The Dark Side of True Freedom and Travel

They laugh at me because I’m different; I laugh at them because they’re all the same

 – Kurt Cobain

Of all the travel blogs you might have scrolled through until reading this line, they were a lie. Not the kind of lie in a way of misinforming you but the kind of lie where a set of information is not shared. First let’s take you on a roller coaster ride and we’ll talk about such lies later.

How much have you travelled? When somebody seeks an answer to this question, nothing comes out of my mouth. I smile, raise my eyebrows and keep mum. The truth is that no matter how much you travel, you have to return. To the same old home to watch the day turn from chirping pigeons to midnight farts. Fuck travel when you have to find space on your same old bed when all during this time somebody out there is living. You were one such alive being once upon a time in once upon a place. But now you are here trying to sleep with your face buried in the pillow because on the trip back to home, a major part of your mental peace was forgotten on the railway platform. The sanity of intellect was lost in the train commode and the bus ride which finally got you to the door of your home, it stole away the motivation to wake up with a smile. I now sleep and stay awake at the same time, on the same bed which I left in search for Nirvana. Four months in a remote farm did give me an aspirin-sized dose of enlightenment but the effect only lasted until my last oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange which was done in the village with whom I parted ways. What is currently happening is the after effects of that aspirin. Or enlightenment. Travel, wanderlust, soul enrichment, yeah yeah yeah. Whatever. Life doesn’t suck when your mother asks you get milk at the exact second when thoughts just start vaporizing in your brain gel. Life doesn’t suck when your sibling will switch on the lights to take his college bag when you’re silently sitting in your room in the dark. Life doesn’t even suck when you disappoint your friends by not having a thousand pictures to show them where you were and what you did. But somehow life just sucks when you realize you have nothing left in your elixir of mindfulness or in your tank of tears or in your radio of laughter.

Every time a person says that they are homesick, I remember how sick I get at home especially when I return after a non-stop streak of ogling with freedom and risk. Books do help pass time during these days of constant psychological occupation for the never ending quest of happiness. But the amount of residual frustration which builds up by listening to unwanted chatter near you, that frustration is too much to bypass the blocks of nostalgia that have clogged up your conscience. Simply too much to vent out by heavy overhead pressing, useless Tinder swiping and mindless jerking off. Then is the moment when I have to do my obligatory duty to throw our kitchen waste in the garbage truck standing three floors below and honking loud enough to disturb and almost shatter the ideas frothing in my neurons. What will happen if that polybag of potato peels and floor dust is thrown away the next day? Nothing much. But how will this guy get disturbed from his solitude sessions, my mother must be asking herself. And I used to believe in things like empathy. It might exist. Unicorns also run on pink rainbows in the Amazon.

Freedom

One ideology in life is pretty sure to conclude from my small sample size of experiences which Buddha, of course, didn’t tell anyone and kept that as a secret in one of his earlobes. The ideology is that travel is okay and good and great and orgasmic but the time you spend post travel struggling for your independence sitting under a roof and surrounded by four walls and a door, that is the heartfelt equivalent of forcing a shit from your rear opening during constipation. It won’t happen. Neither pain shall pass nor the poop. The hole in your soul won’t be filled. Whoever said the last line was a genius. That person might have been an obsessed lover or a compulsive alcoholic or a nicotine addict but I suspect with extreme clarity that he was a traveller who returned. My black bag which was my wardrobe for four months, these days it is lying in the wardrobe screaming my name. And here I am trying harder than ever to do justice to my inner monologue which is turning my eyeballs inwards to see how big the hole in my soul has become. No matter what size it has, it sure knows how to suck the joy out of life with a gravitational pull stronger than that of a black hole. Maybe I should read self-help. These are the days you wish you never had to witness. To hell with self-help.

Ironically, what I most feared was how will I survive in a village 2500 KM away from home. It was smoother than slicing warm butter with an axe. Today I am focusing on surviving till dinner. A book will make me go through the night. Sun will rise tomorrow and so will my little pencil of wet leaky white fluid. It will later draw stains on the bathroom floor and reward me with a sense of accomplishment. I will then go for a morning walk and also to buy milk because no matter how capable you become of sustaining yourself, the parental desire and societal pressure to make you more and more responsible will never wither off. You have left suckling on your mother’s breasts long back ago but elders still consider you a baby. It was necessary to come back. I buy that and I did that. But it would be so bad to adjust, that was unknown. And also unknown was the fact that it would be intolerable to live in the misery of present with past joy revolving in the skull and gut and ears and liver and my whole being. When the pockets are sufficiently heavy, the heart is drained of its juices and the voice of my existence is burned out by crying and moaning and bitching, the clock in my chest will tick and an alarm shall ring. Along with that alarm will go off the timer of this bomb called bearing through circumstances. When that happens we’ll disappear. My black bag and me, we’ll disappear.

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