Foot Trails

My first solo travel to Rishikesh

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After chasing life each day in local trains, traffic jams, maddening crowds, long working hours in Mumbai; one day I decided to travel to the mountains for a solo back packing trip to Rishikesh. Little did I know then that this short holiday will turn into an entirely fresh chapter of my life.

The first ‘aha’ moment for me was the experience to live in harmony with nature at all times. Cooing of a bird, rustling of the leaf, humming of a bee, rumbling of the river, chattering of the monkeys nearby, the grass swaying in the wind, the falling of a fruit and I just kept listening in wonder; I realised that with each moment I was discovering a new sound. This was an entirely new experience for me – walks along the banks of the Ganga and to simply sit and witness the marvels of nature can be a part of everyday life, and not just a weekend rendezvous.

Living a city life throughout; certain experiences in Rishikesh still overwhelm me and the fact that life can be really simple still amazes me.

Once, I picked up a few blades of grass which the gardener had freshly cut and put them in my pocket. Few hours passed, and I completely forgot about this act. Later, when my hands reached in, a dash of coolness surged through me; the grass was completely dry but its coolness was very much still present. It left an experience that I cherish all the time.

I look forward to every sunrise and sunset over the mighty Ganga and, to my amazement, they look different every day.

My landlord is fond of gardening and, having limited space, she has few potted plants. Everyday she gets joyous about a new bud that blooms, every leaf that appears more green.

Whenever I visit cities now; it’s never difficult to connect with nature. The small parks amidst the high rises are enough to spend some peaceful time. I believe, all it takes is awareness and a conscious choice. It’s so pleasant to see pink flowers blooming all around in Bangalore. So even a small visit to the grocery store becomes colourful.

The key learning I got is to slowdown in life and to stop running in the hamster’s wheel without seeing where we are heading. It has brought a sense of being at peace with everything around me. It’s a unique experience to witness how everything in nature is constantly changing and that makes it easier to accept changes in my own life too. Nature gives an opportunity to nurture and being nurtured in return. And I guess that’s how we learn to take care of each other.

As an artist as well, this experience has given me an outlet of expression that is much more spontaneous and effortless. So wherever I’m travelling, I carry this connection along.

All pictures clicked by Rajbir Kaur

This is my article entry for Prismma Holiday 2014.

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