I found the road by mistake. I decided to go out for a brief drive on Sunday morning and suddenly found myself itching for some more alone time, driving on NH-66. I had intended to explore a spice garden I had heard good things about.
Terrain less explored
I sure am lucky to be living in a small town on the Konkan coast of India. A terrain less explored, the district of Uttar Karnataka is lush green, with hills and valleys on one side and the lashing waves of the Arabian Sea on the other. I live inside a beautiful Cantonment, with neatly laid out roads and scenic beauty, which opens out in front of my eyes every single day. I am spoiled indeed now and, can never really settle down in a crowded metro again.
So I drove…and drove, down the national highway, onto rural routes that twisted and bent through forests of Karnataka- for no other reason than that I had an urge to go on. I was on my own, wrapped in solitude, lost in thought, when I missed that crucial turn, finding myself at the head of a blocked-off road. A “kachcha rasta” lay ahead, and beyond it lay a blue stretch of sea, winding and unblemished. I sat still for a few minutes wondering if I must go ahead and just take one little peak of the sea. As I accelerated, the car growled through the muddy road at every arc, and the sun cast a high-speed flicker of shadows from behind the bare trees. It was fun, exhilarating and when I hit the end of the road, the feeling that I got was truly a new high. I wasn’t ready for the adventure to be over.
This is the marvelous thing about driving. You could head off to anyplace, find a diversion and explore.
I seek neither a private racetrack nor a plush vehicle
Yet I am drawn to the road. Many a times a simple cycle does the magic. Whether it is a quick lap around the neighborhood, or out onto the highway away from the maddening crowds, it untangles my mind. A spontaneous hour long trip to “no-where’s land” could get me contemplating over life’s great mysteries.
My car has become my therapist. I play a good playlist and hum away the blues. I just don’t feel like stopping the vehicle until I feel better. I drive, I think, I imagine….What attracts me the most, is being alone in the car and going places, seldom planned for. My drive on NH 66 was hardly the Arabian coast highway. Yet, I found it exciting and invigorating.
A drive is often my meaningful short escape. What’s yours?