Friday, June 20, 2008

Zen #1

...."You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.

On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it's right there, so blurred you can't focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness." ....

It is so true - all of it. When I think back, there have been plenty of places that I have been to in a car but I do not have any recollection of the journey. This does not happen when you are on a motorcycle. One of my favorite trips in the last few years is Goa in Jul 2007. What made it so special was that I rented a bike and went around all of Coastal Goa. We drove those bikes for abt 300kms in a couple of days. Now, almost one year later, I still remember the whole journey - the narrow roads that wind through lush fields, the tea stalls where we hid from the rain, the abandoned forts that we drove by, the markets, everything.

While booking a vacation, my friends prefer to have a detailed itinerary and be chauffeured from place to place. What they don't realize is that a vacation is not meant to be like a visit to an art gallery - see Exhibit A and move on to Exhibit B and record your memories in snapshots. I would advice them to create vague itineraries and improvise as they go along. A vacation is meant to provide you with a moving reel of fond memories of not only the destinations, but also of the journey - because sometimes it is better to travel, than to arrive.

Note to self - Travel on a bike whenever possible.