Monday, 8 October 2012

adding pages to my book of life



“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page,” remarked St. Augustine and  he cannot be truer. On Saturday and Sunday, I had the good fortune of travelling through some places where the river Kaveri flows - the Delta regions. These places are in the news off late and among these disturbances, we travelled to some of these beautiful places where the water runs its course. This post will not not talk about the itinerary of the trip but will rather reflect on what travel actually does to the body and mind. It is common knowledge that going to a new place gives new perspectives and rejenuvates the senses. Is it the new place/people/air and the effect of a non-routine that gives the romance to travelling? The last two days I witnessed water and so much water along with the special flora and fauna that is peculiar to those places. I accompanied a group of students on their study-trip. These were the same students that I had taught last year and whose ways I was practically familiar with. But what happens in a trip is that one spends so much time with the same students in a different environment that they seem to be different individuals with diverse hues of personality shades. I could relate to every one of them in ways I hadn't done so before and there was a reckless spirit of abandon that one could not see in enclosed classroom walls. I wonder how new places bring newer aspects of old things and individuals. 

When we returned from the trip, a former colleague commented, "You are visiting the Delta when there are so many problems. Water is a problem and there is no water. And if there is no water, the Delta regions disappear." His thoughts were genuine but just because there are problems in the region, shouldn't there be a study tour? For this precise reason, I cannot be an activist. I am aware of the problems faced by people but somehow carrying placards and marching the streets is not my metier. 



The visit to the head of the rivers, Vettar and Vennar in Thenperambur was quite an experience. The water regulators were in action and it was just amazing to be there, hear the sound of the force of water, watch the multitude of fishes frolicking in the water and observe the birds esp cormorant, lesser pied kingfisher and heron swooping down to catch the fish. I could watch on forever. The students went mad when they beheld such beauty and were feverishly clicking away hoping to freeze memories which could be relished in the years to come. Normally, I would have detested the sounds of cameras (mobiles/SLRs/digital ones) for I would see them as interfering with my moments of bliss but as years are added to my existence, I realise that gathering memories is as vital as preserving them. These captured memories will later translate into stories and lived experience and no matter what they will remain etched. I also did my share of capturing memories through my modest phone. 

Walking by the Bay of Bengal after visiting Poompuhar and imagining how the river Kaveri would have flowed then and how trade would have flourished along the coastal areas transported me to a place centuries ago. I imagined me then as a resident of Puhar and belonging to the fishing community whose breath was salty and talk fishy (!!!). Some students were in deep contemplation. Perhaps they were also in the city of ancient Puhar bargaining the prices of fish and haranguing about the thrifty buyers!

Gradually, in the course of the journey, I began adding pages to my book of life as I learnt about the flora, fauna, trade, water regulating systems, rituals and other details of the places we visited. The sound of the gushing waters still echo in my ears and have added to my years. It was a lovely weekend, indeed.



While still recovering from the trip of the weekend, we have another trip planned for the next week to the north-eastern India for a conference. I will be away for two weeks, or so. Keep me in your thoughts as I present my paper. I will carry you with me as I sojourn the lovely terrains of the north-east. Be well. Be happy.

What does travel do to your spirits and body? I will be glad to read about your thoughts.

Image 1: Internet
Image 2: Internet
Image 3: Internet

24 comments:

  1. Travel rejuvenates you. I get terribly excited when we embark upon a trip to any new place, be it even for only one day. The whole change in routine, seeing new places and things, having the whole day at your disposal, planning and executing your itinerary...I dont have words....I adore travelling!

    ReplyDelete
  2. ah travel invigorates me....i love to just break free and find places i never would otherwise....your trip sounds wonderful...what an adventure..

    ReplyDelete
  3. Having been a 'forced' traveller as a youngster, there was a time I lost interest in traveling. But as I see people around whose world is so small precisely because they haven't traveled or read, I want to travel and read more.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nothing compares to going on a journey. Peace & love always!

