Tapovan

We slipped in and out of sleep during the 9hr commute to the ashram. Hunger had long given up. Our throats were dry from the dust, lips course from the wind whipping at our faces and hair knotted from a combination of the two. We stopped for food, but the extensive menu had no appeal. We allowed Kailash to order for us, our only input was “spicy.” Our taste buds had enthusiastically adapted to the local cuisine, our craving for chili boarding on an addiction. We could have greater vices I suppose. We washed down the curry and Nan with tea, of course, and chewed fennel seeds as we paid the bill. By our next stop the full moon had risen. Bombay’s city scape of high risers was replaced with a landscape of flat desolate plateaus and vast monoliths rising in the distance. The dust fractured the light and it lent a romantic lens to view our surroundings through. I’ve always felt more comfortable in a wide-open space than a congested one; I could feel my energy shift. We weaved in and out of colourful trucks carrying various loads. Trishaws built for four passengers carried twenty. We sped past vineyards and villages. Our speed approaching 100kms an hour with no seat belts, yet death never felt close, not even when we almost met the semi trailer head on. There’s an understanding among the traffic, an unspoken language. You place your trust in the local driver and in the use of the horn. Hindi music kept us savvy until the tires came to a calm. The indicator flashed left and the car headlights illuminated the front gate, Tapovan. Fairy lights flickered among the trees; excitement still lingered within our fatigue. We succumbed quickly to sleep, but we’d arrived. We’d arrived at Tapovan.