Saturday, September 7, 2013

A journey within....

Paromita Sharma Photography
Tunnels at Igatpuri
Athoba khelay shob hath gulo harbar poreo khelechhi ek daan
Bujhini kisher eto taan
Kakhono choti jama chhere eshe rastay eshe daNra
Kato bar tor ayna bhenge chure ghure takai
Amar motey tor moton keu nei

Since a few months, long after watching the movie ‘Hemlock Society’, I have become addicted to its music tracks. Each and every song of this film seems to have blended with my everyday life.  Right now, I am traveling from Mumbai to Kolkata by train. The train journey started as early as 6 a.m. which required me to wake up at 4 a.m. It’s now past 2 p.m., post lunch, I have settled down with my laptop and customary music session which inevitably starts with Jol phoring!

Eh! Life is not too ugly at times! No, never!! Life is heavenly many a times…I will be thankless if ‘I’ say life is ugly. God will hate me forever…I’m lucky to have lived many moments for which many have longed entire life and had none! As always, I am hungry for more…occasionally, I behave like a selfishly greedy bitch…but it’s not real ‘me’ huh! ;)

I was hopelessly exhausted in the morning, readily went to sleep finding everything very mundane and meaningless. Few hours later a coiling pain in stomach warned for my empty fuel tank. While fueling my tank with snacks and tea, I discovered a beautiful panorama slideshow at the window. Actually, this is for the first time I am travelling to Kolkata from Mumbai on a train. I did not expect so beautiful landscape from this journey. But life is all about expecting the unexpected. Suddenly I was amid lash green layers of hills, multiple river streams crawling from the rocky trails, culminating and diverging between the hills, the water mirroring the clear blue sky with fluffy white clouds, green woods brightened by the golden sunlight…I rushed to the corridor and clung myself at the door. Warm and fresh air whiplashed my air-conditioned, cold face, while the train made its way cautiously through the hilly curves and cuts. Sudden drizzles dripped on me inside the dark and wet tunnels that hinted at the brilliance of the sun at the end.

 I stayed there for a long time…without caring the guys who consider that spot in the compartment as their birth right. Well, I was oblivious of the fact that others would also be equally interested in standing there at the footboard. But do we realize the actual value of things that come to us as our birth right? No. So, none actually appeared to ask for their right, rather they waited patiently. I enjoyed the privilege without remorse, as they can never value these moments on this spot, right now, as I did. I valued, so I deserved, so I received.

I remembered my childhood days, when we used to visit our grandparents at lower Assam, Hailakandi from upper Assam, Tezpur, Jorhat, Dhuburi etc. The train route through Karbianglong hills…the tunnels, the dangerously beautiful bridges adjoining the hills with waterfalls flowing beneath. At that time we, my brother and I, were too small. So we were not allowed at the compartment doors. But my heart always longed for that adventure.

Paromita Sharma Photography
Today, after so many years of my life, I felt the thrill of standing on the footboard while the train crossed over a steep water fall between two hills. My body shivered, my stomach felt empty. I heard a word of caution from the back, requesting me to clutch the handles of the door tightly. I clutched the handles tightly and decided live. I will live. To experience such moments…till the time I live.
Finally, I asked a co-traveler, ‘what is this place?’ He said, ‘Igatpuri’. The name sounded familiar. Igatpuri….Igatpuri…where have I heard this name before? Well, my short term memory did not allow the joy of remembering at that moment. Not that I tried hard, as my mind was floating over the view outside. Igatpuri. I decided to visit this place someday soon…and also told myself that I would not leave Mumbai until I have had enough of Maharashtra. 

Eventually, the train made a halt at Igatpuri station. The station is a junction, quite well-managed and big. I even heard announcements regarding levied fines on littering the platform! I got down and bought biscuits and banana, roamed about a little…could not discover much to help my memory. Then I got in the train to check the mobile and make a few calls. Finally I was told that we had planned to visit Igatpuri. That was not enough stimulation for my memory cells. I got down again, looked around and bingo! There it is! A separate waiting shade with a staircase to go out of the station had a big sign board on it: For Vipassanna Meditation Centre, Dhammagiri, Igatpuri, take this way!

Paromita Sharma Photography
Igatpuri Landscape
So, this is it. What a curtain raiser! Before migrating to Mumbai, I had planned to visit Dhammapada, the meditation center. I had accumulated all information available on the net for it, as I seriously wanted to visit. But time had planned differently than mine. Not then but now. Igatpuri… coming soon!

I am done writing for now…still listening to “Hemlock Society”…it’s past 4 p.m. The train is moving at its own rhythm and speed. My mind moves towards the memories and people I love…I love my life for what it has given me…. 

Ekhon onek raat
Tomar kadhe amar nishwash
Ami benche achhi tomar bhalobashay… :)


  1. a very write up Paro...... let's go together to Igatpuri...... that is a place I long to visit.... we planned many times but it never happened....... :)

  2. Reminiscences of joyful times long gone by,jolted to the present in a train journey-Your ecstasy was evident in the manner you revived precious moments,to revel in the 'now'-Such periods are short lived,but they leave in us a permanence, to return to -aspire to be inspired- i would call this-Nuances of a childhood thrills,experienced in the present,and penned from the heart,with emotions flowing freely..this is a rare treat,for one wanting to journey to the core-A traveller in search of his roots within-And yes i forgot Vipassanna-Maybe its this seed of 'silence',that reminded you of a purpose unfulfilled,to be resurrected at the next journey-

    1. Dear Vijay,

      Thank you once again for yet another thought-provoking comment. You always give me a deeper perspective. Cannot thank you more. Please keep visiting and share your views always.

  3. Paromita,

    you know God will never hate you no matter what you say or do!

    1. True, Anon. God never hates. It's we who hate each other and ourselves.

  4. Wonderful writing...descriptive and very much near to earth...
    But surprisingly the author who is having short term memory( at least in the Igatpuri case ) having no problem remembering the childhood days' memories...
    To me thats when we were used to be god..
    the rest part of our life..
    we search ourselves in the the the idols we make...and obviously in the diary...that used to be our only frnd sometimes..
    Anyway keep it up..
    Lat of all ..I can easily remember Tagore's writing..
    That too was train..lal mati...bolepur...used to be one of my favourite from the old text book "Kisholoy" in Bengali.

    1. You are an intelligent young man with a unique way of seeing this world. I am happy to know that you enjoyed my writing. :)

  5. Every thing depends on the state of mind. Mens sana in corpore sano. Generally we assume that scenic beauty attracts every body. Let me narrate one of my personal experiences. Some years back I landed up in a remote place of the Himalayas. I can not express the scenic beauty as it seemed to be a piece of Heaven. There was a small village and I planned to stay there for two nights. The villagers were damn surprised. They asked me several times, "Why the hell do you want to stay here Babu? There is nothing here, only mountains and jungles. Metro cities are beautiful." I have personally seen that some of the tourists lamenting on the non availability of the food and drinks of their choice. Paro beb is an exceptional lady with a deep spiritual mind. This piece reflects her state of mind. Kudos baby.

    1. Exactly Ramda. State of mind. You pin-pointed the reality. Thank you so much! :D

  6. very well written paro....anupam

  7. Nice writeup. Reminds me of early 90s when I traveled many times in that route.


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