Guidance: Ways to grow, Himachal Pradesh, On The Road, Oral Stories from Rural India, Road Journals, The Great Himalayan Road Journey to Baltistan
Comments 48

The Road will Tell you- III

It rains as i write this, mad heart, be brave.

Continuation from Call of the Now and Life and Nothing More, for the Great Himalayan Teachers Reunion.

After the longest day on the road, rewinding the moments from behind the steering wheel I for a moment realised how life is so much like driving! And driving a car is not so much different from driving a body, as a medium, tool to achieve our means. If we know where we have to go then even without using any GPS or stopping many a times to ask we reach our destination, straight and fast without taking any extra time. Like knowing what to do in life; how to do it, which road to take, when to put brakes, when to accelerate or overtake from a slow moving vehicle aka friends; a road will tell you. When to give body or car a rest, a refreshing wash are some similarities that feel like life and can even show a larger picture if one tries to see from above. To not ever get stuck, and even if one does- to ask for help because if you know where your home is it will then never matter how long a red light will take to go green or how many speed breakers come, nothing will really matter because you know this is the way.

Trust, the road will tell you.

Yes, one thing is that every car comes with a manual unlike a body and hence unless we cross over, expand what we think our strengths are, we will never be able to know what our real limitations can be. For as body is not really a car, it can be worked hard with, it can be moulded, it can be updated to its best version inside out, it can be pushed to the edge, but not Omni. And after all it can be tuned to learn and understand the intricate ways of nature. Yet after a certain time, not all bodies like all cars can run on bad roads, or even cross puddles or through engine drowning water. May be Omni still can because it is not just a car but a saint amongst cars. It is lean like a yogi’s body, it can carry as much weight as you can load, and give how much ever speed you want to give it, and it still will go at its own pace.

As the sun that day sat quietly leaving behind his magic light like amber over a mountain, we started driving towards Srinagar, Kashmir.


It was not so late in the evening when we had started but it had gotten strangely dark. And Darker it felt due to the density of trees, as the wind seemed to carry all forest within it. The more we saw, even more we heard, that dusk had fallen out of the mouths of night insects. There was no light on the road, and even no body. We drove slowly without any windows, enjoying the breeze, the sound of the crickets that was coming like shamans far and buzzing just outside our eardrums like thousand temple bells at once. As we moved consciously drinking this magic, looking locking this forever, a man walked right upto the front of the car; started beating the bonnet, the front window, forcing us to stop, his eyes red with blood looking straight in mine and Yagya’s and kept yelling out this one three word line, “who am i.. Who am I .. who am I .. who am I .. who am I .. main kaun hun.. main kaun hun.. who am i… and he kept screaming like a tape recorder gone wrong, repeating it ceaselessly, not to actually know or hear anyone say it for him or get any answer back but he just held the bonnet of the car, we tried moving past him but he was not letting the car go.

It was Yagya who was driving and it made him mad; Kiran his wife at the back was out of breath for a moment as it was unexplainable what was going on. It suddenly felt like a bad trip. On a mountain road in the middle of a forest with no soul or light to show us the way, this person was literally trying to come under the vehicle, Yagya tried to deceive him, stopping, tried speeding up from the sides but he was glued right up to the engine screaming the only line, who am i.. who am i.. who am i..


Something like this can only happen when you have at last fallen, demoted from the life of reason, logic and seeking. When there is no ground to stand upon anymore, rather you are continuously falling, in a bottomless pit. Suddenly Yagya stopped the car, asked me to come to the driving seat. He went out and tried forcefully pushing him away, i tried going ahead but he resisted making it a point to not let the car go while yelling out loud. Yagya after pulling him to one side, tried pushing him away telling me to run, run, run, but the guy caught hold of Yagya’s ankle as he sat on the back seat and caught the door with other hand. The door could not be closed as I tried speeding up but he did not leave, his legs were almost half in the air for a few seconds. I had to stop again, Yagya got down, held his hand and started walking in front of the car this time like pulling a calf, I was driving, focused and ready to run away the moment we can but there was no way, the man really wanted either to get hit or wanted to come under the vehicle, he was really, helplessly gone mad. It went on for 7-10 minutes may be more when we saw few men standing around a dimly lit shop. I stopped the car there and got down to help Yagya get away from him when I asked those people to help us. “O, he is mad, he is just like this. He tries to stop each car and says the same thing over and over, its been many months now he roams here only. Who is he? I asked the guy as other men got hold of him, he told me that this guy used to be very angry, used to drink a lot and beat people up on this road only, few months ago during a procession of a local deity, he kicked the deity and the drummer that walked in front of it, and threw the drum from the mountain, since that day he is out, god knows what he eats, where he goes, please you can go from here.

