I watched the white sands of Havelock Island disappear into the afternoon haze as our passenger ship roared away from it into the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal. I clicked a few photos before settling down in the lower deck. It was going to be a long uneventful journey and I had practically nothing to do. Back in those days, phones were not smart so passing the time wasn’t as easy as it is today. There was no scarcity of company to converse with. I had my friend, my father and a large group of pesky senior citizens with whom we had tagged along. But I wasn’t really up for any conversation and wanted to nap instead. Some of the overzealous ladies from our group thought otherwise and kept me up with their loud gossip and high pitched giggles.
The vacation that my friend and I had hoped to be a life altering, vivacious experience, to our dismay, had turned out to be just a mediocre trip with magnificent seascapes. We were two 24 year olds stuck in a group of cranky senior citizens who weren’t particularly looking for any kind of adventurous activities. They cribbed endlessly creating much unwanted negativity around us. My father, fortunately, was not one of them but he was kind of down with the extreme weather change and coughing. Nevertheless, he had gained quite some popularity among the group and seemed to be enjoying the trip more than I did.
Finally, I decided to pen down my thoughts and experiences. I had so many things to write yet I ended up writing about the frustration of being among wrong set of people. I could have written about all the fun things like snorkeling for the first time in my life, biking across the narrow laid back streets of Havelock or watching the most beautiful sunset ever. But, as if being infected by the negativity of the constant complaining and gossiping of my fellow travelers, I too was cribbing in my little diary.
The moment of truth hits you right in the middle of nowhere. There I was- floating in the vastness, carrying an unnecessary burden of dreams and disappointments, blaming it on people around me, playing a victim. There was a sadist pleasure in all the whining. My disappointments were petty so were my dreams and while writing them down, I realized what excessive drama I was feeding to my mind. And then I realized, it wasn’t just about this trip. It had been like that forever, in fact now too, even after having this great realization half a decade ago, I still suffer the same emotional unrest. One simply can not run away from the negativity of others. Yes, it does affect us but we can mindfully turn down the internal melodrama if we wish to. Easier said than done, eh? I know!
I got carried away in my thoughts and had stopped writing long time ago when my friend checked upon me. We bitched about the oldies, cracked a few mean jokes and laughed heartily at the idea of we ourselves turning into irritating old ladies in a few years.
These photos from Andaman bring back all those good, bad and boring memories and put my current life into perspective.
What is a good life, really?