MY ONLY TRIP TO A FOREIGN LAND

Travel has always been my favourite thing, regardless of the mode of transportation. I’ve always enjoyed bus rides, but the views I get to see on a train ride make it even more enjoyable. And a car ride gives me the feeling that I’m about to embark on an adventure. Those who know me are probably wondering what I’m on about… Yeah, I couldn’t travel as much as I wanted to because of my health, but I treasured each travel experience in my heart and mind as a memoir.

One of these memoirs was about my trip to North Bengal, and from where I visited the only foreign country in my life.

Kamakhyaguri was home to a school run by the organisation I was working for in Kolkata. In most cases, people confuse this name with either Kamakhya Nagar in Odisha or Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam. But it is a tiny settlement in North Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district.

The 18-hour trip to Kamakhyaguri was always both exhausting and enjoyable. The main draw for passengers in trains passing through those places was the hawkers selling cheap electronic goods from Nepal and Bhutan. But they also won’t let you close your eyes for even a second during the entire trip. On that trip, the yelling of a hawker selling sarees woke me up from sleep at around three in the morning. I shouted at him asking, “At three in the morning, who will purchase your sarees? Don’t you see that everyone is asleep?” But he walked past my berth as nonchalantly as he could. 

After lunch, we rested because the train ride had been exhausting. I later became busy with the task for which we had travelled there. On the third and final day of our stay, my colleague, the school’s principal, organised a trip to Jaigaon to witness the tea gardens. We were ecstatic. Around eleven in the morning, we all piled into his car and decided we will have lunch there.

The lush tea gardens stole my heart as we got closer to Jaigaon. In my entire life, I had never seen such a breathtaking sight. Even when Jaigaon’s roads were terrible, the surrounding greenery made me forget about them.

Then came the biggest surprise. My colleague and the guide of the trip announced that we will enter Bhutan soon, crossing the border.

What? You mean, India and Bhutan border, seriously?” I couldn’t believe my ears. He smiled and nodded.

What about the visa? I don’t have one, will they allow us in?” That was my next question to him.  Then he explained how the people of both countries are allowed in each other’s territory to a certain extent without any visa as there’s always been peace between these two countries from the beginning.

That would be my first foreign trip, then?” I asked joyously. He answered in the affirmative.

We soon passed through the gate separating Bhutan and India. The stark contrast between the regions on either side of the gate amazed me. Despite the fact that India is much more developed than Bhutan in every way, Phuentsholing, was much more beautiful and clean than Jaigaon.

We entered Bhutan, parked in the market area, and I recall purchasing two cups as a memento of our visit to Phuentsholing. After eating Momo, a dish from Nepal, for lunch, we drove inside to do some sightseeing. Before heading back, we paused at the main checkpoint to explore that region of Bhutan.

The experience was a beautiful one and a special one too for me because that was the only time I stepped out of India to a foreign country in my life. 

LESSONS FROM BIRDS

They’re not bothered
by the chaos and dangers all around them.
As the fearless rangers
They’re known for living within their ‘joyous frame’.

Neither they lack enthusiasm
while they fly high in the blue skies,
Nor do they lack the zeal or passion
to feed their little ones while listening to their hungry cries.

They teach us to be carefree and passionate
amid life’s troubles and worries.
They impart the lesson of happiness
which even the smallest thing carries.

WHY DO WE FEEL BORED?

Things have changed a lot in one year or so. Sometimes I wonder whether I am progressing or getting distracted by many things around me. I feel like doing so many things but I forget to ask myself a question, “are all things beneficial for me“. If at all they are beneficial in my life, I am failing somewhere or unable to prioritise them. For example – Candles Online; it is my baby. I gave birth to it, and I brought it up to some extent but I am leaving its hands like an irresponsible parent ignoring his/her teen. A question comes to my mind, “where’s Candles Online on my priority list?”

Lack of Focus:

This year, 2023 began on a very dull note for me. Everywhere, wherever I have a profile on the internet, the concluding line is, “right now I am mainly concentrating on writing books“. But it’s the fifth day of February and I haven’t published even a single book yet.

Boredom is a psychological condition that reflects a real-life situation in which we are not engaged by the activity we are performing or by the environment that surrounds us. When we feel bored, the time usually passes slowly and we have a hard time staying focused.

I quoted this statement from an article “The Psychology of Boredom” by Simone Redaelli on one of my favourite sites – Psychology Today. I was happy to know Mr Simone thinks exactly how I thought about my feeling. When I have my priorities set and I am focused on achieving something special, then I am sure I won’t be bored. So lack of focus is one of the reasons behind boredom.

Lack of Motivation:

What motivates us mostly? Praise from family and friends, applause, popularity, productivity and financial benefits are the factors that motivate us. Without these even if we have a vision or goal to achieve we feel bored in the middle of our journey.

I and a few of my friends authored a couple of books individually. We were ecstatic when we published. We sent shout-outs, shared the links to our books frantically and spent money on promotions as well. We received the tag, “Published Author” and applause from friends, family members etc., but as time passes we felt demotivated. At least, I did feel that way. Our books hardly gave us anything in regard to any financial benefits. I consider this to be the second reason for my boredom.

Lack of End-Results:

I usually don’t worry about how much money I received or earn if I am getting good feedback about what I am doing or producing for the people around me. I was delighted when my books were read by many and a few started giving their feedback without even asking them. But there were people, the loved ones, who didn’t even read the full book even if they bought it or got it from me. Forget about my book getting a bestseller tag, which I am not expecting. But what I have been expecting is feedback on Amazon or in person from the people who own a book written by me. And this end result of my published book utterly disappointed me and I am bored.

Did I say, I am dwelling in my boredom? Not at all. I have overcome it and have started my war against it. But how did I do that? Maybe next Sunday, I will share it with you all.

Stay Blessed!

SPELLING OF LOVE

The flares of your seething rage when I fail to take a stand for myself spells love for me.

The Innocent faults you make to weave perfection in mundane activities spell love for me. 

The indifference you show towards my imperfections that make me queer spells love for me.

The calm and smile that you don as you fiercely weed out problems from my way spells love for me. 

The wary that veils your face at the slightest hint of discomfort tapping at my door spells love for me.

The way you cajole me to spread my wings against the winds of uncertainty spells love for me.

The comfort of your embrace that soothes the pain which had my soul and body wriggling spells love for me.

The happiness adorning your eyes as I succeed in conquering my fears spells love for me.

The lies that you never let respire between us as you always nurtured truth spells love for me.

The twinkle in your eyes as my name marks its presence on your lips spells love for me.

The warmth of the teacup slid through my fingers as sickness knocked me down spells love for me.

The detour to the memory lane that you zealously participate in every time with me spells love for me.

The stains of my tears on your sleeves that you have wiped off forever spell love for me.

The secrets of my worst self and darkest past that I confided in you spells love for me. 

The careless laugh on my face that you only are privy to in this world full of formalities spells love for me.

The way your perfections complement my imperfections and complete me spells love for me.

The nature of this union where my unspoken words are understood as I sigh spells love for me.

The fact that we are maturing together spells love for me.