Feb 19, 2012

A traveler's tales to tell

You know how people sometimes say Let the music do the talking? That is what I experienced at Shantiniketan, the beautiful village 3 hours away from Calcutta where Rabindranath Tagore wrote many of the songs sitting under the tall trees. There is a two-sided communication being made when you listen to a tradition Baul singer of Bengal perform in front of you. But what you do not realize is that he is not performing for you. You are an insignificant addition to the environment around him when he is in the trance-like state when the music has captured him and his soul. All I could do was sit in front of him with my mouth wide open, amazed by the beauty of the melody that I thought I understood, while the depth of his lyrics were lost to the overpowering oblivion.
The answer is Baul-ing in the wind
There was another stranger I met on one of my travels. Well, it wasn't really a meeting but more of an exchange of looks that said enough. Or perhaps that was just my heart messing around with my mind. I have no recollection of how the holiday got planned out but somehow, I was in Venice on a motor boat that went under the Rialto Bridge that I had read about in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice while growing up. I was standing alone at the back of the boat because I'd fought with my family members. I was grumpy but still in awe of the architecture of the entire city and its waterways. It was just such a beautiful place! Right then, my eyes met that of a young, good looking male Venetian. He waved at me. I looked behind me to see if there was someone else he might have waved that but I was on a river and I had to scratch that option out. So I just smiled and waved back. I made sure that the movement was not too emphatic or my family members up front might have noticed. But it was some warm, funny feeling in my stomach knowing that I had just spoken to a gorgeous boy without having said a word. I still wonder what his voice might sound like.

The whack job I met at 12,000 feet
Number 3 is the girl in the picture above: Raj, as I like to call her. A mad nutcase I met on a flight I was taking to Bangalore. It was quite an interesting situation, actually. I had the aisle seat, she had the window seat and a boy our age was in the middle. I was trying to study from a big, fat economic text book while she had taken out her laptop and started watching A Walk to Remember, the chick flick every girl loved at that age. I couldn't help myself from saying the dialogues under my breath though her earphones made her the chosen one to actually hear them. When she realized I was blatantly stalking, she smiled at me, removed the earphones and introduced herself. Even the creepy boy in the middle joined in the conversation. though he gave up trying to keep up with our girl talk. We were two strangers getting to know each other more openly than we could fathom why and somehow, we giggled the flight away. She even trusted me with her luggage once we landed while she went to the loo. We haven't met since that flight though we keep making plans to. I'm just grateful to something called the Internet for letting us continue the surprisingly close friendship that started at 12,000 ft above sea level.

(This post is my entry for the Around The World with Expedia IndiBlogger contest.)


Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay said...

New Follower - after reading "Down the Road". Loved your work!

Special mention in Book Review: http://b00kr3vi3ws.blogspot.in/2012/02/down-road-by-ahmed-faiyaz.html

vasu said...

Interesting blog post! Travelling makes strangers also friends !http://vasu-smaran.blogspot.in/2012/02/ajnabee-tum-kuch-jaane-pehchane-se.html

banti said...

-Good piece of information.

Susan Deborah said...

It has been a thought for long in my mind to visit Shanthiniketan.

Thanks for rekindling the interest through this post.

Joy always,