It took me some time to understand I have an obsessive, compulsive yearning for travel. It took me a bit longer to understand that it wasn’t a disorder. In fact, it is the order, the way life must be. For, what is life if not an opportunity to explore, to discover, to see what is beyond that bend of road. And that bend may be round a continent, a country, a city, or just round our home. So, I took every opportunity to travel and walk towards most tantalizing bends.
My journey started when my parents put me on a long-distance train from Bombay to Delhi when I was 11 years old. On my own in those 18 hours, I travelled to more places that I had ever dreamed. Every station was an adventure and I got off on each one. I imagined many things while I stood at the station, acutely aware of the few minutes that I had before the train would start moving. In that time, everything was alive. The shouts of people leaving or rushing to board, the porters milling about, the smell of the food being cooked and sold, of sweat and urine. And at the end of the station, that bend, full of possibility.
My father, a traveler himself, guided me early on in making travel circuits, reading, preparing, making notes. Every year, we traveled together to different regions of India. Yes, there were the tourist must-sees. But there was enough time for little-known sights, for long-forgotten monuments, for talking to people, for eating at that place that dishes out the best this or that. And always time for the bends…
These travels provoked my work choices. Which in turn gave me more opportunities for exploration. Sometimes, just a day added on to a work trip. Other times, long meanderings with little or no reason, with one or two or no persons.
This blog is a record of these travels. If any of the writings encourage you to explore and you need any more information to visit and plan, write to me and I will help.
But the bends….they are only yours to take.
Vinita Gursahani Singh.