Just a day before India’s 65th Independence Day, on August 14, 2011, there was a fight between me and my parents and at around 12.30 PM, I took my bicycle and dramatically left home. Kept my camera, some cash and few other important items, I left my phone at home, and left no evidence for one to trace me or contact me. There is a clear remembrance, Maa was standing right outside gate and saw me going, and in broken voice asked to return soon!
But I was not melted with this and kept going, while she kept watching with one hand in the air pointing towards me and asking to return and with the other she was probably wiping off her tears. But I was already gone. I was determined to live my own life and earn my daily livelihood by working anywhere with whatever skills I knew, and yes, how can I forget my camera here. Not decided where to go, I started moving towards the west of the city.
The sun above was shining bright, and the day was hot, so was me.
Soon I decided to take my way to sirsi road, and decided to go to my sister’s house, seeking her support and asking her not to inform anyone about my arrival. She was already aware my situation. I was upset and depressed and wanted to be alone. Away from the people of the world. I reached her apartments and then :
Me: bhaiya please jane do, phle bhi aya hoon mai (Please allow me to go inside, I’ve been here before)
Guard: nahi aapko flat number nahi pata, bina uske aap andar nahi ja sakte, unhe phone karke bula lijeye (You don’t know the flat number, without telling us that you can’t get inside, call and ask them to come down)
Me: mobile nahi hai mere pas, aap unke flat pe call kar lo, unke husband ka nam Madhur Ojha hai (I don’t have mobile, you call on their flat number, her husband’s name is Madhur Ojha)
I first thought to return, as, not in any case I remembered her flat number, but, finally, after struggling and getting over a discussion of around 10 minutes, somehow I convinced him and he finally allowed me to ride in…
From my partial memory I tried my luck at building 4, floor 1, and damn, I was there. As, she saw me she was almost in tears, she holds my hand and took me inside and with no second thought ordered me to stay there, for whatever days I want, but I was in no mood to listen to anyone, but to add to my surprise her Father-in-law was there too, and thus he supported her and tried to explain me, but everything felt so useless. I was already on a road, not going to my home. Thus, I denied all their offers, and after having some food and talks I was ready to go again, and asked sister not to give any information about me to anyone, she was going mad, and this time she tried to emotionally blackmail me, telling about the condition of my father not speaking a word and very tensed, mom crying continuously, she even said that the condition might get worse and someone can get an attack as well, still unaffected by all this, like a shameless creature, I made a move outside her gate, and she then didn’t dare to ask again to stay, as she knew, that, I’m not going to stop.
She only advised me to be safe and return soon.
I left the apartments, the sun was near to dawn on my back now, still shining brightly at departure. Riding a few more kilometres I realized, I was quiet at peace, meeting some new people on the road, my vision towards observing my surroundings was changing fast paced, sudden happiness filled me up, I felt special in my own way. Simply, the journey was on an interesting track, and made me joyous and live the moments, I was now happy to leave on a bicycle rather than on my motorbike. This was the moment, I guess, I’ve been waiting for for so long.
The world started to change from that moment, and made me feel like a bird, who was put out of the cage, spreading its wings for the first time, only to take a long flight to the unknown or the prisoner who has seen light for the time and is left on long roads directly from inside of four walls, to wander and be lost in the woods and fall in love with mesmerizing beauty of nature.
I rode back, towards the east now, riding with more energy than ever before. Even, at first I was surprised, and thought how can I ride this much and that too in good pace, even when I have not completely recovered from ankle Injury, it was tissue damage, as told by the doctor. But then, this thought was left behind, and I paced faster to be on the other side. Crossing over from Mansarovar (a colony), made me stop on the roadside and take a look, as on my right a few kilometres away, I could see a tall, red and white coloured building. My home has been just 100 metres from there, so this made me a bit emotional. But I was already determined and pretty soon, made a move from there. Next stop was our famous group Adda (meeting place) GVD. A few friends were there, thus, met them, none of them was aware about the situation, and it was good for me. We talked, had a laugh and my stomach occupied some food too.
