The crisp mountain air gushed in from my window, while I cruised amidst the shadows of the forest, in my blue Esteem. Settling in at stoner speed makes you momentarily witness a stream of emotions, built up by eventualities occurring in the past. Traveling on this road I well know since a child was a perfect initiation to remember of what had been. The memories made me yearn for company, which lacked in the empty cockpit I sat in.
Crossing the Malaprabha exiting Khanapur, I turned right, into the forest shortcut that saved me much time and distance on my fortnightly route from Belgaum to Goa. The unavoidable speed breakers slowed me down forcing me to notice this young lad waving out for a lift. Well, yes of course I’d wish it was a young lady with a pretty smile and a sweet laugh, another dream I prepare for. His sweet smile when I pulled up, snapped me straight out of my day dream. Over the din of the village road he screamed Shinoli, I screamed back Anmod. He got in anyways, I presumed it was on the way. The sound of rock music playing on the CD, masked that awkward silence that persists, when stranger meets stranger.
I couldn’t let it go on like that. My curiosity, ebbed me to question his purpose. He retorted back with one word, “Home”. Playing the safest bet I spoke in Hindi. I was glad to notice for a boy coming from a predominantly Kannada speaking region, his Hindi was text book .
Judging by his demeanor I presumed he is a student. Turned out, He was in that phase of life, when choices are just too difficult to tell. The beginning of class 12. Going on I asked him what next. That one question the best of us avoid. He was quick to reply “ Diploma in hospitality, Sir”. I just went “WOW’, intriguing him a bit. With a wide grin on my face I commended his choice. It was then we exchanged names. I wondered “ Could this conversation get anymore convenient ?”. I really couldn’t tell. Gyaneshwar was now a recipient of career advice from a bloke, who went through that roller-coaster and still vouches for it.
His eyes widened while his mind opened. Gyaneshwar now learnt of a better way of going through with his career. A new door that might open worlds for him. He bought the idea of joining IHM Goa .
I sensed in him this strong urge to be equipped. This great need to know more, see more. He spoke of the shortcomings he might face. The speed breakers on this road to living. We tried undermining the poverty of an Indian farmer while He worried about fees, expenses, stay etc etc. You could see how Money could now, stop this boy from dreaming.
There are options, just the options he wasn’t aware about. From my little know-how I suggested a few schemes Modi might have in place for dreamers like him. I urged him to give it a try. The need to be equipped, showed on his face. He was poised to take the leap. He was prepared for the jump
His home neared and I slowed down , giving him my number. Since financial support, wasn’t my forte. I preferred to impart information, guidance and motivation. He promised to text, but as I write he hasn’t texted yet.
As I drove away, he waved till he disappeared from my rear view mirror. I was happy with a feel good moment at hand. The surrounding green fields reflected on my windscreen. Frame after frame gliding down to start all over again.
I lit what was left of my last roll and puffed my thoughts away. I felt lucky at that moment, with The opportunities life offered. In my journey to choose a career. There was always a way, there was always a helping hand. But most of all there was Guidance.
Yet, striving to be equipped, I learnt to live without. That sudden urge to be equipped creeped in all over again. It reminded me of the opportunities wasted, the chances that slipped and the times I could have done something. By which, I incoherently missed out on procuring some good equipment.
As I stared into the narrowing woods ahead I realized one thing .We limit our vision to see whats beyond by measuring how far we can reach. The more fuel and supplies we gather, the longer our journey can last. Treading each step with the gathered strength, we are recipients of. The ability to complete a task comes from the efficient use of the tools we have at hand. Be it monetary, spiritual , emotional or even educational. It gives one a sense of confidence to go through with it. Self –esteem is easily crushed when you’re not equipped.
In my recollection of the conversation I just had with Gnyaneshwar. I noticed that lack of information limited his vision. Cancelling him out of knowing another option. I saw how access to information, might be a luxury to some. Letting them be ripped off by institutions that are just a minting mill, for some rich dude who barely had to earn his bread.
He had to choose what he wanted to go through with. In most situations that arise, We fail to see how a particular event can equip us. We overlook the possibilities, crippling ourselves to a mere existence. All we have to do is keep working towards it. Making sure we get through with it. Completing every level in the game of one possibility.
An uninvited speed breaker jolted me out of my mind palace. Which I so comfortably drifted into. Slamming the breaks, I hoped I’d save myself the bump. But it was too late. It’s so disappointing to find a good road riddled with breakers. But yeah, I had to be prepared for it . The eventuality of a road block or a breaker is imminent. Being prepared is another aspect. But to be prepared you’ve got to equip yourself emotionally, focusing on what will fortify your stand.
Focusing on what we don’t have makes us lose hope, courage and the ability to push forward. We distract ourselves with emotions, most times we confuse them for instincts . Pay lesser attention to that, after all its what someone else or something else makes you feel. They are within you, but not from you. Use those that make you feel good. Those that develop you. Emotions, do make us aware of our subconscious, letting us know how we feel.
I stared at my fuel gauge which read ‘near empty ’, but adhered to my calculation of reaching Mollem, where I could refuel. Calculating how much I had to spare, I realised, that just having money, lets you do so many things. Money is not an Evil, it gives you a sense of freedom to do what you’d like to. How you use it is your choice. I’d rather use it, to let me have the ability to experience. Some are a luxury, like sky diving. It’d be nice to be loaded with the cash to do so.
The swiftly passing trees made it hard for me to catch a glimpse of them one at a time. It reminded me of opportunities. Which tree to catch ? Ideally the farthest one coming your way is most likely what you see clearly. Its wise to be selective at opportune moments. All opportunities are not possibilities. Of course you can learn from your mistakes, but why waste time trying. Process what comes to you play with it in your mind. See what it leads to. Stop to stare and daydream an outcome. The picture in your head is now the closest thing to reality. If you like it, make it happen. Revisit your dream, come up with ways to change your story. Each time is, a revelation of yourself.
As I drove on I was content just doing that. I was glad I could do that . The seats hugged me as if to say ‘I’m there’. The CD stopped playing and ejected, a new groove slid in. Happy doing what I could, felt good. The feeling of being able, in all senses uplifted me, leaving a smile upon my face as I day dreamed the rest of the way.