Apr 16, 2009
I wanna go on a holiday to Ulan Bator. Ask me what place is it? Tis the capital of Mongolia and I have sat for half an hour checking out pictures of Mongolia and reading up on where to go stay, what to do, what to eat, the places to visit, the drop dead gorgeus scenery. I really wanna go. I wanna see the shamans and witness a shamanic ritual. Sigh! If only one had the monies. I even found out the price of the tickets and it only costs 70,000 something for a round trip. In college I use to want to visit Tibet and I still do. Maybe cos I spent 2 years in Gangtok as a child and went to school with Lepchas( people of Tibetean Buddhist origins). One of them was called Dorji and use to be my favouritest friend to play with after school. They made the most amazing momos and thuppa and I got a taste for their food at the age of 6 and I still die for momos any city, every city I go to.
I was thinking about the number of houses I have lived in the 25 years of my life and gosh the number baffled me too. Can you imagine that I have inhabited 22 houses? So I sat and counted how many cities, how many houses and 12 of those are all thanks to Dad and the Indian army starting from Dehradun, Jodhpur, Gangtok, Pathankot( small town in the north of Punjab) and Calcutta. Then there were 6 different abodes for the 5 years spent in Pune. Oh my God some of them I dread to imagine. After college a place in Chennai, one in Delhi ( I miss, I miss the house) and two in Bangalore. Yes 22 houses I could have called home. I wonder how many more am I gonna have and how many more places am I gonna visit. But I have always been India bound. I wanna get out and visit Russia, Mongolia, Tibet, Turkey ( Sigh!! Istanbul), Mexico, Peru and the whole wide world. I envy globe trotters really! I have only ever been an India Trotter. Hmphhhhh!
I never grew up in that one house you can call home where you spent most of your childhood and I always envied people who had that cos for me it was such a luxury and we shifted every two years the first 10 years of my life and I hated it. Now in retrospect I realise that the very essence of this gypsy like existence was instilled in me since the time I was born and I actually start getting an itch to get out a particular city after a particular time period. As a child we had a truckload of boxes and trunks whereever we went and those were used as makeshift dewans and tables, carefully concealed under drapes ofcourse. The tin trunks use to have my Dad's name engraved on them in white saying Col XYZ , _____ regiment, shifting from ____ to _____. Even the sight of them would disturb me cos it meant a new school, making new friends and catching up with school work.
Last week when I was home and Mum sent me to Fort William to the pay the bill at the Club everything made me upset cos it reminded me of Dad and the life he gave us. I passed the Golf Course and it reminded me of the days he'd be off playing golf at 3 in the afternoon and come back at 5: 30 all sweaty, happy and high on life. I see the huge fauji trucks and I remember my whole school life when I went to school in them and how embarassed I'd be when I got a little older cos they looked like mobile zoos complete with the cage and us monkeys inside.
Yup this wanderlust too is my father's legacy...
And even if you were in some prison, the walls of which let none of the sounds of the world come to your senses - would you not then still have your childhood, that precious, kingly possession, that treasure-house of memories?