Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Virtually Real

“Been forced to visit a village! L Miss u already Delhi!” I posted from the train to Rajasthan where I had to go to attend a cousin’s 25th marriage anniversary celebrations  in the ‘remotest possible’ village. After de-boarding the train at Madhopur station, I raised my hand to hail for a cab to my destination Khandar (which literally mean ruins!) but was smugly directed by a local, in a bright red dress with a lit beedi between his fingers, to a bus they call Dabba (box) for the reasons I discovered right after getting on it.
Pounds of dust in lungs, choked nose, 5000 bumps and half a mile walk later, I finally reached the place. It was a small house (concrete! phew!) at the foot of a hill range. There was a huge wrecked old fort on the hilltop sneaking through the mist; and the place, to my surprise, was indeed spectacular. I pulled out my phone to post its pictures and had a minor heart attack to see no signal and internet coverage. The instant thought was to go back but got haunted by the memories of the dabba. So, I searched for a bed, buried my face into the pillow and died there.

The next morning, I saw my sister standing with an earthen pot, a toothbrush and my shoes in her hands at 4.30 am! She told me to hurry up, as we are going to trek up the hill. I felt completely baffled -to astonished- to excited, all in a couple of minutes but somehow managed to pull myself out of the bed, and before I could realize we were all set for our ‘little picnic’.
The hill wasn't too steep and without any harness or anything we were at the fort within 3 hours to see the rising sun. I was craving to tweet some pictures when a cold breeze slapped me out of my virtual world. The birds’ chirping scooped out the entire city’s noise out of my mind. And of course, the floating clouds over the plush greens and hills were way better than my quiescent life on jammed roads. For that moment I was the queen of the fort who addressed the village, her village with open arms, high head and closed eyes.  For the first time I was in no hustle to click a perfect profile picture; I just stood there, breathing, alive, gaping at the real yet so virtual world. There at the fort, my cousin and her husband repeated their vows and got married again; and I, I was born again and this time in a real world.

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