Though only for a minute, it felt like a lifetime of happiness, it felt like a void being filled. It feels like yesterday when we went to the boat house and sat by the calm lake for hours staring into the twilight of the sky, watching the world go by!
From all the letters exchanged to all the sleepless nights endured, we couldn’t wait to share our stories with the world. He was a travel journalist and would always discover Panama to Peru and would take me on his amazing journeys with his beautiful narration.
Going by the lake and describing his travels to me while I would pen down the words based on the picture painted by his words, he was born blind and was part of a program for the differently abled run by “The Society” a well-established national daily, and I being the associate editor was assigned the task of this quarterly column, of course his travels would be different from the rest of us, which was the purpose of this column, to offer our readers the world in a different view, to experience the world in a different way, the world seemed larger than life it seemed to be the beautiful oasis inhabited by beautiful people.
It was a once in a life time opportunity for me to chronicle his travels and put it out there for everyone to “see” from their mind, be open to a different take on life, he discovered Egypt as the land built by the mighty, nestled and protected by the Gods of love and war.
We saw Bhutan as the land far far away built by the flora and fauna and the sweet scent of pine.
We saw no colour, experience the language of humanity, savoured the delicacies of love. We discovered the streets of china by crispy tickling fare to the streets of India by the sweet and spicy fare. We felt the culture of politeness and humility of humbleness and civility.
At first we were vary of people not taking to such posts, but slowly we got a lot of people from across the world requesting to cover their land, rediscovering their land, people started hosting him and entertaining him.
This led to him travelling almost 6 months a year and discovering many many lands. He was the new Columbus, one day when he was travelling to one such land (I also did not know what places he went to, the editors made all the arrangements and since I was chronicling his travails, they did not want me to know about his whereabouts to keep the posts as authentic as possible, and I would know about the place only after he narrated his experience and the name would be revealed in the end.) he was reportedly gunned down in a local mafia gang war.
After being on medication for over 24 hours and with no progress his life gave in. There was a lot of anger in his fans when they were told what had transpired, his own world betrayed him, his own mankind betrayed him, the last few hours had been the toughest for him to see that the world was no longer that beautiful, that humanity had defeated him!
His travelogues were discontinued, while it took a while for me to get back to my daily routine and concentrate on my other columns, and from the acceptance of the fact that the person I was slowly falling for won’t be there anymore to make me believe that there is beauty in the world!
I revisited those posts and tried to get in touch with all those who hosted him and wishing to see for myself the beauty I imagined in my mind and for others to read, slowly they all got in touch and agreed on hosting me, they took me to all the places he went to, all people he met and in the end each handed me a letter! A letter he had narrated to the hosts to give it to me, if in case he doesn’t make it back and I get in touch with the host!
I felt scared as much as excited and a deep sense of closure to have found something of him I can have with me for the rest of my life!
I however stacked them in a box, and decided to open them only when I undertake all my journeys. I visited India, China, Peru, Russia, Mexico, Egypt and lastly Cambodia. When I returned I started blogging of all the conversations and stories the hosts and he shared, and took the readers on an intimate journey of the confluence of different cultures. His fans started writing in saying how much they missed him, and yearned to experience the world differently.
I decided to open the letters one by one discovering how much he loved me, he saw the beauty in me the way he saw it in other people, the true inner beauty, he feared confessing this to me, thinking how could I fall for a person who is not perfect, while he saw the beauty in others all he saw in himself were the flaws which I saw as true gifts!
And just when I broke down, hating myself for not telling him how he made me fall for him each time he spoke! Maybe it was too late but I have the letters to hold onto, the letters where he asked every host to sign off with a dove, the symbol of pure love, and as I finished ironing out those letters and kept the iron down I saw a glimpse of his silhouette!
I continue to travel and discover new places as a travel journalist and chronicle the travelogue with a short documentary on all the places that I visit!