Monday 21th April
I looked each person I met today in the eye, be it the silent shopkeeper, the stocky gateman or the old couple walking down the street. It was a strange experience I must say. Every body's eyes tell us something about them, at least about how they feel at the moment. For example, if somebody gets defensive when I look into their eyes, their eyes will probably reflect a stoic emotion, and maybe a bit of defiance. Happy eyes will sparkle, and some eyes will reflect a lifelong sadness.
Once home, I met my flatmate and friend Pats (short form for Prasad Patil). Tall fellow, with a huge body, a long scar on his right tricep, he very much looked like a big time motor-biker that he was. One look into his eyes, and I decided that it was him I was going to write about today...
... I saw Abhinav gazing me in the eye and remembered it having to do with the acting workshop he was attending. This got me wondering what he would write about me if he had to...
As a teenager, I wasn't a very talkative kid. I preferred to roam about, taste the exotic cuisine, and explore the multi cultural streets of Hyderabad. I wasn't one for small talk though - I liked making big plans about exploring the world. And that was something most of my peers could just not understand.
I had made up my mind long ago that I would do my college education in Pune. I had been visiting the city since my childhood to visit relatives, and absolutely loved it. The city had a feeling of vibrancy and lightness in the air. People around me seemed a lot more active than in Hyderabad, and the intellectuals were really passionate about their work, unlike Hyderabad, where people were forced by parents into working hard in areas they had no interest in. And most of all, mavericks were welcomed and explorers abundant.
So I made it to Pune. And I started to travel. I started with taking the bus from my sister's house to Swargate, and then walking all the way to Deccan - 6 Kms from Swargate, each time weaving through a different set of roads, through different shops, different cultures, different households and different people. I encountered the beauty and vibrancy of Pune's culture. This is what I wanted to do. I wanted to EXPLORE.
In a few seasons, the desire within me to explore just kept growing. But sadly, all good things come to an end. I had exhausted the whole town. I took a break, and started hanging out with friends on weekends. It was not bad, but it was certainly not what I wanted to do. My life started drifting and I started getting bored.
It was then that I met Rohan, who was a part of a trekking group called Rangers. I joined them, and started exploring again. We climbed six hills every weekend, choosing only ones which stood above 2000ft. We went to places unknown, and hills which hardly anyone else ever climbed.
But my hunger to explore was not satiated. I wanted to explore even more. And the more I thought, the more I realized that walking was just not the mode of exploration for me. I had just bought my new Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350cc Motorbike, and the few kilometres I had ridden on it had given me a rush that I had never felt before. It satisfied a passion deep within me to just go on and keep riding for the rest of my life. That was the point I started drifting away from trekking. I completed all the treks that season, but once I started with highway biking, I knew that there was no looking back.
True Story /