Not dead! Just out of coverage! Hopefully so, even when you read this!


For those who thought that I am dead, well, hi! We need to catch up on so much! I have been on the Kanyakumari to Kashmir quest for a month and 8 days, now! Brace your filter coffee, sit snug because I am going to talk a lot today! Good!

I happen to meet this soul in the speck of a village in Karnataka, called Agumbe. The little stream was melting in the warmth of the sun. And before I go all poetic about how beautiful it was, let me save that for another day, another coffee.

Well, here’s what happened: My Agumbe host and I had our feet dipped in water. We are at the stream to meet a Kannad poet, called Raghuvendra. He heroically pops out of the buzz of hens and cattle, rising from his little mud house, which reminds of Malgudi days.  Raghvendra stood at the edge of a rock. Shirt buttoned and sleeves unrolled. The sun rose right behind him. Smiling towards us, he walks closer.

Pause the narrative: I need to tell you that I don’t speak Kannada. But thankfully language has not been a barrier. My Agumbe host, Shashank, does all the translation work. Quite wonderfully so (just in case, he ends up reading this). We sat on either sides of Shashank, so that he could break the barrier of language for us.

Raghuvendra gently cups my hand while Shashank, fills him up with my Kanyakumari to Kashmir quest. Raghuvendra smiles, wider.

He softly starts saying something, after the handshake. Here is what it roughly translates to:

Once upon a time kid, on a parched summer afternoon, a group of friends rushed to  the stream. All of them wanted to take a dip. But they couldn’t. The water was as crazy cold, as hot the day. Well, they simply sat next to the stream. Doing nothing.

One man, after much contemplation from the group, decided to take a plunge. So he did. He came rocketing out, immediately. Ungainly! The water too cold. But, now he wanted to jump again, so he did! This time, it was soothing. He spent hours in the floating respite. This time when he came out of the stream, all his folks starting touching him.  Touching the water. With much shock, he asked them, “why are you touching me?” With much relief they answered, “by touching you, we are touching the experience of being in the water.”

Raghuvendra resumes, that by touching my hand, he is touching all the souls of places and people that I have met in my journey so far. He is living all the experiences that I have lived so far! Just like the folks in the group, on a hot summer day, were touching the man who took a plunge in the water.

That on just a simple act of handshake, imagine what a magical soul he is! Raghuvendra’s thoughts know nothing about the prison of body or the physical challenges he has. Had there been a word for the moment when the rising sun, touches a leaf and makes it glow with life, I would call Raghuvendra that.

Three of us sat there by the stream, for hours. Talking about everything and nothing. As I proceed in this journey, where every day emerges at the brink of a new adventure, I could tell you that magic is real. I could tell you that India is magical.

I am so glad that you are reading this. If I am able to share even a figment of magic with you, I’d feel the happiest! Thank you so much for walking in this journey with me! It really means a lot! ❤



20 thoughts on “Not dead! Just out of coverage! Hopefully so, even when you read this!

  1. I’ve spent a lot of time with Shashank at Hingaara and Agumbe has always been a kind of second home for me. And I can attest to how wonderful he is as a host and as a friend. So thank you so much for transporting me so vividly to one of my favorite places in the country. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad you could understand that! I have been thinking about it for quite a while now. The world of building a fancy home and driving an expensive car, is slowly drifting away. There is such lightness of being! 🙂 Wonder if I am still making sense!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are!
        As long as you are happy with what you get, it’s all good, Ambica! But we all pass through phases. What looks tempting today may cease to be so tomorrow! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have often wondered why we do it Ambika. Uproot ourselves, I mean. Why we feel the need to travel and wander into strange soil. Why we can’t leave things alone. It must be the world calling to us. After all, they say it had been one giant continent once. Maybe this is why we feel drawn to each other, to the lands we cannot see. We think of new places as opportunities to build new lives, but all are we’re really doing is trying to find our way back. I’m glad that you are enjoying this epic experience. I was a tad disappointed to see your insta pics, not that they weren’t stunningly beautiful, but I felt they didn’t relate to the journey that you had so far (I may be wrong). Looks like you have answered my prayer through this post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing the magic 🙏 with us Ambika, and so interesting how this beautiful man’s perception of himself, the water and sharing ‘it’s touch’ with you , shows how all interconnected we all are. I’m about to go to work, here in south San Francisco, but your travel log, gives me a bit of inspiration, Ja! Ne 😺


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s