We left hurriedly thanking the people, but this incident took me by surprise, and got itched in my memory, and more so the consequence of what can happen if you treat others with contempt and hatred, for him it must be his ego, his anger that took him away from life. It is uncalled for, taking pride by belittling others. We left that place immediately for our journey forward as the road was long, and i in no way wanted Rasool to wait for another day.

: ँ :

If you have anything to say, like to share your story or ever feel like saying a hello, please write to me at narayankaudinya@gmail.com

To follow other ethnographical and short excerpts of stories from rural India, find me at narxtara and Road to Nara

by

Hi, I am Narayan Kaudinya. And i welcome you on this journey, the Road to Nara ! I am an Ethnographer and a practicing Indologist. I did my masters in History and further learnt Sanskrit, Yoga and Nerve-therapy. At 24, pushing most academic sounding, office sitting works away, i felt compelled to know and understand the world and my country, Bharat/India. I travelled, and as it happened i took up teaching in Kashmir and further up in the remote villages of Baltistan in the foothills of Karakoram Ranges. For around three years and many states later there came a time when i felt that it was only while teaching i learnt how to laugh, to see, feel, breathe, love and cry -with children, and mostly resource-less parents in the harshest-freezing border conditions. I write, and work as a documentary photographer and Filmmaker, with numerous published, exhibited and some awarded stories. In my travels and life i have let nature lead me, the divine mother, and as a Yogin, my resolve here is to share my experiences and thoughts as honestly, and through them to blossom in everyone the power and possibility in pursuing your breath, that you seek your true nature with courage and curiosity. Here, on this road i will share my spirit, my love for nature, the elements of life that are us. And in doing so, i'll be happy to see you along.

48 Comments

  1. What a frightening experience to meet that shouting man, I felt sorry for him, locked in such madness, but at least you found out who he was and it sounds like he never cared about anyone else.

    Liked by 2 people

    • haha, Janet yes. for a moment it was but soon we learnt he is trapped in his own world and actually not here to harm. And yes it was a respite to find the end and also the thread to why it might happen to him or anyone.

      Thank you so much for writing Janet.
      Nara x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says

    This highly anticipated third part is full of drama, and such original descriptions that you know the author is the greatest writer in India, destined for wide world recognition,
    “dusk falling out of insects mouth” is one, and there are many more. The philosophical observations about many subjects want you to read it many times as it will alter your perspective on life. An author that is influential should be praised and admired because
    this is what India desperately needs now. The stunning photos were taken by the author and
    greatly add to the quality of this masterpiece of writing.

    Liked by 3 people

    • This is mind filling review of the post. It is true that this incident showed me some truth, allowed me to peek inside the world of Karma and of why and how. Thank you so much for writing as it is only you see through what might be invisible to others. I am out of words and only try to keep up somehow to your high expectations.

      Thank you so much dearest Joanna.
      Yours, Nara x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Namaskar Narayan ji 🙏
    This part is very interesting. In the beginning you have related the car and the body. Where it relates and where not, that is most beautiful. This body updates, can be upgraded, can be tuned. Marvelous.
    Secondly, you have described the mad man and his mischievous deeds is horrific.
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience 😊🙏

    Like

  4. Anonymous says

    I don’t know how I ended namelessly, it had to be that purple figurehead I need to change pronto,
    I review books because by profession I am a book critic, and this writer is already world-class, heading for the highest recognition.

    Joanna.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rosa, yes it was frightening to start with. But learnt about his harmlessness sooner. It came as a message to dear Rosa, clear as crystal to how not let ego go to your head and actually not just him, i now have ample proof and understanding how it works.

