So many thoughts, so much introspection as I sit and write this on Dec 31st, just a few more hours to go before we hit another New Year.
As I reflect on my year, I see travels, new friendships, some old ones fragmented, a year of anguish, confusion, testing myself and an amazing sense of self discovery.
I started the year with a trip to Ananthapur in Andhra Pradesh, right in the heart of almost nowhere amidst rocks, nature, open sky, wild landscape in a friend’s home to a fun beer chugging trip to Bangalore Breweries, then to the beautiful rocky awe inspiring Hampi, followed by a road trip to Pondicherry , then a trip to the beautiful exotic Borneo jungles bang in the middle of Sabah Malaysia, a trip to Singapore, Philippines and an impromptu trip to Northern Malaysia and back to Ananthapur as the year ends. It completed my circle.
Each journey taught me something new and removed something old in me.
In Ananthapur, I made peace with myself, with the situations around me as I took comfort among my friends there.
In Bangalore, a new friendship turned into a food, beer and long island iced tea binging along with serious plays at the famous Rangashankara theatre and intense heartfelt conversations.
The Hampi trip was only about stillness and watching the magnificent temples and rock landscapes. 3 days of stillness, silence of the heart and mind and being blank.
The Pondicherry road trip was a revelation of sorts as I embarked what I thought was a new journey. Staying at a beautiful home stay that was designed, all handmade by a wonderful friend and exploring Aurobindo and feeling the energy of the ashram.
Borneo in Sabah Malaysia was with someone very dear as I explored the beautiful island, azure blue waters, white sand beaches, trekked , sweated, got sun burnt and saw the fragile state of the eco system of this earth. Felt the warmth of the local people who were relentlessly trying to preserve what we were destroying.
Singapore with a best friend and traveling to Philippines to the beautiful Boracay where swimming, snorkeling was the norm with an abundant nightlife. This trip also told me how fragile relationships are, and how it does not take much for something to be scarred so easily.
The impromptu Northern Malaysia trip was a direct effect of what I had experienced in Philippines and decided to go solo and back pack. As I moved using public transport from the fashionable trendy cosmopolitan Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia to Ipoh, an old colonial mining town that retained its old world charm, friendly people, not yet exposed to the evils of commercialization and home to the best Malaysian coffee I ever tasted!
From there, it was the beautiful island of Penang with it’s capital Georgetown. An Important base during the British Colonial days, it again retained all the charm of an old colonial town and the food was its USP. Rightly called the food capital of Malaysia, it made me want to revise that title to Food Capital of Asia! Vibrant, energetic, safe, clean, rich history, culture and so much more!
Finally, it was back to where I started my year, back in Ananthapur, experiencing a stillness, a rawness of the harsh landscape that is both wild and calming and made me introspect my life.
So many stories and experiences come out of these journeys, and each one teaches me to evolve, or at least try to evolve, think, and move forward.
Sending out a Wonderful New Year energy to the Universe!