In a week, waiting for rage and uncertainty to explode. Knowing that now only apprehension of the unknown remains. Understanding that some things and some relationships have changed—irrevocably. Accepting that I have changed—in ways I cannot always describe.
Still later, capturing B's myriad faces and moods at his wedding. Watching him and his bride laugh their way into "stability". Chatting with him afterward like it was any other day. The ease of the day explained by knowing that I was fully a part of my "soul sister's" wedding.
Heart warming text messages finally consolidating the "younger sibling/brat" stigma into an adult equation. Talking and taking in the sunset, in perfect accord, at the Gau Ghat, Pushkar. Concluding a bizarre trip by illegally buying alcohol at the Bombay International Airport.
813 media items on a 2 GB storage card. The Lonely Planet theme music a constant thrum in my head.
All of it liberating, intriguing, and insightful.
A few important lessons - and no great revelations:
- Never travel with someone you're upset with. You'll never want the same things from the trip. Nor will you really want to be there. (Yup, Einstein - that's me.)
- Never use buses you've haven't checked out first. The wet feeling at your feet could be anything—anything!
- Don't believe all the hype about a place. A second person account could be less dissatisfactory than the real thing.
- Never travel with a friend's camera. That way, when you break it, you don't feel worse than pond scum.
- Don't try too many things in a photograph. One or two is usually good enough.
- Always carry your tripod—the winter sun is a gentle but treacherous bastard.
- Always travel with the elder sibling. The ride is very comfortable and free! :-D
- Always talk to a young rickshaw driver. He's much more likely to show you the non-touristy path.
- Travel on your own for at least a while. It's exhilarating to be shorn of expectation when you're exploring.
- Every last cliché written by a famous author about journeying is true. So children, let the journey to come to you. Too much planning is the devil's, a.k.a an MBA, tool.