Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Drive of Life

Have been making more long-distance road trips these days and made another enjoyable visit to Trivandrum couple of weeks back. Unlike the earlier trips which were all marked by a sense of urgency to get to the destination, this time it was a pretty relaxed drive.

From Bangalore started pretty late, around 7:00 or so in the morning, had a 1-hour long breakfast buffet near Hosur and still managed to be in Palakkad for lunch by late-noon. Taking the Mettur dam route and thus bypassing Salem helped (while taking this route, look out for a diversion on the left couple of kilometers before the Mettur dam and thus avoid getting into the dam to save some time unless of course you necessarily want to drive through the dam, which by the way is a beautiful drive). We stopped over in Palakkad for the day with a visit to Malampuzha dam in the evening (relived the memories of a trip there with my parents and sister 25 years ago!).

Next day was another one of lazy driving with generous stops for breakfast and lunch (a sumptuous one at a new-found place called ‘The Travancore Palace’ in Cherthala; would highly recommend that if you are in the area). Stopped at Kollam, Jyothi’s ancestral home for a break and reached Trivandrum by around 7:00 in the evening! Contrast this with my earlier trips to Trivandrum; when we start from Bangalore at 4:00 A.M and reach Trivandrum by 6:30 P.M the same day and you realize how relaxed the trip this time around was.

The next five days were spent savoring ShashiTharoorville!!! (borrowing the term from one of my colleagues in Bangalore)

The return journey was also made a two-day affair with the change being that the stop-over was in Guruvayoor instead of Palakkad. And was in Bangalore by lunch time the second day.

Done with the mundane details of the trip, was musing how a drive is more than a drive really. Isn’t it a metaphor of one’s life itself. A microcosm of the macrocosm of life.

Planning a trip, the build-up of expectations as we approach the day, kicking off the trip, the journey itself with it’s share of experiences and then touching down to the destination; don’t all these resemble one’s journey of life, in a way. You (and your family) is out there on the road trying to get to some place, so is the case with everybody else out there. You are on your own and but also not completely on your own. Potholes on the way that you have to avoid smartly. There are guys ahead of you and behind you any time and all the time. Some close, some not so close. Some in more hurry than others. All forms, shapes and sizes. In your direction and opposite. Some racing, some slowing. Some overtaking, some falling behind. What is beyond the next curve is unknown. But you have to face it and then look out for the one after. And at the end of it all, if you manage to reach your destination safe and in good spirits, you arrive.

But by that time the journey is over!