Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The New Life

Had not written anything for a few months now. Not because I was not provoked. I was. But then, I had ceased to be a freelancer. Having agreed to take up a job with a media organisation, operating in all the four areas of mass media – TV, Radio, Print and Internet – I had to vent my feelings only in one of those belonging to the group. I think I did that on a few occasions on the TV channel.

I am no longer there and hence decided to return to blogosphere. And all the more because I am also far away from what is otherwise known as the mainland. I have now moved to the hills in Sikkim and have also taken up a job that I love most. I am a teacher again. The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Sikkim University is where I teach and the first few days has been fun as much as learning. From Chennai, where it is hot, hotter and hottest, Santha and me are now in a place where it is cold, colder and coldest. It has been cold as it is in the past five days we have been here and we expect the colder and coldest weeks some months from now.

We did look forward to this shift. I was beginning to feel the discomfort of life in a city. Driving was a pain most often. In any case, it was a feeling of loneliness in the middle of so many people. Barring just a couple of them in Chennai, my friends were in far-away places in any case. Santha too felt the same way and the idea of moving out to Sikkim and teach in a university sounded great. So we have moved. And this is why I decided to write again.

The hills fascinated me first when we went to McLeodganj in May 2009. That was our destination after Delhi (where we took Chinku around to see the Teen Murti Bhawan, The Red Fort and Tees January Marg) and Amritsar (to be there at the Golden Temple and the Jallianwalah Bagh) which we enjoyed. Yes we also ended up spending some time at the Wagah Border and understood that Jingoism and Teflon Patriotism similar expressions. If that was jarring, McLeodganj was heaven. I saw the snow clad peaks from the lawns of the lodge where we spend the last four days of our holiday and that was when I had fallen in love with the mountains. Well, I had visited Gangtok and Darjeeling earlier in 1990; but I was not grown up enough to make sense of the mountains then!!!

We went to the hills again in May 2010. That was an experience about which I have written about here. And I was planning a trip to Uttarakhand this May and had even mobilised some others; the plan was to walk up from Uttarkashi to Gaumukh, in five or six days. That is not happening this year. We are now in another part of the mighty Himalayas. Like the Ocean, which has fascinated me, the mountains too make me feel humble. The mighty seas and the tall mountains make me feel small and humble. I am sure living in the hills will ensure this feeling in me for all the times to come.

We should soon go to NathuLa. We will also explore the various other tracks in Sikkim and then go to Bhutan and also to Darjeeling. We will be going to Rumtek soon; just waiting for our Bolero to reach here. And hope to write more about the places, the people and their lives as we see it and also our own life here in this beautiful place. I may write less and less of politics from now...

I must confess... I borrowed the title to this entry from Orhan Pamuk. Yes. I think he is remarkable.