I believe that we always undertake journeys inside of us even when we are travelling the world outside. And it is difficult to not accept that any self-exploratory sojourn always results in evolution of the self. By that reasoning, all travels lead us to a better us and if not then I may not be travelling at all, just going in circles maybe! I had always held this vague thought but it became a clear belief when a sudden event took me on a short trip to the lands of my forefathers last week. The lands of my forefathers – a tiny village in the Gangetic Plains, has been constantly changing with time and much more rapidly so in the last decade but it still retains its rustic timelessness. For me this connect with timelessness (and disconnect with everything else) is much more profound knowing that this is the place where many generations back that man first reared his cattle and grew his crop the one whose progeny has now spread far and around. This is the place where I am lost and found – simultaneously. While I was lost in the crowd of immediate and distant family members, I snuck out for an aimless wandering in the fields to spend some time with myself – a time to observe and ponder. The weather was mostly cold and foggy which in a way added to the gravity of thoughts. I found myself captivated by trees in the thick of fog. It was lending them a spooky persona as if these were the souls of my forefathers – lost in time – you can never see them in their absoluteness but can only make out vague silhouettes of what they might have been.
I was thinking about them, imagining of the kind of lives they would have led, just when a branch from a bamboo thicket joyously waved around my face as if greeting in glee, snapping me to the present. Oh how much would I love to hold this sight every time I glance outside my window.
A few more steps and then I was in my grandfather’s fields. Mustard and Dill were in flowering but today it was mostly jewels. The entire landscape was covered with dew drops as if some young girl had studded every visible surface with her be-dazzler device.
I knew the very moment I took that walk that foggy morning that this travel has certainly been worth the endeavor. I had just lost and found myself, simultaneously – I am not just me – I am the product of relentless struggle of that man and his progeny across the generations; I am the hopes and dreams of my people as they are mine. I suspect I might have also uncovered that it is in belonging and devotion that happiness might be found.
I now know that no matter where I will ever go and who all I would know this is the place where I will belong – the land of green fields, dusty trails, endless horizons – the lands of my forefathers!
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