Soon after, I was off to JLN road, and thus made a stop at Saras parlour, and then me and myself enjoyed a treat there, some paneer tikka, Milk Jalebi, and a few other things to remember, it worked as my dinner too. I enjoyed every bit of it. Time was probably around 9.30 now, and now I have reached a T-Point at Jaipuria Hospital, as my dear and close friend Faizi used to live nearby. So, a thought came in, that she might pass from there and I’ll be able to meet her. Here, one more thing, my mother thought she was my girlfriend, and a few other people too, and here, I must tell you, a BIG NO she was not, but we were pretty close for sure.
My plan failed, and we couldn’t meet up, I even called her borrowing phone from a pedestrian passing by, adding to my hard luck, she was not there at home, but was to return before 11, so I kept waiting. Even this didn’t work out. By the time, I realised it’s too late and I need to find a place to sleep, so without wasting any more time, I figured out where I sleep tonight. I reached the Hanuman temple in a nearby colony, Mahaveer Nagar (near to the colony, I used to live in, some 500 metres from my home). There was a ground and on the sides placed were rest benches, so we crossed the gate and rested the bike to wall side and made myself comfortable on the bench, making my bag act like a pillow.
Here the priest appeared, and asked a few questions, finally, after knowing about me, he asked me to leave the premises, I begged him to allow me to sleep there or even inside the temple, or on the out floor, he then said, even if he allows me, the guard will push me out, so better for me to leave now. I was out in anger, cursing God, that even in his home there is no place for me, and why even people construct temples and from that very moment all faith in him was lost. Still, I tried another nearby temple, as it was on the road, turn and has no gates, so could probably spend my night there, time had already been around 12 midnight, and my search for shelter was on. As I reached near that temple, and was just about to climb the first stair, I heard someone calling my name, and I was taken by shock, there was a guy on a motorbike and he knew me. (His name was Kevin, I met him just a few days back, and by now he too was aware about my departure from home. We met through a common friend, Faizi, and she only informed him about me.)
He asked me to come to his home tonight, and then there was Adrenaline Rush, I was suddenly feeling happy, excited and instant energy level was on a high. Without a second thought I said YES. And then loaded my bike on the shoulder and he carried us on his motorbike. Not comfortable, I decided to ride, he then requested to ride, and we exchanged our vehicles. He was riding after some 7-8 years and felt happy, I was happy too. As we reached home, I was treated like a king, he was taking care of every single thing. He then boiled water in the bucket, so that I can dip my legs and can get relaxed, as I was tired after riding a whole day. Probably I must have covered some 80-90 kilometres during the day. He then massaged my legs and also applied the pain relief gel. It was a beautiful gesture. I was totally taken away by this, and it left a deep impact on me. Without even knowing me much, he helped me with everything.
I asked him to click pictures, so that sometime in future I can look at the pictures and remember the day when I was depressed, down and demotivated. It was a sound and pleasant sleep, and when I woke up in the morning all tiredness was gone. I was feeling fresh and alive.
He now asked me, what my further plan is, I then called my sister to inform, how I’ve been. She now emotionally tortured me and as soon as I cut the phone, within next 30 second phone was ringing again, and we knew, that this won’t stop now, as she probably gave his number to everyone in my house, but still no one was aware where I was. Thus, when I finally picked up the phone, my cousin elder brother talked to me, and the only thing I questioned him was that why should I return, give me a good reason.
After talking with various people for about an hour, finally there was a Settlement, and I agreed to meet him at a place I suggested i.e. Citiplex cinema. I was there in 5 minutes, as I knew it will take some time for him to reach there, thus I waited, as he came I could see him from a distance, he parked the car, and came out towards me, I moved towards him and as we were close enough, I hugged him and started crying. We then decided to go to his home. As I denied going to my home. Firstly, we tried to put the bike in the car, but when it didn’t work out I decided to ride. I knew no one will ask me anything, even I kept quiet.
Finally, almost after weeks’ time, all dramatically, in a filmy manner I was home again.
But this time things were different, I was not on speaking terms with anyone, and even no one dared to talk. I was calm, silent, and peaceful and was lost.
This incidence changed me like anything, and I developed a vision to explore and travel, Yes travel on a bicycle, to the unknown, meet new people, experience cultures, various lifestyles, and ultimately enjoy all the beautiful things on the way, get close to nature, and to live the mystery called LIFE.