Ferry tale

*le me, in the midst of a sound sleep
*Knock, Knock..!
*Opens door

“Dude, what’s wrong with you? Lost track of time, eh? We are late already, and look at you… you look like a drunk swine.”

I kinda got back to my senses. Darn me! We were supposed to be in the bus by then. Its 7 a.m. and I was still not completely awake, let alone, getting dressed. But hey, we are engineers, studying in a residential college. You can wake up at 8:25 a.m. and still reach the class by 8:30 a.m, dressed up.
“Wait up. I’ll be ready in five.”
7:15 a.m., and I’m running towards the bus already, with Jai rushing behind me. Trust me, to be the last one getting aboard, late by almost half an hour, to be greeted by sneering faces from your friends who have given up on expecting you to be on time, you feel like you’re on the verge of having your worst morning.
“You seriously need to see a shrink. For once in your life, don’t get late for something, at least not for a picnic”, Jai yelled at me.

We started off, the mist on the windows slowly dying and the fog around fading.

It was almost 3 hours later, that we reached her. She is called Mukutmanipur, in the district of Bankura, West Bengal. Having the second biggest earth dam of India, she is a picturesque beauty. As I got down the bus, hardly did I know that this day was going to be more than just an excursion, an adventure.

Well, what we’re talking about here is the reservoir of this famed dam. There are about at least 10 islands at this place and ferry-rides is how you can visit them. I, for one, love ferry rides more than anything. About 20 of us, booked a ferry and started off to a certain island called the Deer Park Island. Not many deer, hardly three could be spotted. It is like that these days, the deer find worse predators in humans than lions and tigers. However, besides all the hullabaloo about the deer park here, what intrigued me the most was the blend of gardens and barren lands. While most of the island was barren, and sand was all you could see, there were tiny tracts of land which had those little yellow flowers, of mustard. I remember seeing them first in DDLJ, where Rahul and Simran run endlessly towards each other, and somewhere near forever, they end up hugging each other tightly. I didn’t get the cliche then, but these flowers are lovely. They have this vibe about them where you feel radiant. The garden wasn’t spread long, but was amusing enough. It was one of those moments when bees did not freak me out.
Here comes the best part, our visit to the Never-go-island.
We were supposed to get back to the place where our bus halted, by lunch time. Would we get back? Uhmmn, you tell me. There are atleast three islands in your sight, and one of them is elegantly placed between the other two. It looks uninhabited and there’s a lot of foliage centrally on the island and the rest barren with rocks. It was more like a Mohawk with the hair dyed green. That’s one reason why I also call it the Mohawk Island. This was a very small island and our ferryman refused to take us there. We had to try real hard to convince him. In the island, there was a pile of rocks and we raced our way to the top of it. That view, believe me, I could die for.

A wide expanse of blue,
above and below.
And there I stand, without a clue,
as to why tides get high and low.
Yet, this much I know:
Far beyond lies our horizon,
and in between, lies an ocean.

We carved on the rocks there: “NIT DGP o’14-o’18 WAS HERE!”
For that little while we stayed, where in our sight were nobody besides us, where we had a sense of belonging to this place, where we could call it our own, isn’t that something you could treasure all your life? I was in the ecstasies of mirth, needless to say. And then, I did a crazy thing, something I’ve always dreamt of. Took a piece of paper, penned down a verse or two, rolled the paper, and dropped into a bottle. We bid our last kisses to this island, our island. On our way back, while in the middle of water, I threw that bottle into the water, far away from us. Who knows! Someday, after endless drifting, the bottle might find a shore, and the verse might find a reader. Along with the verse, went my contact no. saying “If you read this, please call me!” Maybe, years later, when I totally forget that I did something like this, when the verse I wrote slips into oblivion, I might get a call, and I might walk down to this day again. You never know the surprises life has to offer. The best part is that you don’t see them coming.

So far, so good. While on our way back, the water got turbulent, like real turbulent. ‘Typhoon-type’ would be a hyperbole, but ‘the usual’ would be an understatement. The boat was swinging violently, and there were just the twenty of us besides the ferryman. The latter stayed mum, and most of us were too scared to talk anything. I, for one, thought it wouldn’t be worse as we’re in no sea, but a reservoir. Besides, I did not mind what happened next. It was one of those moments of Deja vu. The turbulence lasted for a major part of our retreat. It wasn’t until all of us stepped out of the boat that we realised what just happened.
That and lunch, followed by a short walk along the shore, and we were back in the bus. Most of us were too tired. I was in no mood to sleep. The day was still in Replay-mode inside me.
Mustard flowers and the beautiful sight of them, the Mohawk Island, carving our names, my Bottled-up-feelings <pun intended>the turbulence inside and outside the ferry (obviously the former followed the latter) and the day as a whole, I can never forget it.

Enough of the day, here’s the epiphany:

There shall be at least one person in your life whom you think knows everything about you, one who you wouldn’t mind talking about anything and everything, one whom you feel one with. But, there’s always a part so pristine in you that surfaces at moments like these, when you are all by your self, and the silence inside you is resonating with the silence outside, when you don’t mind what happens next, and all that matters is YOU living that moment fully. Never lose a chance to live that moment. It is this part of you that was excavated from its depths, its the YOU that never sounded more than a whisper, its the YOU that was pristine, untouched, just like the moment you witnessed.

I had one such moment in the Never-go-Island, at the top of the rock-pile. Watch out for yours!

Good luck, folks.

Signing off,
The excavated part of ME!



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