I suppose you could call me ambitious. Well, not from the career point of view really. I do want a good career, but not anymore at the cost of life. I am ambitious in my dreams and wishes and the things I want to do sometime in life. Earlier, I would keep telling ma about my crazy desires. She was so used to it that her reaction was always a “hmm”. After moving out of home, I had thought I had lost that edge to be. Thankfully, I am as crazy and spirited as ever.
I have had some crazy desires behind me. There was a time I wanted to be a hippie, minus the drugs. I even used to dress up like one, at home of course, because ma forbade me from venturing out looking like we could not afford to buy decent clothes for me! I would wear weird clothes and several beads and look rather silly, come to think of it. Raksha and I have experimented quite a bit over the years with looks, jewellery and clothes, very often with disastrous results.
All my life, I have wanted to do a lot of things, apart from the usual traveling around the world bit. When I was a girl, I had planned this world trip I would go on after I was all grown up. I had a little book in which I had charted out a route that covered all the continents. I had the complete itinerary ready with the number of days I would spend in each country, what I would need to carry with me. I was to go on this trip alone, of course (I grew up alone, so probably the thought of taking company never really struck me) and I had even decided that I would need Rs 3 crores for the trip!!! Don’t ask me how I arrived at the figure and where I proposed to get it from! I suppose I expected dad to pitch in with the money!
The famous Tamil film ‘Roja’ has this song about the little desires of a little heart. That is how it is with me. Over the years, I have wanted to go on a fishing trip with fishermen out into the sea, ride on a road-roller, graze cattle for a day, milk a cow, sell wares on the street, yelling out the names of the wares in a weird voice, live and travel with nomads, especially the migrant workers, drink hot coffee in glass tumblers from a very dirty looking tiny hotel on a highway, plough, sow fields, bungee-jump, sit up all night talking, go trekking when it is raining (not very safe, I know)…. More seriously, I have wanted to quit my job and become a writer, honestly. I have wanted to start something really really off-beat, travel around the country clicking pictures and writing, start farming, get involved in agriculture, study something, write a book……Phew! The things I have wanted to do! I have done some, will do some others, I know. There is something about these little dreams that makes life so nice, something to look forward to. And moreover, these are not really hard either, nothing impossible, just crazy, weird perhaps but definitely possible.
You know those little multi-colored houses that dot highways and inner roads all over the country? The small houses with the blue doors, mud walls, thatched roof, a stone to wash clothes on one side, clothes hung in the front to dry, a thin dog that has been tied with a piece of string, naked children running around, that strange whiff of something cooking mixed with smoke, a young girl washing clothes or vessels, bright, gaudy plastic flowers stuck in a cane vase on the shelf, a couple of toys lying around, pictures of Gods and Goddesses from the Hindu pantheon cut from calendars hung on the side….you get the picture. I have always been fascinated with such houses. every time I travel and we pass by villages that lead off the main road, I try to peep into the dusty lanes and catch a very quick glimpse of the lives that are lived on those streets. I have always wanted to stop by and walk into one of those villages, but never did. Last Saturday, I was sent to Ramanagaram, about 40 kilometres from Bangalore, to do a story. I walked into Wodeyarahalli, one such village that I had always fantasised about. I got to walk about a bit, I even went to one such house. With our sunglasses and modern clothes, my friends and I were a source of great amusement to many little kids who openly gaped at us, to shy women who peeped from behind doors, to old men wrinkled with age and experience and to the rest who simply stared at us. Period.
I was telling Manju about my long time desire to go to a village, a house that was fulfilled that day. He could only shake his head, finding my crazy desires a bit amusing. One more down, several to go, my desires, my dreams, my wishes….