Travel And Movies
The journeys of mind and soul!
Hello! I hope you are doing well and far from Omnicron! Well, I went through that version of Covid and it went faster than my exams used to go in school or college. So here I am with another newsletter to pour my mind on. This newsletter topic was specific as we had a special guest on our podcast this time. We had Ismail Lakdawala, the co-founder of Xplore The Earth. You can check out our podcast version from the link below. It is completely different from the newsletter!
If you are landing here for the first time, you might want to check out my other pieces like -
Chair and Footwear, Mental Health and Curtains, Fans and advertisements, Gardening and Economies of effort, Lights and Rejection, Bags and Batman, Doors, and Feminism, Washrooms and Cupboards, Driving and Friendship, or Humor and Instant Messaging!
An announcement- I am making an anthology of short stories. If you are interested in being part of the book, please leave a comment or get in touch with me. I would be glad to have you on board.
Here we go-
“Harrrsssssshhhh!” I hear my mother calling me into her room. I go to her room as soon as I complete the game of Pokemon United. She showed me a picture of us from the late 90s when I was a kid of 2 or 3 years. It is a picture from Rishikesh and the famous Jhulas there. I look at the picture and then wonder about the travel ticket. I see pictures of similar trips across my childhood. Those were rare but the pictures have a certain charm in them. I see pictures that I take now at my place of my mother or myself. They do not seem that charming. It is the experience and the feeling of the place and travelling that makes the pictures so charming and happy.
Travel is such an underrated yet highly popular way of living. People shift cities for jobs, marriage, education, and whatnot. Some travel miles for their work. Cities are like people. Each has a different personality. I sit and type from the comfort of my house at Rajkot but I always feel a laid back attitude that is there in this city. I remember being in Mumbai and I recollect being on the move. Be it a train, metro, bus, or restaurant, Mumbai becomes that car that installs a feeling of moving around and always a hustle. It is the night that reminds me that a day has passed. I look back at the day and I recollect how much I have travelled in the city itself. I saw thousands of people, ate at different places, interacted with different people, and I am at my relative’s place to chill now. The day goes by.
And a striking yet soothing day resembles a different type of feeling in Gandhinagar. I see wide roads and an organized city. There is a certain distance that is present between the two nearest areas. That distance would seem too much in Rajkot and too little in Mumbai. The ease of movement and the peace that I feel there is unmatched. It is a different vibe of peace and harmony that I get in Gandhinagar. Of course, the greenery and the expanse add a jewel to the crown. That makes me ponder how each of the three cities has shaped me in a way that I cannot express but anyone would feel that vibe. I wonder how each travel and trip makes a person. The little ones range from being at a place for a day or two to the one where we spend maybe months at a single place.
What makes each of the places so unique? Why does Udaipur feel so chilled and vacation-like while Jodhpur feels hustling with culture and royalty? Both are in the same state and not even very distant from each other. It is amazing how these places tell me a story. A story that I cannot retell to anyone. A story that is not made to be told but to be lived. Maybe I can show you the picture of the palace in Udaipur and the beautiful interiors of it. But it never makes you feel the story? Or does it?
Stories are so common. I have lived and made myself acquainted with the streets of Darjeeling by watching Barfi. Kolkata comes alive in Kahaani. Mumbai seems like a charming and hypnotic world in Life in A Metro. Movies become that ticket to travel that one has in their pocket these days. I have discovered that I love watching South Indian movies, especially the recent Malayalam ones. I spot myself speaking Chetta or Macha because that is what is the term that they use in the parts of South India. Chetta in Tamil Nadu maybe and Macha in Bangalore. It is not that I have been to either of the cities. Even if I have ever been there, I have not lived there enough to have these terms of endearment in my language come so naturally. It is the lived experience that I have gained through movies.
Of course, there are so many movies like Into the Wild and several others that give us a whole new perspective and outlook towards places but I have never seen that movie and somehow, the Indian cinema feels closer to me and more relatable. Maybe it is because when Naina and Bunny talk in that boat scene at sunset in Jaisalmer about the different spots of the world, I feel more connected to what Naina says. The roar of Sachin’s cheer in Wankhede and the Chaat at Chandni Chowk feel dearer than the Pizza in Italy or the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It is not that I would not love to go and travel, but it has a very different feeling while you travel in India and while you do so abroad.
But the pure beauty of our existence is in the fact that I can go to the remotest corner of the world and live there. I can know about their language and communicate with them through gestures and expressions. We might not have much in common but the common thread of humanity and existence unites us in a bond of experience that we share and live.
The distance between cultures and places is diminishing. Movies represent each country and city in a specific way. It is totally understandable when a foreigner comes to India and is wowed by the beauty and the simplicity of India when all they saw was Slumdog Millionaire that only showed a part of India. Maybe you visit Prague and you have a certain image of that city because you saw it that way in Rockstar or saw a scene beautifully shot in Falcon and the Winter Soldier. There is a story that is being told in that movie.
A story that they lived. A story where you are living with the protagonist. You would look at the city that is shown through the eyes of a particular perspective. I do love how Darjeeling is shown in Barfi but if I go there, I might or might not have the same experience. I would have my emotions to it.
I have lived in Mumbai for 3 years and have visited that city all my life as my maternal side is there. I feel connected when Basu shows how trains and buses are such an integral part of life there. But unfortunately, Basu cannot make me feel how I felt when I visited there for the first time. It is a unique feeling that is not replicated. It is to be lived and felt.
Replicating it is but an attempt to make and present forward a skeleton and a body. The soul is when you find it and place it inside!
But of course, you do have pictures and the movies to visit them virtually when a certain human being decides to eat a raw bat for one of their meals and then decides to have a party about it. It is not a substitute that you would dislike. It is a substitute we all love. But we do always miss the original feeling. After all, there is beauty in originality and having a personal touch to it.
And as I think this, Mom shouts to me again and tells me to put back the photo album in its original place. I look at it once again. I see how the places have changed now. The pictures are different from the Jhulas in Rishikesh. They did not feel so excited when I went there back in 2019. But oh, I did have a blast doing Bungee jumping. Now, you can see me doing that activity in the video or you can go and do it for yourself. The question is, when would you do so?
So that was my meditation on Travel and movies. All the pictures were my clicks from various travel journeys. Do follow me on Instagram at Thelightsight If you want to talk to me, you can reply to this email and I would get it directly in my inbox. You can also mail me directly if you want. Here are the customary offerings from my side -
Blog version- https://perceptivecolors.wordpress.com/2022/01/26/gurus-of-peace-lyrics-meaning
That was all from my side. Read on for Raj’s poem!
In the trails of time I leave behind sometimes my travels sometimes my rhymes I gaze late at night what others have left behind movies and the stars loitering imagination dancing wildly on the screen I trek on these terrains hard to get by yet I travel into time what I seek lingers lightly in the air I find it like a feather thousands of kilometres away sometimes on the screen only a few metres away travel and movies hardly a difference there one takes the body to wander other the mind and the heart
Ayee! Thank you so much for reading and I would be so happy to know what you think about this letter. Do feel free to give me any constructive feedback. I would really appreciate it! If you have a topic in mind that you would like me to write upon, do write below. You can even reply to this email and it would directly reach me!
That is all from our side for this edition! See you all! Like, share, comment, subscribe, send kabootars, throw your devices and computers, and make us famous! :P