I often wonder where I am headed. And wondering I also send a thought or two to the question of where is it that I am coming from. And the question of where do I fit in the larger scheme of things. Or whether there is any ‘larger scheme of things’. I think these thoughts in all humility knowing well that many, more capable and more evolved folk, have thought them over. And thought them well. But that still doesn’t stop me from thinking them. Because these questions are part of my DNA. And only I can answer them for myself. So I seize the day… and think.

There’s this bridge at the camp which is part of the ‘camp deal’. It’s called a Burma Bridge and it gets it name from the WW II crossing over device that the Indian (British) army used to, well, get across in treacherously terrained Burma.

At the camp this crossing over device is called Brahma Bridge. And I have over these past two weeks developed a fondness for this name. Those who know me must be smiling here sensing that this fondness is very ‘me’. At night when my head is cocked up to look at the night sky, the idea of Brahma Bridge becomes clearer to me as a device meant for crossing over to the stars. At the end of which is standing the four-headed god, sizing me up with his eight eyes. Seeing whether I qualify for the crossing over.

Yesterday I began a new chapter in my life. I had my first day at a water rafting camp in Rishikesh, actually Shivpuri. This is where I will be camp manager for next six months. The day, compared to my life in Delhi, was full of sweat and wonder. I began my day with trek to a place called 'View Point'. This is the place from where our Beach Camp can be seen.

After lunch we went to the place where the Beach Camp will be set up on the other side of the Ganga. Everything: tents, food and beds are ferried to the Beach Camp on a raft which is a huge task. In the days to come I shall find out exactly how difficult this is. To get to the Beach Camp we have to cross a rapid called Return to Sender. It's so called because a huge boulder jutting out into the river reverses the currents in such a way that everything is, well, returned.

The beach next to this rapid is often strewn with return gifts such as animal carcasses and sometimes of those humans who knowingly or unknowingly make the turbulent river their last resting place.

The stench at Return to Sender is often a precursor to visions of wild putrefaction. We saw two cows very dead and very bloated on the beach. Arjun, the river guide, also showed me my first beach skull. At first I thought it was a conch shell. But they said the river had no conches. On closer inspection I found out it was indeed a human skull lying face down in the sand. I picked it up and saw wet sand pour out of the eye sockets. the skull was connected to a loose vertebral column half encased in leather-like skin. Umm...quite like a fallen fruit: too ripe and too heavy to hang on its tree.

I returned with the euphoria of a debut. I don't know whether it was about having crossed a rapid of having touched my first beach skull.
(Pic: Priyanka V)

Sometimes I feel I have nine lives. One I am living. The other eight are living themselves. Spilling wildly out of my hands like marbles. I have no control over these rolling marbles. They are just rolling out in different directions. Being on wheels in Ladakh was like that. Here I was rolling out on a bike. In a group. But still it felt I was on a roll alone. Alone in the whole wide world. There was just the wind around me. And the road below me. And everything zipping past me like fast-motion film. I could have flown right off the road, off the map, off my web of well-wishers in a second. I could have died. Ended one of my nine lives. But I guess I wasn't curious enough...



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As an art practitioner I work in a variety of mediums, what you see here are glimpses of my many creative projects. If you like or feel strongly something here please don't forget to comment



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