Saturday, November 03, 2012

Of planes, bitches and beaches

a simple vacation... an eyeopener that provides many insights.
Just how dependent have we become on electronics. I sat up till 1.30 am this morning, packing and repacking. Repacking?  There's this marked preference for travelling light, instilled in me by my father, in our joint amazement and ridicule of, the mountain loads of luggage that the average Indian family carries on flights and vacations in general. You know the sight -- trolleys laden with bags that would take a strongman to lift  -- bags with dimensions that might give you a hernia at the thought of lifting them off a baggage carousel. So we always ganged up on my mother to get her to reduce the load that a woman feels inclined to pack on a trip outside home -- namely the urge to transport home with her.

anyhow, on this occasion, my mission was to reduce two bags to one. which i did, at the expense of some shuteye. (that I was industriously engaged in this endeavor till the wee hours -- and I'm someone who loves to snooze - should tell you how obsessed i am with travelling light).

but i digress. electronics! i needed my laptop yes, as I had some work to tend to during the vacation. but i also wanted to take advantage of the free time to listen to audio books,  music, catalogue my collection and cleanup some deadwood. so that meant i'd take my dedicated juke box (a netbook) along, and also my mp3 player for listening to before bed time. and of course what's a vacation without a camera. and then there are cellphones and chargers, and the camera usb cable/charger adapter. and of course i'd like to be able to do some reading on the beach or the bus, so there goes the kindle and it's cable. oh and the laptop adapters, and mouse! at the end of this my backpack felt like it was loaded with rocks! luckily it's built pretty sturdy and didn't give way. but in the end, i realised i'm packing as much electronics (or more), as I have clothes! so much for travelling light.

at the airport, was forced to catch sight of (they were in the waiting lounge standing next to their kids seated in  the row of chairs directly facing me), some hot young mothers. Young girls really, wedded into rich money, dressed ultra-stylishly in minis, and the most expensive clothing and accessories from head to toe. didn't hurt that they weren't too bad looking either -- which would explain why they were married into rich money. but i digress again. they had with the three kids in tow, a nanny -- who herself was a young girl, quite pretty by any standard, and well dressed -- like a trendy teenager from any upper middle class family. Now this nanny's job profile was to take care of the feeding and play activities of the kids, while the mother's themselves played out their part of bored, rich ultra-mod babes (mommies, no! eeks! just babes with kid appendages.) It was amusing. and i'm willing to bet those kids will grow up with complexes or maybe lack of affection towards their natural mothers, or worst case a bunch of people who treat affection as an object that is up for sale, like a trophy wife.

back on the beach after nearly two years, it doesn't cease to amaze me, the power of transportation, whether physical or ethereal, like the communication of ideas. just this morning i was 300 miles away, and now here i am with the waves shifting white sand under my feet.

Standing with my face out to the ocean, watching a red sunset, listening to the rough yet soothing crashing of the waves. the sea meeting the horizon with a tranquility that brings the edginess of my mind into relief. that's when i sense the insignificance of my being. the elemental nature of the thing that is me. lying in those cool white sands i wonder how far removed I am from my essence. staring into that vast infinity of the ocean, i glimpse both insignificance and potential. But i cannot absorb that potential, unless i empty myself first. and so i go to the infinity of the ocean, to empty myself on it's shores and to breath in again, anew.

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