On Day 14 of my Singapore trip (Jan 04, 2008), it was time to head back home. It was a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I felt so liberated experiencing a vacation which seemed overdue. On the other hand, I was rearing to get back to my realities (well, not really, but I didn't want to delude myself any further).
This trip was interesting from many perspectives. For one, I had simply no agenda. I landed in a new country with 13 days and no plan whatsoever. I started off by reading some magazine cutouts on the plane. Later, I figured out that the info was all online.
I ended up going up in a hot air balloon to take in the awesome sight of a lit-up Singapore at night, seeing more than a thousand toys at a toys museum, cycling in an island, sleeping in a library, deep in philosophical conversations by the beach, trekking alone for 20 km in a water reservoir area, watching a 12-year old kid strum 'Hotel California', have my roots shaken, admire ancient societies, saw an Indian National Army monument, visited the world's largest fountain, had mouth-watering Indian food at Bombay Express Cafe, grooved to Felix Da Housecat's mixing skills at the Zouk Club, prayed at the Krishna Temple on the first day of the new year, saw animals like mousedeer, bat-eared fox, sugar glider and east african bongos at the Night Safari, saw remote-controlled kites being flown, and so on.
There were two big things for me in this trip.
One was spending time with my friends Abishek Nair and Ashish Dantu. Thanks a ton guys for being such great hosts, for the conversations, for making me watch Russell Peters at 2 am, for all the fun we had, and for teaching me so many things without ever having to say anything.
The second thing was coming away inspired. Inspired by the pulse of the city, inspired by their belief that "it's possible." 'It' just needs a vision, a decision and a team to execute. On the other hand, I'm terrified that people are progressing so fast and working towards their dreams and I'm getting left behind.
I had a lot of time to think, inside out. Putting life into perspective. As Einstein once said "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." So, it's good to step back once in a while and think about the big picture of your life. The challenge is to avoid getting lost again in the daily grind, which is so hard.
In fact, it's interesting how many people actually go through these step-back-and-breathe phases, it's just that it is completely hush-hush, and understandably so, it's a very personal thing.
This trip made me see how the world is changing and how I should change, rather than me just being a 'frog in the well' and not knowing what's really going on 'out there'.
Travelling is a necessity for me, not a luxury. It's my way of overcoming implosion. Our ancestors understood this. As an old Kannada saying goes: "desha noDu, kosha vodu" (roughly translates to "Travel the world, Read books").