Wednesday, February 6, 2008

An adventure in my epitaph

"To all those who lead monotonous lives in the hope that they may experience at second hand the delights and dangers of adventures."

At first glance, this dedication in a book by Agatha Christie perhaps defines the lives of most of us common folk. The hope and dream of an adventure that one has merely heard of, read about or watched in glee. That, basically is the reason, I say, that movies is a multi billion dollar industry.

But what about our own lives: is not each moment an adventure? Is not each moment a self indulgence? Like the sinful piece of cake while on a diet. And while our lives may be speckled with such forbidden treats, there are so many acts which are by the mere commonness of it all, not labeled as adventures.

Such are the journeys we undertake. We leave our comfort zones and set forth in search of knowledge, money, careers, true love or what have you. I did not realize what an adventure it was, until a friend who was to go abroad, confided in me. "Sangi, I am so apprehensive to travel so far." Through the phone line, I could feel her trepidation. To set out to the other side of the globe, alone, in an airplane, flying over alien lands. To step into a place with a harsh winter, meet people that eat different foods and drive on the other side of the road.

I tried to recall my feelings when I first left my land and set out for the US. It was like squinting into the dark and trying to make out the vague outlines of moving figures. I had missed my connecting flight and all my belongings were in transit someplace. Never having stepped out of my country, I had no clue as to what one could do. At present such a situation is enough to give me a wee anxiety attack. Yet, now after all these years, I could not remember the feelings my memories held. Except that strong fragrance of coffee at Cincinnati airport. And a mad rush of adrenalin.

Sigh. It is a sorry state when one cannot recall the adventures one has been in.

Maybe some day when I am older and grayer, I can travel into my past and bring out the stories to regale young children. "Ahh when I was your age," I would start...with a wicked memory knocking from within, wanting to be let out...

PHOTO: Hamburg, 2007