Friday, July 26, 2013

The Perfect Road Trip... And, A Lost Treasure

Tall trees and low hanging clouds... acres of meadows punctuated with farm houses and shimmering lakes, high towering mountains and craggy cliffs... colorful rainbows, warm hospitality, unforgettable meals... Before I could gather anything, my mind had already started dreaming of a fairy tale land of its own. That’s when; I decided, I should pen this down:

What would my perfect road trip be like, how would it be, what all things would I do? So, what is my idea of a Perfect Road Trip?

Here’s what I found...

Tripping by the heart: Traveling solo

Having never ever traveled solo, I imagine this trip to be my first solo trip ever, a trip solely for my little naughty heart. Mind you, this is not to say that I don’t love traveling with my family, I simply adore them and I will miss them for sure but I would want this, just this one trip to be an exception. Just to try and step out of my comfort zone, for once in my lifetime, and see how it goes. For now, I believe it will be a perfect one. Because, I promise myself to be sporty and take everything with a healthy pinch of curiosity and excitement rather than act weak and drown myself in all kinds of unwarranted fears that are never meant to happen.

Planning: The car

Once the mind is set to the trip, I will get down to planning my resources starting with the mode of transport, my car. Taking all liberties and driving my imagination wild, I would like to choose a vintage car as my companion for this trip: one which is light, sporty and compact!

Vintage car sketch
Vroooooom: My Vintage Ferrari!

And, where will I drive my vintage to? I fancy driving it on the roads of the whole of India, with no fixed routes or destination... wherever the roads take me, wherever my heart leads me... no limitations, no bindings, no latch locks: I fancy the road to be my flute while my heart dances to its melody.

The Start: Searching for hardships

What is a road trip without a few road blocks, some scary moments and little challenges strewn here and there? In other words, I fancy my perfect road trip to be filled with imperfections. A lot of them. So many, that people would pity me once I am back with my stories. Like riding along trails that are fine up to a point but then, abandoned to nature, have deteriorated making them more challenging – and appealing, both at the same time. Like losing my way in an untouched forest across a wild habitat and not having a clue of where to go, only to find the map nothing but a wasteful resource of time or experiencing a feeling of home-sickness so strong and powerful that taking a U-Turn at that point and returning back home would seem like the only option left:

A girl travelling sketch
Feeling lost

I would, of course, not be running away from any of it though. These baby steps would be there to make me stronger and wiser, preparing me for my journey ahead, on the road as well in life, paving my way for a better tomorrow.

The Trip…

Indulging in a little self romance

With a road trip, comes the gift of pampering and indulging yourself in a fairy tale romance, just the way you always liked it to be: with nature, meeting nobody, being totally self-sufficient, away from the routine and happy in the simple joys of life. I imagine snaking my car through dramatic crossings and being amply compensated by the colorful profusion of nature views outside. This morning would be my perfect morning blessed with a perfect weather after a night long shower. The mist wrapped landscape would glisten to life as soon as it is touched by the morning sun. And then, there would be a faint drizzle. Adolescent clouds would gleefully tear the horizon to burst out in full glory. All would be quiet but for the occasional drip-drop of water that would roll down the panes of my speeding (whatever that means for a vintage!) car window... tickling my face.

Joys of simple life, anture sketch
From my car window: Taking delight in the natural joys of life

After soaking myself in an exalted feeling of nothingness, every nature lover’s dream, I'd get down and jump in the little puddles formed alongside the roads reveling in the now thundering roars of the rain drops drenched to the bone, bask in the blanket of the grey clouds above and take in the fresh scent of the wet mud and the blooming flowers, float paper boats in the little pools of iridescent blue and green and take delight when they bobble while a brilliant blue haze precedes the sky itself.

