Sunday, September 21, 2014

... One For The Road...

I was on my way to London when he walked in and sat opposite to me. I don't know what prompted him to start talking because he really looked at me for a long time. He was trying to piece his words together. I thought he wanted a piece of my chili chocolate.

After introductions I found out that Kovac was actually a Hungarian and was visiting the UK for the first time. His group was covering the entire UK on foot. I asked him about his group and why he was traveling in the train. He told me that they were there for the disabled people and were running/ walking to raise money for them. He met with a small accident so had to take a detour and was on his way to meet the rest of his team. I was very intrigued. The light blue-green eyes complimented his hardened face. He was quite amused when I told him about my passion for running.

I was curious to know about his group and what made them embark on this journey. He told me that he wanted to do something for the society. He worked for an organization which was working towards empowering the disabled people. He wanted to make a difference  and then decided to be a part of it. He wanted to make the others aware of the challenges that the disabled people face everyday. He asked me about India and how disable friendly we are as a country.

His passion for his cause was infectious. I felt a pang of jealousy somewhere. His belief was way too strong. That's the thing, every once in a while someone comes along and shakes your mind off. The episode stays on. You keep thinking about it.

Our station was approaching fast and the train was slowing down with a steady rhythm. Both of us got up at the same time and there was a loud thud. I noticed Kovac was adjusting his shoe. At a closer look I noticed his prosthetic leg. We looked at each other and there was a silent exchange of thoughts/ words and expressions. I offered him my chili chocolate and he nodded, gave me a peck on the cheek and left..

I kept on thinking about him throughout the day. I saw so many runners each running for a different reason and I had nothing but respect for them. They could have been drinking their Tea's or for that matter could have been doing so many things and yet they were  pursuing their cause. That commands nothing but respect.

That's the beauty of travel - It gives you a perspective. It enriches you. It gives you  long lasting experiences. We carry forward these stories. We share them with everyone. It makes us  aware of different shades of being human in this world. It is never about marveling at the places, people or getting the items ticked off. It is about becoming a sponge and soaking it all in every possible way.
I don't travel to compare notes on how things are not the same the way it is at home.  I like the way it shakes me up and turns me upside down. I like it because I learn from my interactions.
I like it because of what it offers - experiences.

"But the places I’ve never seen still have a pull on me (of course), and still exert a hold on my imagination, that gives them an intensity that other places cannot match." - Pico Iyer
Ciao..
Pico Iyer - The man solely responsible for getting me all dreamy eyed at the very thought of travel.


2 comments:

  1. Wow, what an experience! I don't think India is disable friendly. Did he explain?

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  2. Hey there,
    It was quite an experience. Imagine my stunned silence. India is not at all disable friendly. There was a survey done sometime ago and we were at the bottom. Sad but True.

    Good to see you here:)
    Cheers

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