A journey across regions wakes you up from your ‘slumber’ and makes you face the realities of life
Many of us would have read The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, that makes a gripping portrayal of a man’s search for eternal life. Any pilgrimage is essentially meant for food for the soul. The soul, the seat of reality, needs a breakthrough from the hurly-burly of life so that it succeeds in its way to guide you properly and in a manner that befits you the best.
Last week sprang up with such a chance for a tryst with truth, as I went through a rendezvous of a journey that helped me bare myself in order to feel and understand the realities of life from close quarters. This is what I tweeted at the end of the pilgrimage, “Have come back to do the routine drudgery at home and office after being away and crisscrossing southern India for a week. Of course, had only one goal: To know the self within better by letting it face and counter a thousand souls over several thousand km. The tortuous exposure has helped me feel humbler and realise that I am someone who is ‘no one’, and badly lost in this vast universe.”
Actually, journeys are great levellers and they make you come closer to the realities of self and others. If you don’t move out of your ‘den’, your understanding gets limited to the extent of the circle you live in. And, on the other hand, as you journey, you start learning about life that you might never have even imagined there could be such things as existential realities.
As you cross region after region with different geographical, climatic conditions with people of differing racial origins keeping closely tied to their ‘origins’, you are, at times, at a loss as to why, after all, you have been living in a fool’s paradise.
What you had seen and learnt until you began your pilgrimage may get a rude burial as the rapidity of changing realities tend to knock you out of your slumber. And hard, piercing questions do a repeated and non-stop striking against your mind and conscience, to wake you up and help you come to play a better grip on the realities of life. And those decades of mega-city life has almost but spoiled your chances of being in touch with the ‘real you’.