09 10

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Beyond Bondage.

          As Soham read the mechanical report, the kind he had written for perhaps the fiftieth time, he thought, " What am I doing with my life?" He had always been a man of action and thrill. "I was the winner of the State debate. I have certificates for events like tree plantation and running marathons. I used to be filled with energy and adventure. Where did all these things go? What am I doing with my life?", he thought. At that instance, he left his office at 3.40 (which was 5 hours earlier than his usual slogging time.) He started his car and began driving. The destination held little importance as this journey was going to be a vital one. The fact that he knew his destination was another thing. He knew this was not some out-of-the-blue reaction or an impulsive action. It was the result of months of continuous, unappreciated and meaningless work in an MNC. As his thoughts went back, he remembered that he had taken that particular job only because of the popularity of the organisation and not because of his love for back office and data entry. As Soham approached the highway, thoughts started coming his way. It was impossible to ignore the strength of the voice from one part within him that said "Quit the job". Also, it was impossible to consider the weak debate from the other side within him which said "You need this job". He had already taken a decision. But what made it so difficult to say it out loud were the undeniable consequences and the drastic lifestyle change.
          Soham reached an abandoned lake. He shouted out loud. A scream of frustration. A scream of freedom. A scream of release. After sitting on the stairs by the lake, he mindlessly started looking at the flowing waves, the tall trees, the sun setting and the birds flying. He had always found a haven in nature. There was something in that breeze which would never match the cool of an air conditioner. There was something in the melody of those singing birds which was nothing compared to jazz. The silence of this place was leaps and bounds beyond the silence in his office. It wasn't the first time that he visited this lake. It was his spot whenever he faced tough situations. It was the place he ran away to. His nest.
          After some time, he saw a mid-aged woman at the other side of the lake. She was dressed in rags. Perhaps, she was sitting by the lake after washing clothes in that same lake water. Perhaps, just wanting some alone time, just like Soham did. Perhaps, because she had a bit of free time spared from her chores. Soham observed this woman. She had a constant smile on her face. Her body language was relaxed and peaceful. She seemed content. She did not let poverty get to her. Even in such a grim situation, there was that smile. The smile that conveyed she was stronger than any other circumstances. Soham was lost in that woman's smile. He thought, " I wonder what makes her so happy that she cannot stop smiling?" She then waved at him. He waved right back and there came a smile on his face as well. He then wondered, "What is it about her smile that made me feel better?" He then got the answer, at last. He was experiencing the power of happiness within him. Somehow, he struck a connection with her and it felt like she was saying, "Go and be happy". As he decided to leave, he had made a firm resolution. He was going to take a leave for some days from his job. He was going to travel. He was going to take adequate amount of time to understand whether what he wanted to do was really the right thing to do.
          The next day, Soham was on a plane to Fiji Islands. On his arrival at the Nadi airport, the positive vibes came in. Travelling was something which he loved. It was an expensive hobby but every part of it was worth the penny. Nadi was the tourism place in the archipelago of Fiji. As this was an impromptu trip, he had not made reservations. He decided to camp out for a few days and understand the essence of the place, in real sense. After all, one cannot know the place if they stay in a hotel room. The rare and unforeseen experiences in a journey are the ones which people remember rather than the comfort of a bed. As it was not possible to camp out anywhere he pleased, Soham decided on a resort that provided camping area. Enjoying the most of nature, he was pleased with his destination choice. Right from setting up a tent to barbecuing, the experience was memorable. He couldn't have done that along with his family. His wife would be like, "There are mosquitoes and wildlife here. You realize that this is not a good idea, I mean, you are joking, right?" He laughed at that imaginary conversation. It was not that he didn't love her. They both just shared quite different hobbies and interests. That night was a night of introspection. He knew he enjoyed travelling. He was aware of his love for nature. His passion was to explore the world and learn about each of the places, their traditions, their way of life and so on. That night he slept with no worries and tensions. In the next few days, he went to the wonderful beaches of Fiji. He surfed and hiked. He did all the crazy things which he had always wanted to do. He even took pleasure in their traditional festivals.
          He spent 15 days of camping, beaching, surfing, enjoying local delicacies, surfing, hiking, and touring an amazing island. In that period of time, he developed a deep relation with the nature & with himself. Now, he had the answers to everything. Life is temporary, he had known. Wasting even a single moment doing something you don't like is a waste of being alive. Soham was going to devote his life to nature and traveling. He knew he wasn't good at writing travel diaries nor did he excel at photography. His income would stop once he quit his lame job. The only way he could pursue his dream was by excelling as a tour guide. Not the ones who get thrown around but those with real knowledge about places. He had decided to document the places he had already been to, which included, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Bhutan and lastly Fiji. He was going to prepare documentaries on these places and showcase his talent to the world. People would accept him because he possessed knowledge and experience over and above other travel agencies.
          Conveying his decision to his family was the start of a rough journey with many ups and downs. He had imagined his wife's reaction but reality had him better. When he convinced his wife and his parents with his 'tour guide charm', then there was no looking back. He set up his sole concern, with whatever savings he had. He published and advertised his work about the 5 exhilarating places where Indians can travel relaxing themselves & also their pockets. These documentaries included each and every aspect of those places. There were ordinary sections like how to travel, when to visit, where to stay. But there were also non-ordinary sections which mentioned the specific activities which they can enjoy, his own experience, the history of the place, the traditions and so on. Due to his exquisite study of places, he was able to attract many customers. His customers included people who really wanted to know a place, schools and colleges for industrial visits etc. His x factor stood out against everyone. His potential, efforts and dedication were reflected in his success. Five years later, with a successful business of his liking, he was still Soham, sitting by the lake, from where his life changed forever.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...