Sunday, June 6, 2010

Big Sur Monologue

There was high alert of earthquake and tsunami across the Pacific. The sea by the Highway 1 was more violent than usual. The ocean was constantly striking the rocky cliff, which is standing high along the shoreline. Their struggle was making any known human struggle insignificant. It was like two gigantic beast were wrestling; fighting for existence and giving shape to each other. It was just senseless insanity. But it also reminds that, in essence, the nature of all creations; the nature of any existence is the same. Struggle is inevitable. Its the reason behind the way we are. Its the reason behind every  inch of our perfection.

Eight of us were driving along the shoreline in search of solitude. Solitude from human existence; Solitude from all struggle. The pacific seemed to show no mercy on us. We headed towards east and drove through the wilderness of Big Sur. The six cylinder engines of our two BMW were roaring, flexing their muscles and  tearing down the sanctity of the silence. After beating every winding turn of  the hilly stretch we reached the foothill of the Ventena Wilderness. And soon after, as the engine stopped, the impenetrable mist along with its silence wrapped us around from all sides.

My backpack was little too heavy for me. I wanted to make myself believe that this is the heaviest thing that I have ever carried in my life. But then I thought of the family I've left behind, thousands of miles away on the other half of the globe; I thought about the relationships I've left behind to race after the so called better standard of life;  and I realized that the burden of separation is the heaviest weight that man can ever carry on his back.

It was the drop of rain that made me realize that we have already started walking on the trail. Few minutes later the only sound we could hear is the sound of insistent rain fall. I had never let myself soaked in the rain this much before; Neither I had let my shoes sunk in the mud so carelessly. But it was not worth fighting . The insolent rain was too much of an opponent to fight. We were walking along a small creek which was flowing through the slope of the hill, taking all the short cuts; too certain of its destination. On the other hand our trail was winding; climbing ups and down like a sinusoidal curve. As if it wanted to challenge all our motivation and determination. I was feeling foolish and satisfied by the adventure at the same time. But it was that pain on my legs that brought me back in reality. My legs were trembling and giving all the signs of betrayal. But when I looked at the faces of my fellow backpackers, I couldn't discover any trace of struggle. So I kept walking  ignoring the protest of my legs. And I kept walking until I forget about the pain. And here is the kicker...As soon as you ignore the existence of is all good...nothing is there to hold you back and nothing is there which is impossible to achieve.

After camping in the delta of a creek for the night and hiking few more miles, we reached the top of the hill with the sun shining with its full glory. From the peak, we could see countless mountain tops covered with dense wood, some have been explored and many were not. The sight was spectacular. I looked towards west. In a far distant through the standing mountains a small 'v' shaped window was open, and I saw Pacific. From this distance, and this altitude, Pacific looked  tiny. Its waves were no longer gigantic. For a moment, its existence seemed ordinary. I guess, these are the moments; these are those rare moments when man can feel pride in its struggle. Man can feel mightier than the mightiest ocean. Suddenly, all our struggle and pain made perfect sense. The bottom line is, no matter how much we try to escape from  our  struggle, we always end up finding peace in it. And if thats the thing we are all looking for then many more winding roads we have to beat, many more mountain tops we have to explore.

   * Photography by Shafi.
** The trip was sometime in March, 2010.


  1. Such a matured article from Rajesh! Keep it up dude. I have become fan of your writing. Wish to read more of you.

    - TL

  2. nice article rajesh-da... but erpor r post nei keno? regularly lekho...