“The pleasure that we derive from the journey is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel rather than on the destination we travel to” – Alan De Botton
Life often gets dissolved in the familiarities, in the routines, traditional modes of thought and blinds us from the ecstasy of present moment. It becomes a chase for destination making banality and boredom part of our life. Something similar was going through in our minds, while walking to the nearby store to have a cup of tea when all of a sudden “Why can’t we go to Pondicherry?” It was a silent covenant between us. Without delay we sprinted to the room thinking every minute is precious, picked up the same suitcase and started immediately to the train station. After a 3 ½ hour drive on the East Coast Road of Chennai to Pondicherry, we reached only by midnight.
The first impression is the best they say, this city had something about it which keeps a person curious until they reach the end of the city – where Bay of Bengal is. After getting our accommodation we dumped our luggage and immediately walked towards the sea. Ten minutes from the accommodation in those empty, well lit, and hollow streets.
An empty land is what it looks like from far, although we could hear the waves and feel a strong cool breeze which lifted and took away the fatigue from our face. We could not see it but could feel. After crossing barricades and building we could finally see moon beams floating on the waves under the midnight stars. We were standing on the rocks which were so stable unlike the reflection which was changing every moment.
We brought a life experience for 800 bucks. For a minute we thought the whole ‘money doesn’t bring happiness’ thingy cliché. Riding through the sea that was the first time we have seen jellyfishes floating, elegant, lovable, limbless, and finless, moving happily in a group. Jet Ski moving up and down with the waves yet stable, a mélange of fear and excitement. For us to sail smooth, we had to bend down and sit so that the ski is balanced. Ducking up and down, with the wind and the spray in the hair, bend and sit to balance the Ski, do not hold to experience it. Does it resemble life somewhere?
Just being there in the moment, completely blank, lost with the wind and soothing concert of birds and waves, impermanence of nature, endurance, fresh thoughts, and fears dissolved- ocean is a great teacher and happy to have met her. It is a beautiful experience of not being bothered by anything. We celebrated our trip with a dinner at the pasta bar located in the mission street of the city and a live concert. With fresh mind, empty, detached made the concert profoundly charming.
The journey ended with a very remarkable discovery; discovery of the true meaning of the tagline ‘Discover Your Journey’ of the fellowship we are part of. We think that what it exactly means is the discovery of significance of the journey. That irrespective of the destination we all have a journey and it is in the present moment. Wherever we are, whatever we do is part of that journey. We are the travelers in this journey and it is our responsibility to make the best out of this.
We came to this fellowship to find our destination but we will be leaving finding meaning in our journey irrespective of the destination we travel to. Now we understand why it is ‘Discover Your Journey’ and not ‘Discover Your Destination’.
Thankyou India Fellow – Abhimanyu & Rohini