Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Travel



I returned on Sunday night from Dubai, and this afternoon I leave for Bombay. Our company is exhibiting at another trade fair there. After I return, I will be going to New Delhi in mid-February, to exhibit at one more fair. Around mid-March there's another fair in New Delhi, which I plan to visit. And in early April, a fair in Dhaka that I might visit.

Travel, travel ... all a bit stressful, especially the getting ready for leaving, and the interregnum of waiting in airports, being careful with one's belongings and things like money, tickets, passport etc etc. Of course, once one is at one's destination, all the fortuitous experiences make one forget the stress.

Though I did have a desire to travel to all kinds of places from an early age, much of my travel has really been occasioned by my circumstances and work, and only a little has been from a desire to travel as such. Though I don't think I've travelled very much - compared to really keen travellers - yet, I should say I am fortunate to have travelled as much as I have. In India, the regions I have not been to are Jammu & Kashmir, Chhatisgarh, Manipur, Nagaland and the Andaman Islands.

I have lived in Calcutta all my life, but I was born in Bombay - where my mother delivered me, while at her parents'. My paternal grandfather came to Calcutta in 1930 to take up a job. He worked in Bombay for a few years before that, leaving Kerala as a matriculate teenager to find a job to support his parents and many younger siblings. My father was born - at his mother's village home, in Kerala - a few months before coming to Calcutta. So Calcutta has been home to me and my family.

The city of Calcutta - has defined my life and work since 1984. I married a Bengali and became a part of my wife's Bengali family in 1985. And I have been part of the social, cultural and political life of my city. But I was born into a Tamil household, attended an English-medium school, and completed my schooling in a military school in Dehradun.

Besides Calcutta, I have also worked in / for some other parts of India; and I have worked in / for the city of Jerusalem.

I have visited or stayed in some 17 countries; the regions I have not visited are South America, Africa, Eastern Europe, China, Central Asia and Australia-New Zealand.

In all my travel, I have by and large related intensively with the places and the people; in turn, I have been formed and renewed through my travels. This morning I realised that I should actually be travelling more, in connection with my business management duties. But now I'm weary of travelling, and a reluctant traveller. I feel saturated.

7 comments:

preeti said...

would have been nice if you were able to write about your travel experiences too and for someone who has not travelled a lot, you sure have covered a lot of
ground:-)
ghetu baba's side brought me to your blog, will make it a must read henceforth.

Ghetufool said...

except for the singur posts, i enjoy reading anything you write. Your’s is one of the most educational blogs on the net.

on singur issue, i have just a diametrically opposite view to yours. but that doesn't prevent me from being a fan of your blog.

bonita said...

I know it is important to 'digest' one's experiences of travel, with a period of rest and recouperation. You will do what you can, given your schedule, I'm sure. Enjoy the day.

kaushik said...

Hi Rama,

May be my comments on Sumit Sarkar's article hurt you personally. But thats how strongly I feel about it.

But that does not stop me from being curious about someone who is so well travelled.

I always believe travelling opens up the mind. And if you are so well travelled I am sure you are an open individual.

irving said...

Actually, I would love to travel as much as you have, and I agree that some posts on your many travels would be interesting. You have a way of writing that makes it all fascinating :)

Ya Haqq!

rama said...

Thanks you friends for your kind comments. I shall try to write about some of my experiences during my travels - there are some already, e.g.

http://cuckooscall.blogspot.com/2006/06/could-i-get-some-water-to-drink.html

http://cuckooscall.blogspot.com/2006/06/i-love-my-village.html

http://cuckooscall.blogspot.com/2006/07/fine-art-of-friendship.html

Best

rama

rama said...

Hullo Ghetu, thanks for your visit and comment. It is good and important that there is always a diversity of views in society. So your disagreement with "my views" on Singur is perfectly alright. In fact, I have mostly carried others' views. That does not necessarily mean my endorsement of that view. In a context of public debate, I posted things which I thought raised and discussed various issues and concerns.

Kaushik, thanks for your visit and comment. As I wrote in the comments section of an earlier post, I did not take your comment on Prof Sumit Sarkar's article personally. I deleted the comment because I thought it was offensive to Prof Sarkar. And I also deleted another comment of yours - the deletion was my response, signifying non-engagement.

Whether I have an open mind, or not, whether I have learnt from my travels - I guess people who know me - in real life, rather than merely through the blog - would be the best judges. I'm sure there would be people who felt I was "closed", just as there might be people who think otherwise.

But yes, in all modesty I can say that I have gone to places where most people do not happen to go - and I don't mean travel, but life experiences - and have thus gone quite far away from the typical mentality, outlook, concerns etc of others of my socio-economic background. Hence there is considerable variation between "common" views and mine. As well as an aloofness from the mainstream.

I do change my views from time to time, sometimes drastically so, with experience enabling better judgement.

Best

rama