When I landed in Chandigarh, I dropped a message to a good friend, Preetham, assuming he’s busy and went on my way to some mall. He called me when I was almost about to reach, cancelled all his plans of studying for his final exams due in a couple of days, made me turn back towards Mohali. I spent the day with him blabbering to him about my sh and all that I could think of. I had a late night bus and I didn’t wanna trouble him much. He insisted on leaving me off which was indeed a grace as the bus came only at 1:30 in the night. I asked him what if he wasn’t here and he said something so profound: “Just by the fact that I’m actually here, the whole possibility of me not being there does not exist”!
I couldn’t fall asleep on the bus those wee hours of the morning and was thinking of all that is and all that should have been. At some point, I just dozed off. The bus stopped at Kangra and a cute bubbly girl got in next to me. We, Roshni and Chirag, had an introductory talk, and she went ahead to catch up on sleep. After a while, with all the twists and turns towards Bir, I felt sick. She took care of me, consoled me and then took me to her home. After I felt better, her husband and she dropped me off to Zostel. She told me Bir is magical and she’s Alice in Wonderland! She couldn’t have been truer and I adored her love for and zeal towards life.
At Zostel, I was mostly hanging around reading “Wild”. It felt like my guidebook through grief. I went paragliding the next day remembering that “Alice in Wonderland” had told me to go for it. Two people had to pull me as I couldn’t run with the heavy paraglide. They ran for me and I lifted my legs off the cliff. We were in the air and tears were rolling down my eyes. My sh wasn’t here in this moment! My sh hadn’t paraglided ever! After a while, I got a hang of it and stared at the Dhauladhar ranges standing so tall and strong.
The sunset that day reminded me of all the sunsets that I had watched with my sh. Through a train in Rajasthan, in Portrush, in Llandudno, at Lake Bohinj, with the camels in Jaisalmer desert, on the white sands of the Boracay beach. The beauty of the setting sun was piercing through me, reminding me with every single ray that my sh is no more.
That late evening, as I sat on the porch of Zostel, trying to read my book, “Don’t let me down” playing from the reception desk, tiny fireflies caught my gaze just outside the gate. Reminding me again of how we had gone late in the night in Philippines, spoken to some locals, got into their boat and rowed along with the splish splash of the water and finding areas just lighted up with fireflies.
Next morning, as I caught the first bus towards Dharamshala, all I could think of was my sh. The tea plantations along the way reminding me of our visits to tea factories in Munnar and Sri Lanka. I reached McLeodganj with a heavy heart. I freshened up and went straight to Illiterati cafe – my home for the next 6 days. The place I met some amazing people and got my space. This is the place I cried the most – I had assumed it would be in some corner in my room.
As the mountains just stood there in silence, I felt: “I am insignificant in front of these huge mountains, vast lands, billions of people, mighty oceans, dark expanse of sky, all-pervasive air and the shining sun! But my loss is as significant as each of them! Each of them reminds me of how painful it is! All deep inside me! So deep that sometimes I can’t even reach it and bring it to the surface as tears. I can feel it though! It’s so evident yet so discrete!”
“How can these mountains live forever?? Why did my mountain have to suddenly vanish in minutes? 29 was just a number for his existence. 11 was just a number for years I knew him. 3 was just a number for our marriage. I always knew him. He always knew me. Since time existed. We were for each other; we were one. “Why sh, you take me for granted?” I had asked him once, a little disappointed about something he did or rather didn’t do. “I don’t take you for granted sh. You are a part of me, you are me”. If you are me and I am you, why did there exist two? Now, why does here exist only one? It’s not fair for either, you know!”
I was in search of something – I didn’t know what though!
Continue reading my journey here.