Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Atop Wilderness of Nothing

When we bought four tickets from the Ministry of Tourism, the Meghalaya's package for taking us around Cherrapunji (arguably the rainiest place in the world), we were expecting only rains and hardly any smell of wilderness filled with nothing.
The first sight of cloud cover hits us when we stop for the first time on the foothills of Cherrapunji. On the way, we are intrigued by the steering wheel of the tourist bus which was larger than its own tires. Drove by a short and stoutly individual, who seemed to be climbing over the steering wheel itself, throwing his whole body over it, as he maneuvers the bus along the twists and turns of the winding road.
We are told we are going to Ramakrishna Mission. Our hearts dampen, another doze of spirituality atop the mountain!! Angshu makes a face, so does Suhail sitting beside him. Bedu snarls, "We are already liberated, to hell with the mission". Angshu starts making the hideous joint which he has been fondling with across the journey.
The bus starts climbing the last hill where the monastery rests, the windows seem to graze the walls which the road seems to have made. The villager's houses in the corner give a desolate look, a look of abject abundance of nothingness. We get off and stay distant, the rest of the crowd stops, looks at us, only to get back empty stares and non-verbal denial to take part in another frivolous attempt to spirituality. We are not in for it! We look for safer pastures to burn the virgin joints ready for exhalation.

A concrete structure with four lost poles stick out from the sides, one joint after another, clouds come and clouds go, our sanity flying off kilometers high, we are soon lost in our gadgets. The four corners of the camera frame start's looking edgy, while Bedu ponders on. He spots a kite on the far horizon fighting a losing fight of visibility with the clouds. We start looking for it, but can't spot it at all. Suhail starts with a small eek of laughter saying, "Come on! The kite is also white, that's why you guys can't spot it" We all laugh together wondering why we are laughing at all? There's no one to pass a judgment, not even yourself. we are just there filling our lungs with nothingness, such a precious something, not common down below to the so called human i have added this?? civilization.
Angshu soon slides down to his inner world, after nudging with his gadget Sony Ericsson 550i, he sits quietly thinking of, I don't know what? Suhail is finishing his flying lessons, as Bedu ponders on, thinking of the next practical thing to do. And so here were we, far away from the practical world, romanticizing with our false notion of nothingness.


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