      Also probably it is only grace that takes you through anywhere, we are just enacting, that is how i feel.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Well, i think he is not even letting the help happen to him. The identity is so much ingrained and even in it he cannot surrender to his present self. With time may be help may come, but it still felt some time away.

      Thank you for writing, actually. It think its really long after i read from you. Really happy. Thanks much.

      Nara x

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was frightening for a while Anne for sure but soon we learnt about the man’s harmlessness, Though it allowed me to see, and learn from this experience. Knowing about his past helped.

      Thanks for Writing Anne, enjoying and waiting for your post on events unfolding at the Olympics.

      Nara x

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Thanks for sharing your very interesting experiences, Narayan. Looking forward to the next installment!

    Your journey brings back wonderful memories of our trip to Ladakh, including the Nubra valley over Khardung La, many years ago. These beautiful, wild, alien places carve out a space in your heart and mind and remain there forever.

    Like

    • Thank you for writing this. It was a strange experience, at least this and was uncertain to even share as the third part here, but it did give a certain learning and somewhere was there at the back of my mind.

      So lovely to know you have been to the highest, harshest lands. Completely these far lands work as a symphony long after seeing them.

      Thank you again
      Narayan x

      Like

  6. I was enjoying the wonderfully descriptive beginning of this episode when suddenly madness intervened! Although all was well in the end the incident has left its mark! Simply not knowing, not understanding can sometimes be frightening. Another lesson about living. 🙋‍♂️

    Like

    • Dearest Ashley. Thank you for writing. This madness was something else for me too. Frightening to start with but certainly his harmlessness was learnt soon upon.

      To tell you even I for once thought if I should include this episode as a followup of the journey, but somewhere it pulled me to feel it was important to share.

      But certainly Ashley, it was a lesson in karma, seen, known, learnt well.

      Thanks a lot
      Nara x

      Like

  7. Michael Graeme says

    As always, enjoyed your writing very much, Nara. Hard to know what to do in a situation like that, a struggle to find compassion for one so clearly lost and deserving of one’s pity, when there is also the threat of violence to one’s self. You handled it well. I look forward to reading more of your journey.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Michael for your affirmation, as i was not certain to include this incident initially but went against it, thinking what happened was somewhere important and more so after i learnt what happened to the man- his history. I found a photograph of this man, of the incident and updated it now.

      Coming story is important as it is from Kashmir and a very special man, thank you really for being around Michael.

      Nara x

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Your words weave an inner web that one can reflect upon carefully, like a slow dissolving thing.. grateful to read it!
    The metaphor of the car & body, followed by the “mad”man standing before the road – seems to drive home that although we work to refine our individuated bodies and our “drive”, ultimately we all drive one another home on this road of being.. Wishes for your safe travel and wishes for that mans unraveling into his greater journey. Xx
    Meesh

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Narayan,

    I am reading this long time after you wrote partly because I was away from WP but also because I waited till i had enough time at hand to savor you post, slowly…

    I rode along with you into that dusk and into that dark forest, was scared and sorry for that demented man and was relieved to be able to move on further. Your writing has a picturesque dimension which I cannot explain, and those lovely photographs only show what your words already have.

    I am fascinated by your journey, and enamored of your philosophical view of the journey and the car which carried you through so well. I have travelled plenty on better and more populated roads in the lower Himalayas, and the Omni rules those roads, with its moody presence. A vehicle which makes you ride like it wants, not like you want. A true Yogi!

    Like

    • Dearest Deb your absence is easily known and feels as much.

      Quiet recently i was reading one of your horror essays of the hostel you described and i was taken to a time that must be remembered fondly. The empty campus with enormous ground to walk, horizons to see there must be thousand and one stories of that time. And that too in the extreme east of India. Hope you are doing great, travelling anywhere ?

      Yes, for one i love driving or riding, omni now has a special place because of this journey actually. And so right you completely know that it is this car which controls you more than you having control of it.

      Like

  10. A fascinating post which I completely identified with, having done some amount of road travel like many others( every time a new discovery ) in the past. I read about the deranged man with sadness. Mental illness can be a very lonely journey. Your narrative was so evocative, stayed engrossed till the end. Thanks for it.

    Liked by 1 person

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