Jungle camp sketch
Night camp: Wrapped in a blanket of a starry sky

... Drenched and driving again, I'd watch the sun go down behind the cloak of towering mountains in the gathering dusk. It would get dark well before I reached somewhere and it would be an adventure to find the camp site for the night. An eerie situation to drive in the night, yes, yet this would form one of the major highlights of my trip: Camping in, staring at the twinkling skies hoping to catch them for real some day before retiring for the night only to wake up very early to the surprise of another gorgeous sunrise and a day of expedition.

Divulging in the unknown

Another thing synonymous with a road trip is freedom. And uncertainty. With road trips, you never know for sure, what you will encounter on the next bend or what turn might surprise you with a sudden bump. I would love to experience this very thrill of the unknown: Like driving alongside a gurgling river, past an old temple or two and fields of marsh marigolds melting into dense forests, twinkling streams lined with sunflowers and steep climbs with mountains looming large on one side and large flat plains on the other. And then, I would pull up my car. Where? At places seldom visited and where someone would least expect me to and then take a detour to places not marked on the map or never heard before; anytime, anywhere.

Village life woman sketch
Village Life: Living an era gone by

Perhaps, it could be an excursion to a far-flung island... less well-known, eerily deserted, dangerous and intimidating yet so beautiful, charming and oddly calming that I would never want to leave. Or it could be a walk in a village, still inhabited yet caught in beautiful time warp, experiencing first-hand a life of an era swept away in the dust of time, an era we have long wished goodbye... culminating it with hot kulhars (earthen glasses) of chai and warm stories of villagers that keep travelers alive. 

Small moments of surprise

It is hard to imagine exactly what those moments would be right now. But I am sure to have them; it is supposed to be my perfect road trip after all. And a perfect one can never be complete without those small little moments of surprise that jump at you right out of nowhere.

Surprise moments in a road trip sketch
Sudden surprises on the go

Getting stranded in the middle of a road and finding a Samaritan help you out, getting invited to a villager’s humble cottage: cramped in space but abundant in love and warmth and having your dinner in dim oil lantern or simply finding a bunch of enthusiastic kids run behind your wobbling vintage only to stop you and get you out to play marbles with them. 50 years down the line, when all my hair turn white and my teeth drop, this is how I want to remember my trip, through these small little moments of surprise that had turned my escapade from being just a perfect road trip to being a perfectly memorable one.

The final destination: My lost treasure

Final Destination: Would there be one?

Well, I really can't decide for sure. But even if there is, it wouldn't be a place, for sure. Just like the idea of Henry Miller: One's destination is never a place but a new way of looking at things... so is my idea of a perfect destination.

The day when I'd be different... a lot lighter, happier, innocent and younger, the day... when I'd laugh at my own self and also find a joy in it, the day... when I'd step out of my self imposed shells and appreciate my own self for what I am and not for what people say, the day... when I'd have the guts to scream at the top of my voice not caring of what the world around thinks of me,

The day... when the beauty that I sought through my travels the world over,
I find that beauty... nowhere but in ME,


बचपन की वो अमीरी न जाने कहाँ खो गई ...
वर्ना कभी बारिश के पानी में, हमारे भी जहाज़ चला करते थे .. ~ Rumi Jaffery

[ Translation: Oh, where have I lost the treasure of my childhood...
When my ships would also sail in rain waters? ]


... That day ... will be my perfect destination.
Because, that day... I will be a child again.


PS: This post is my entry to 'The Perfect Road trip' contest conducted by IndiBlogger and Ambi Pur under the topic: Describe your idea of a perfect road trip. You can choose your car, your companions, the route and the destination. The most memorable road trip wins! If you enjoyed reading the post and if you are an IndiBlogger, please vote for it here - http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=260993. Else simply send in your best wishes for me. Thank you. :)


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73 comments:

  1. Your drawings are SO cute!!!! And you have the perfect trip planned! NOW, when will you be going? It is fun both going with others and going alone. Allne, you can do whatever you want! BUT you have no one with you to talk to or for safety.

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    1. Thanks, Ginny! I am so glad you like them! Not sure of when I will be able to embark on this journey but I would so love to, someday.

