Went to a rafting camp in Rishikesh and a couple of days past my return, i continue to remain spell-bound by the untouched beauty of its wilds (much like my temperament). Now, I am not talking about the temple town that most Hindus frequent or that which is better known among the hollywood lot for its "harey rayma harey krissna" chants and yoga ashrams. The place in discussion is that of the untamed river, kalaedoscopic pebbles, raging mountains, star-spangled skies et al.
What ensued in the 3 days is not a mere pull out from any of those innumerous traveler accounts that you readily find on the web-platter. It was thorough learning...even if it were plain paddling, while aboard the raft, through the occasional calm waters of the Holy Ganges. Each nanosecond meant a gamut of feelings, intuitive thoughts to be absorbed into the system and garnished with pure MUSING.
Civilization....how many of us twitch and writhe to be sent out of it? how many opt out of relationships, for fear of being a wreck in them?? Well, I DO and this was my perfect getaway right into mother nature's lap. To attempt an explanation...self-control beyond a certain limit chokes hopes and shatters dreams and that's when the enormous unleash of energy needs diversion into constructive purposes. In my case, it continually has to do with conquering human fears.
I consider such camps an intuitive path to self-realization; breaking barriers across caste, creed, race-ridden society; have a tete-e-tete with the inner-self and attain the much-weighed and debated PEACE. Now, I ain't talking about Kofi Annan and Co's commodified version of it. And in case you are confused, my version of this feeling doesn't bother a teensy-bit about facing a veto...Yes! Ladies and Gentlemen, it certainly envisages global interest (including that of the United States of America) and sadly STILL does not qualify to be called a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD).
Time stood still while my urban-soul indulged in a sumptuous dose of massage under the 40-feet waterfall....visualize how ma kneads the flour to make those fluffy chapattis you always relished. My city-bred lungs never got enough of the unadulterated oxygen in abundant supply. And it surely stood no comparison to the maniacal oxygen bars mushrooming in most city centres.
The peace was so overwhelming, I barely ever tried to get out of the trance and the resultant oft-repeated remark from my camper comrades, "you are too aloof", "Is something bothering you?", "attention-seeker". It aches to know that peace comes at a price.
On a exit note, about self-realization-- I always knew I was meant to be a 'jungle-woman'...and I'll give a miss to that "third-eye" talk here. ;-)