I miss you. Yes, one more love letter to bore you; I will try to keep it short. But it’s your birthday and I can not think of any better gift than sharing my most memorable moments with you. It’s been a long journey. The last 3 months have been the longest I have been away from you. It’s been the longest I have been my true self.
First time I have traveled like a traveler. If I start by telling you by what means of transport I reached from one place to another, you will sit up in shock and give me your undivided attention. I bet you won’t be able to picture me hitchhiking in wagons and on bumpy bullock carts, all driven by my adventure. But you have to experience it to believe me that they are more exhilarating than our classy chauffeur-driven drives.
I walked on foot most of the time, finding safest places to sleep at night. You will be surprised that there are many safe places without bodyguards or even doors and locks. Every night I closed my eyes I felt my soul a little more awakened. During the long hikes the free falling water falls, the swaying grass in unrestricted breeze and every care free element of the nature that I witnessed, were all spoiling my soul. They were pushing me to be free. At that moment I thought of you.
Sometimes I walked bare feet, dangling my sneakers over my shoulders, feeling my gait get lighter. If the earth was hot it gave my steps a happy hop, if it was cold it gave me a shivering delight. In water, my feet wandered like an aimless paper boat that knows exactly where it’s headed. That is when I learned that going with the flow is the only great plan. Nature accepted me as me. Now it compliments me, tells me how much more beautiful I am getting by the day. I blush at this open mutual admiration. I think of you then. I miss you.
On trains, I sang with strangers and did not feel embarrassed at my attempt. On roads, I ran clumsily where no one corrected my imperfect gait. I have dressed disastrously in the sense of fashion, yet avoided being a subject of gossip. I wrote at bedtime and slept at teatime. I ruled my clock and not vice versa. That made me think of you.
I played peek-a-boo with my reflection, standing by some river side
only to hear birds giggling at this childish sight.
Have had enough of golf and learning to ride,
unlearning all finally seems perfectly right.
Sorry! I won't continue with my “cheesy poetry”, will leave that for the kids I meet on the way. One such kid and I got along so well playing this rhyme game that he took me to his house. A modest countryside cottage that someday I wish I can call my home. Well, so he took me to his place, knocked at the door and ran away leaving me alone, awkwardly facing an old lady who opened the door. She was wearing a worn-out apron and had dough on her hands. She cringed her nose as her eyes tried to adjust to the cold bright light outside that was a stark contrast to the dim warmth of her cottage. She asked me suspiciously if I knew her. As I wasn’t sure if it even was the kid’s house or not, I just told her I was a traveler and wished to see her cottage from the inside. Her motherly laugh welcomed me as she joked that her house is no tourist attraction. But I loved this place more than any other we have ever lived in. The entire house was the size of our bedroom, but an entire army of servants will not be able to set in place the love and homeliness this place boasted of. She generously fed me fresh warm bread with some cold meat salad and a creamy soup. I can’t even give you a near example of that taste. It was nothing like we have ever eaten in the last 7 years, at the best of hotels. It was way better.
Mamma, yes that’s what she asked me to call her and I happily obliged, so mamma and I fell in love at first sight with each other. We laughed, talked, I helped her clean up the dishes and in doing few other chores too. I wanted to do so much more for her. She was poor and I had all that money in my bag. But it felt insanely inappropriate to give her any. She was way too happier than I felt. I felt so poor in front of her. But she willingly shared it with me, her love, her happiness, her luxuries. It was then that I missed you.
As bored you must be by now with my stories, I would still like to share one more. Your eyes must have gone wide I am sure. You must be wondering how did I learn to talk so much. Well traveling alone does that I suppose. Once I realized that there is no need to sound intelligent all the time, I finally learned to converse with ease. So I was telling you about my journey ahead. After the countryside, I headed towards the mountains. The same famous mountains we have been planning to visit for long. Sadly we wasted a lot of time trying to find the right deal from the right tourist agent, I mean it:s not that tough to do it on our own. It does take longer to reach, I agree, and not all have that much time to do it on their own, but I got lucky I must say. I got the best deals and most interesting routes. I made sure to avoid the tourists like one would evade a boring aunt. I feared if I follow them I will end up seeing the spots that all others see, that they are made to see for commercial benefits. I wonder why this thought made me think of you.
Anyways, I visited the virgin spots. I shopped local handmade artifacts. I ate at stalls which were put up by vendors who could have easily moved to locations where more tourists visited. But they preferred to sit close to their house. A quick nap in the afternoon, a short play with their kids, making love with their wife when passion demanded, all this seemed a good trade to the few extra bucks. I spoke to one such vendor, I tried to give him smart advice of better business tactics, old habits die hard you see, but his smiling reply simplified tactic to live for me “When I am happy here, why would I go else where.” Just as I was left in a daze as these words settled on me like morning dew, my eyes followed him as he went into his house to pick up potatoes for my mash. He gave a peck on his wife’s cheek and her blush revealed her to be the happiest woman on earth. She didn’t need diamonds or credit cards. I missed you so much at that moment.
I missed you and miss you every moment because I have spent 7 long years with you, being you. I missed sharing with you what you have never experienced. But I can either be you or me.
You asked me to choose between you and this Road trip.
I lost you, hence I miss you.
But I had to leave to find myself.
No more yours,