I was here
A couple of weeks back I went kayaking at Girgaum Chowpatty. I was a bit sceptical about it initially; the water’s going to be so dirty, I kept thinking. It was quite dirty, but not as bad as I expected, clearing up rapidly as we drew away from the shore.It turned out to a very fun little adventure, but this piece is not about that; for that check out the article I wrote in the paper today. Oar and out
This piece is about that one moment when we reached the middle of the bay and turned around to look at the city. The rising sun shone behind the skyline, and the noise of the city had reduced to a distant buzz. My arms and shoulders felt pleasantly strained from pulling on the oar. All of it combined to create a wholesome sense of well-being and calm that invigorated me completely.
Always, with every activity and trip, there is one such moment that simply exudes quiet perfection and becomes that overriding memory of that experience. A moment that captures the essence of the entire experience and everything you were striving to achieve.
It can come at the oddest times.
Like when you stop to pee at a roadside dhaba during a long drive to a hill station and step out, relieved, to notice that the trees have become firs and there’s a nip in the air and pine needles under your feet.
Or after the main event has passed.
Like when you come to the surface after a particularly rewarding dive and feel the sun warm your face.
It is mostly solitary.
Like when the rain lets off for a bit, and you set off on a stroll — past the stream, to the outermost outcrop of mountain overlooking a horseshoe river – and sit at look at the v-shaped patch of sky where two mountain slopes meet.
It is almost always too short, blink and it’s gone.
Like the gust of breeze that brushes your sweaty face when you come out of the jungle to the edge of the cliff and see the waves break on the shoreline.
And it is always remembered. Like a photograph etched in your mind. Like a postcard mailed to yourself with a little note that says, ‘I was here’.