365 of 365

A little girl walked into a large room. She looked around bewildered. It looked like the end of something. Deserted and empty. Or was it the beginning?

She sat in the centre thinking of ways to write this story. In the meantime, imaginary objects, people and specimens piled up on one side of the room and very real issues, core ideals and values piled up on the opposite side. The room began to get filled. More and more objects. More and more principles. She sat on her stool and watched eagerly. With excitement.

Here, around her and elsewhere, too, the stories had no end. All she needed was tiny space in the world and the luxury to pay heed to her voice. She nurtured it. Calmed it down. Riled it up. Fine tuned its skills. Angered it. And she spoke. Louder and with more clarity as time slipped by. She was young. But knew she had to trust the voices inside her head. Though friends, outsiders, acquaintances, strangers told her not to.

For silence was not going to save her. It, on the contrary, corroded her insides and broke her spirit. The stories, the imagination, the writing, the fire in her soul – these things fed her. Allowed her to grow.

No. It wasn’t the end. Only a beginning.

She looked at the empty room again and wrote furiously with her imagination colouring the pages.

312 of 365

It was day 2 in Gokarna for us. After having been slow moving objects on day 1, we decided to be active on day 2. We consumed a yummy breakfast for starters for which we had to walk a decent amount. Mine was mostly unhealthy and delicious; sister’s was healthy and light.

We set out with our smart phones in hand, dressed to walk a lot. Running a little ahead of us was a dog. He seemed to know the way but we humoured him and stared into our smart phone that showed the direction. After getting lost once while following the phone, we decided to follow the dog. The dog was light on his feet and slightly impatient as two slow moving souls trudged behind him. Often halting along the bushes filled path to catch their breaths. He waited for us to catch up. He turned back to check if we were keeping pace. We trusted the dog knew where to take us and eventually abandoned our smart phone for our new guide. The path was dodgy and mostly through the mountains. Often, we felt we had lost our way. But the dog was far from misleading us. Taking us through the bushes, he sauntered on. Up, down, near the edge with killer view, up, down, through narrow paths, hardly space for one human path, up, down and finally the beach.

He led the way from Om Beach till Half Moon Beach (almost mid way to our preferred destination). Surprisingly, he didn’t join us after this. He didn’t even come to us for a treat or a few pets. He just got busy kicking some sand up. We waved to him and thanked him before continuing on our way. The road ahead looked steep and full of mountains. On this long path, we both learnt to trust our instincts and march along slowly. We stopped to inhale the breathtaking scenery, the beauty of the clear waters and sound of just the waves; photographed what we could as we went along. It was untouched by man and his destructive ways, I noticed. When we reached Paradise beach, it was worth our long and tiring trek. We sat on the rocks in silence, letting the water wash our feet. I played in the water for a while. Taking in the serenity and beauty of the quiet land. What a lovely space and place to be.

Travelling for me is not just about seeing other places and being in awe, which frankly Gokarna has done repeatedly since my arrival. But it is about seeing my reactions and learning about pieces of my self. The morning taught me to trust my instincts and let go of always wanting control. I allowed these thoughts to marinate in my head as we took a boat back.

So much to see, learn and feel. I hope to carry back some of these lessons. But mostly the positivity and freedom I feel flowing through me.