Posts tagged ‘on the road’

Fly me away / Fly me home*

Daily prompt:  Share a story about the furthest you’ve ever traveled from home.


A 22 year old who had never before travelled long distance without her family, stepped on to foreign soil. She parted company with her travelling colleagues – they had made the international flight together and bonded despite just having met at the departing airport; bonded in the way only those can who know they are about to spend the next 22 odd hours travelling and that to do so without any company at all would be utterly lonely. Now their ways separated, each on to his or her own domestic leg of the journey, some to the hinterland in a straight flight, some via a hop to another city. She had a hop, and a skip as well. Two breaks before she reached a city that was to house her for the next 2 months. Home was behind, what was ahead was a new place, both exciting in its possibilities and terrifying in its unknownness.

She bid farewell to her fellow travellers, saw them off on their flights and waited for her connection. Sitting, observing, seeing fellow travellers, fellow countrymen, foreigners; nay they were the localites now and she was the foreigner. And then she boarded her flight, and realized that it contained not one of her numerous,omnipresent countrymen. All around her were  white/pink faces, the loud tones and cadences of Americans, the accents totally strange to her, the flight announcements in an English almost undecipherable. And she suddenly realised exactly how far she had travelled from home, how far she had left everything familiar, how unknown to her all these people were.

Since then she has visited a few more countries, a few more places, with or without friends and family, but has never felt as far from home as she did on that very first flight alone.

* The airlines she flew on on that trip had baggage tags which said ‘Fly me away’ or ‘Fly me home’. Hers said ‘Fly me away’.

These Boots Were Made for Walking

Shall I tell you about the warm, fur lined boots I wore in winters few? They were nice and comfy and picked up cheap to face my first snow, but I couldn’t walk comfortably in them. They sure saw a lot of the wall behind the shoe closet. Or shall I tell you about the casual slipons I picked up for even cheaper, but who stayed with me miles? They covered a lot of ground, and I with them. Or how about the stilettos I daringly bought, doubting I’d wear them at all, but I did, inspite of the sharp click clack of every step on the uncarpeted office floor? And the shiny golden sparkly low heels, meant to be worn for festivities, picked up because inside every sensible woman resides a little girl who loves all the fancy glitter?

Do you want to hear about the annual pair of functional, no nonsense ‘rainy wear’ that’s a must for every Indian monsoon; it doesn’t throw up mud, you know? And the numerous other non monsoon pairs, utilitarian and plebian? Why? Only because they help a girl run and catch a bus to the places she’s going. Do you want to know about my first pair of adult sneakers, still languishing in a closet somewhere? I never could throw them out; is it because we have memories together, them and me, of traipsing in foreign places, collecting odd dirt and flotsam on the way?

Can I cuss the formal black pair that fell apart on me in a strange country where no one else seemed to wear my shoe size? Oh the superglue that I depended on for long! Or those wonderful looking sandals that turned traitor the moment they came home with me, and gave the worst case of shoe bite in the history of all shoeland? Or those delicate strappy things that always look so good but should come with a warning “Do not walk with these on, you’re sure to break something.”

Or how about we speak of the countless other pairs that are not mine, yet? They lie on the shop shelves, waiting for me to journey with them, to places we have both never been yet.

Written for the daily post’s prompt: These boots were made for walking.


Seen on a board at an Autorickshaw parking place.

“You’re soul responsible for your own vehicle.”

Very, very bad English. Or very, very good philosophy. Take your pick.

An oldish man, sitting on the aisle end of a bus seat. Run down in appearance, with frayed and not very clean clothes. Stooping over, either from sleep, or some illness, or age, or something else entirely. Clutching a dusty big plastic bag on his lap. Oh, and his right arm in a sling underneath his shirt, with just the bandaged hand gaping out to hold the plastic bag.

A definitely old woman, sitting next to him, on the window side of the same seat. Rural in appearance, with a brightly coloured, clean sari worn in the older nauvari(1) style, with padar(2) draped over her head. From appearances, a dragon accustomed to defending her and hers, and of giving life two knocks back if it dared to give her one.

They do not seem to be together.

The man has a tough time hanging on to his bag, which slips and falls down, which he then has difficulty picking up. In the process, he bumps against the dragon, his hand and arm brush against her. The dragon then breathes fire on the presumption of the man, and speaks loudly and nastily on how he can’t hold his seat and deliberately brushes her. The man doesn’t respond, at all. Just picks up his bag and sits quietly, as much as he can.

Much later, someone who accompanies the lady helps her get up from the seat in order to get down at her stop. She is stooping now, and her age is more visible. She slowly walks ahead, a step a minute. The bus driver is impatient. She shuffles, and pauses at the head of the steps. She needs help getting down. An old, shaky hand grabs hers. Provides the support she needs to lean on while getting down the steps. That done, the bus starts and the old man then returns to his seat.

What does this act say about the woman? And the man?

(2)Padar: Loose end of the sari

Car bumper sticker:
“Stay Away.
I work for Fevicol.”

Clever, clever!

Location, location, location

Oh, mumbai. Where else would you find a bench on the road, at the turning of a super busy junction, waiting for all and sundry to bump into it? Even more ironically, such a traffic hazard is used as a resting point by the traffic police manning that junction.

Does the bench keep them safe, or do they keep the bench safe? I wonder.