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  2. Good one, and absolutely dreamy sketches to go with a beautiful post. Traveling solo is the mantra now a days and you capture it perfectly. All the best for the contest..

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  3. Good luck with your contest, Arti!!It is amazing how a few exotic thoughts can give a trip the much needed character and touch!!
    Immaculate narration...absolutely exotic and beautiful!! Love it.

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  4. Arti, Nice to read your beautiful post,Love the sketches.
    Wish you all the best for contest :)

    ~Have a nice weekend~

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  5. सुंदर , कल्पनाओ के सागर में गोते खाती आपकी कश्ती ,
    शायद हर घुमक्कड के साथ यही होता है

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  6. A very sweet trip with all child like fantasy coming to life! Best of luck Arti for the contest!

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    1. Thanks, Avik but I surely dream of all this coming to life, one day.

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  8. You've adopted the sketching bit as a formula, it appears... all the best! :)

    Arvind Passey
    www.passey.info

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  9. Great post!
    You always do great sketches.
    :)

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  10. The drawings r really cute. I went on trip along with ur post. Loved it
    all the best

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  11. Beautiful images Arti ! Have a great weekend and best of luck for the contest .

    -Pramod

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  12. The results of your "camera" are cute.

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  13. Awww, that is such a cute trip :) The sketches are pretty awesome :)

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  14. Lovely post...loved your imagination!!

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  15. Loved the thoughts behind your Road Trip. Expressing words into those wonderful sketches was just amazing ...

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  16. Loved reading the post Arti! :) And the sketches go so beautifully with words! Best of luck for the contest!

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  17. It sounds like Alice in on a road-trip, if not exactly, something similar to that. Ah! I so wish you take me along. But since you wanna travel alone, please save the itinerary for us.

    Good luck, but do you need wishes, it's an out and out winner.

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  18. As always...a great post Arti! Love the cute drawings. Good luck with the contest dear!

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  19. Thiss is so sweetly put together Arti - it woud almost make a little book in itself - really precious! Am sure you have good cards for the contest and knock in wood for you! Have a lovely sunday!

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  20. What a fantastically descriptive story! I loved it and I loved your drawings and doodles with it. It certainly sounds like an absolutely lovely trip and hope you get to go on it some day.

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  21. Hi,Arti
    What a sweet trip, Arti.
    Today I realized that you are talented in writing, of course, and sketching as well!!!!
    Tomoko

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words, Tomoko-san. I am an amateur in sketching, just do it sometimes in my free time. It's so motivating when friends like you praise my little efforts and appreciate them. Definitely inspires me to do more. :)

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  22. Perfect road trip dream :), wish you have the real one soon. I try to vote but im not part indiblogger and also don't have facebook, so i send you my best wish Arti..

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  23. Hello, Arti.

    Awe inspiring your works...
    The graceful sense wraps your artworks.

    Your excellence enhances charm still more.
    It is very sweet.

    From the Far East, Japan
    Greetings.
    ruma

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  24. Love the sketches. Good luck with the contest!

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  25. I wish for you dream trip to come true! It's sweet, and your drawings are amazing.

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  26. never realized u cud sketch so well...loved the post!

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  27. Lovely sketches by the way. nicely written :) Hope you have your perfect solo trip soon!

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  28. Wonderful sketches...The perfect artist in you is showing up..

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  29. Awwww Arti, this is so well written. It flows like a story. And really cute sketches...awwww!!

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  30. Truly, Impressive sketches....Arti ! nice post written well.

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  31. Loving the sound of this road trip and I adore those sketches of yours ..... can we have more please.

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  32. Beautiful sketches Arti. The brown coloured effect that you have added makes them look like pages from an ancient manuscript. ;) And I thought that you always travel alone! And, you look so cute in that last sketch. ;) All the best for the contest and let me see you using travel related apps on your S4 that is on its way. :)

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  33. what a lovely sepia toned entry! Its beautiful!