    ReplyDelete
  5. i love travelling to - its like broadening your horizons in the best possible manner - first hand feel of a new place, culture, people - travel is fascinating!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like your trip was truly memorable. I love to travel, to discover different ways of living and thinking. Travel revitalizes and refreshes. Your post confirms my own thoughts. And I am glad to be taking a trip to Hawaii soon. I'll visit a different world.

    I send you all my best thoughts regarding your paper. I know you'll do well.

    ReplyDelete
  7. so can we expect a historical novel from you susan? set around poompuhar and its thriving port?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Travel I am certain, keeps me young in feeling and thought...and in heart! The Fountain of Youth (the one in St Augustine, Florida) did nothing for my youthfulness--but GETTING there on my scooter, during that first trip 4 years ago DID/DOES!

    Glad to be here with you today, Susan Deborah!
    Love, Peace, JOY!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Travelling for me is adventure and fun.. I always dream of travelling to undisclosed locations away from familiarities towards the unknown..exploring new things about the world and about myself too...

    You seem to have had a wonderful trip dear :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love travelling..it makes one so aware of surroundings and different people..

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love travelling too. It makes you a bit adventurous and you learn so many new things along the way. I believe,you actually discover yourself. Have a great conference Susan. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Travel is always rejuvenating!!

    www.anucreations.blogspot.in
    www.facebook.com/VolatileSpirits

    ReplyDelete
  13. Travelling surely opens up the world for you, literally and figuratively!! It is truly a rejuvenating journey!
    Have a great time, exploring, evolving and enjoying!
    Cheers :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. nice trip,enjoyed it with you! I love to trek only for this reason- the nature teaches you so much!
    -Portia

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ha ha .... imagining you as one from the fishing community of Puhar !!

    ReplyDelete
  16. As always dear Susan, a truly poignant writing.;) I feel my whole life has been a long travel and that beautiful quote you shared was one I wrote down as a little girl. It said though that those who stay at home only read the "first" page.;)
    To travel is to broaden your horizon, to redefine your reference point an to realise how small the world really is. And how stupid we are as humans to engage in conflicts with each other as we are basically all the same.;))
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  17. Have a good trip and travel safe. Me, I look forward to getting away as much as I do returning. I enjoy travel for many reasons, mostly because I vacate my life and go on adventures, eat food I wouldn't normally, see new people, places, breathe different air, all of it appeal to my senses.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for sharing this a nice account of a few days well spent :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I just love travelling , If i could I would be on the road visiting place all the time and i love driving too .. one of the wish is to drive all over in europe and USA :)

    all the best for the two weeks , have a safe journey and come back with all the gossip :) take care

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
  20. Traveling recharges my mind and body. I feel a trip is a much needed break for all of us. Great to read your journey...:)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I can totally relate to what you are saying. A lot of friends talk about exotic placs they visit and that's it. For me, a traveling to a place is the experience more than the place itself. And then when i reach, I like to meet people, talk to them about their lives, the food they eat, the cultural beliefs that bring their community together and so on. Traveling, like you mentioned, offers many opportunities for us to evolve and blend into the diversity of this world.

    ReplyDelete
  22. After a long time ,i read such a long post because These days i am mostly on pinterest - seeing pictures. I wish more people could write like you.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I agree with you. With Travel, we evolve. I might be dead tired, but the mere mention of a trip, that to someplace where I've been wanting to go for a long time, can make me more than happy. I Guess those child like qualities never seem to part with us. I love travelling to new places and enjoying new experiences. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. "I haven't been anywhere, but it's on my list" I love that! it's funny and true. The best way to understand people is to visit them in their domains and see what makes them tick. I have not travelled much, I wish I had been able to, the few times I have, I have insisted on eating in the places the regular people eat, sometimes on a busy street out of a small cart. That's where you find the flavor of a city.
    Good luck to you on your paper.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails