing we heard during this back breaking ride!
So there we were, in Hong Village. We followed Mr. Tam’s footsteps and finally reached his home. I was super thrilled to realize that I’d be staying the next three days in a stilt house made of bamboo and wood. It was small. But neat and clean. What could more one ask for? It was a typical Apatani home with a huge fire place in the middle of the living room, which they use it to warm water, smoke meat and keep the house warm.
Mr. Tam seemed more eager than us. He asked us to freshen up as quickly as we could so that he could drive us to the Fest Site. And like obedient children we exactly did as he told us.
There was a sense of euphoria in the site. The party was just about to begin and would get bigger and better. Once we were given our fest blue bands, we were inside. We looked around the stalls, checked the food and other stalls selling memorabilia.
The ZFM (Ziro Festival of Music) officially kicked off by seven and the first band Dayglocrazie was a bit disappointing. Not only me, I heard people standing close to me sipping their beers saying the kick off should have been with a peppy band, not with someone who was singing such mushy mushy songs. But after that Yesterdrive and later followed by Omak Komut Collective took matters in their able and responsible hands and they literally set the Fest on fire and the audience into frenzy.
And I knew this was the beginning of some serious tripping on good music.
The next two days that followed, we saw some of the finest and most talented people performing in front of us, from one in the afternoon till about ten at night.
MenWhoPause, Barmer Boys, Takar Nabam, Neel & The Lighbulbs, Tetseo Sisters, Run, It’s the Kid, North, Side Effect, Alisha Batth and my favourite Prateek Kuhad were the most awesomest (only if the dictionary permits me to use such a word!).
Disappointment came when on the third day of the fest (which was my high point) we saw a huge white chart paper with this written and I quote, “Dualist Inquiry CANCELLED  P.S. He could not make it because he was injured.”
I was a sore miffed. Felt like a rejected lover. But then there were too many things that made up for that one disappointment. I was around with friends with whom I could be me and feel good and secure. Then there where the newer set of friends, we talked, laughed, sipped Apong and clicked selfies, exchanged numbers, added each other in Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp too. We devoured on Apong (which is a local wine made from fermented rice and millet seeds). Out of all the Apongs the Apong made by the Adi tribe is the one to die for. Its sweet. It keeps you warm and gives you a happy high. The Adi Apong was served to us in slim bamboo hollows with bamboo leaves used as a cover.
The best thing about the ZFM was off course the music. But also it was about people I was with, the ones I connected after years that mattered a lot.
It’s a week now that I am back home. But I am still hung over. About everything that is Ziro. The green and golden paddy fields, the sunshine, the clear blue skies, the clouds, the rains, the fog, the slush, the long walks along the paddy fields and pine trees, the music, the happy and unknown faces, the familiar strangers. I came back home full of wonderful memories. I don’t know if I will go to Ziro again. Just feel that the excitement would not be as it was this time.
I told my host I can stay in Ziro for the rest of my life happily working in paddy fields, drinking Adi Apong, walking around not having a care about meeting deadlines and con calls!
Thank you Ziro Festival of Music, Ziro, Hong Village, Mr. Tam (my host) and most importantly Bobby Hano the organizer!
Its truly the “Journey of your Life”!

Posted by incommunicado 07:42 Archived in India Tagged me landscapes sunsets_and_sunrises mountains skylines people parties trees sky night trains trekking backpacking hitchhiking Comments (0)

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