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  34. The sketches are very nice and everyone can relate to the post. Childhood is the greatest treasure we loose as we grow-up.

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  35. Beautiful sketches!! i enjoyed reading this post

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  36. Your creativity spread everywhere. Again a wonderful post. All the best for the contest Arthi!

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  37. You should not be allowed to post those wonderful sketches for more than one post of yours, guarantees you a top finish :);)

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  38. wish you the best Arti, I so love your perfect road trip, and the sketches are so wonderful. May you always enjoy self romance and pleasant surprises from going into the unknown

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  39. What a lovely dream! Your sketches are wonderful. Good luck on the contest.

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  40. Hi Arti,

    This is wonderful - I think it really is the perfect road trip in a vintage car. Loved your sepia tone illustrations.
    Hope that you are enjoying the week
    Carolyn

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  41. The sketches are very nice and awesome. I went on trip along with your post.

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  42. Dear Arti, thank you for coming to see my post today - and for missing me earlier! I think it's the energy of summer that makes my blogging slower - am outside more often and try to spend more time working on my paintings. Try to catch up with everyone now - awwwww i want a souble me sometimes! Have a super lovely day Arti- keep the good work coming!

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  43. lovely write up .. along with nice sketch :)

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  44. The "Perfect" road trip ..............

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  45. You are such a wonderful story-teller and illustrator, Arti. The writing must be thoughtful and sincere and more importantly must be enjoyable to read and contain fantasy. Enjoy detour on your road trip and watch out speeding, Arti.

    If I’m not told you’re a winner, I’ll doubt my ears. With best wishes,

    Yoko

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  46. I can't believe you drew all that, it's so antique in a good way! Your story is very inspiring too.

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  47. BTW- I love the way you call self freedom= self romance.

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  48. It sounds like a wonderful road trip and also a trip of self-discovery. I love the drawings, Arti! You have quite a talent and great way to incorporate them to the post. Good luck on the competition! I hope you embark on this trip soon with a perfect destination.

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  49. hey arti

    loved this post ... indeed a lovely road trip ... with a vintage car !! I realized only later in the story why you prefered a vintage car : ) to experience the weather of sun , rain ... I missed all your recent posts and I am going through all of them ... btw I voted and hope you win the contest :)

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  50. Oh how talented you are in your writing and love your little illustrations. Your perfect trip I could never do as I can't let go. Too many details would have to be dealt with. I would become so nervous is plans went array. I guess that is why I don't travel as I become so neurotic about everything... That's why I am homebody. But your story did make me smile thinking of you doing all these things. And would you be so brave? My number one rule now is find campsite or accommodations before it gets dark. I love your story because it is everything the opposite of me traveling. But it is what I dream I could be. A child just full of curiosity letting the road take me to where I am curious about. No fear. I can visualize you driving up my old dirt road in your vintage car with a plume of dust rising behind you and your hair flying in the wind. All the best in the contest. I will be rooting for you to win. Hugs Carrie

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  51. Hi Arti....Lovely post! visiting ur blog after a long time as i was on a break....

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  52. Excellent sketches and a wonderful post too.

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  53. Hi Arti u have share really informative blog with beautiful drawings,love it

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  54. Adorable drawings! You should do book illustrations.

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  55. are those your drawings, arti? i'm amazed. you really are talented. :)

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  56. Sending my warmest wishes for you Arti! I would love to join you in the roadtrip you so beautifully described! agree with everyone....your sketches are a treasure!

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  57. :) I too have gone through these, and not being able to come up with a destination. Love the idea of sketches.

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  58. Loved The mesmerizing narrative and the sketches

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  59. Outstanding blog post, I have marked your site so ideally I’ll see much more on this subject in the foreseeable future

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  60. This post took me to a totally different world. Just loved your story.

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  61. You brought the story alive with your vivid description

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  62. Arti, you have done a wonderful job... love it...

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