Gokarna & Why I Go There

This one goes out to all those unfortunate, uninitiated and uninspired individuals. Get off your high horse and read this.

There may be a hundred reasons why a person goes to Gokarna. People looking to get laid, people looking to score and get high, people looking for a nice, secluded beach and people wanting to offer their prayers in India’s most sacred temple. I don’t know if there are any other reasons, and frankly, I don’t really care why people go there.

I go there for a totally different reason, and its none of the above.

I lead a difficult life. I need to balance my passion to work, my unceasing urge to travel and roam aimlessly across the country, my singularly fierce attraction to beaches and my bank account. Juggling these four volatile substances while playing air hockey with the family, the bosses, the peers, the juniors, the friends, the foes, the creditors, the goons, the loons, the whackadoodles, the geniuses, the crap, the stench and the slippery slopes of bankruptcy, unemployment and loneliness around every corner is taking its toll on my nerves.

There are very few things I’m passionate about, and those that I am passionate about, I am so with a vehemence unseen in anyone else, for anything else. I do not go to Gokarna to ‘do drugs’. I do not go to Gokarna to ‘sleep with women’. I do not go to Gokarna to ‘drink drinks’. I do not go to Gokarna to visit the temple and offer my prayers. I do not go to Gokarna for the sea food. I do no go to Gokarna for the rustic beauty of the village. I do not go to Gokarna to ogle at half-naked women lounging in the sun. I do not go to Gokarna because I love beaches and water. I do not go to Gokarna to swim in the ocean. I do not go to Gokarna to live. I do not go to Gokarna to die.

I go to Gokarna once every three months because I need to get away from the Greek tragedy that my life is fast unraveling to be; to clear my head of all thoughts – good and bad; to reboot myself. I go to Gokarna because its the only place on Earth that welcomes me without judging who I am or what I have done. I go to Gokarna because that is the only place on Earth where I am at peace. Completely.

I have a sea rock, which I call my own, ten feet out into the ocean, at Om Beach. Its a bit of a hike to get to the top of the rock, and once I get there, I sit, looking at the waves crashing into me on all sides, rising twenty feet high and spraying me with a mist of cold, salty water. I listen to the rush, the gurgle, the power and the wordless songs of the waves and as I stare out into the horizon, imagining a place beyond comprehension, where the sky kisses the ocean, I realize that I am peaceful, within and without.

Gokarna - kudle beachNothing of what is happening in life matters here. Time stands still for me, for the 48 hours I’m there. I put my feet up at a cafe, sipping sweet tea and reading a good book, or people watching on the burning, golden sands. I take a nice pleasant trek up to Kudle through thick brambles and open moors and I wade in the white sands until the sun starts to set. I walk back amidst the gathering darkness to Om Beach, walk all the way up to Half Moon and back again. As night descends around me, so does the peace, deeper inside me.

I need this. I can’t do without it. For the unfortunate, uninitiated and uninspired individuals, I recommend it. The only thing I get high on, when in Gokarna, is Gokarna itself.

Tiny Steps

I’ve been meaning to write this post for quite some time now, but never really got the chance. Now, I have the time, the motivation and the inclination to actually sit and write it down.

It’s a Friday afternoon and a lazy one at office. Not much of activity in the PR world on a weekend, and most of the work is to be pushed to the next week. So, I sit back in my plush chair, look up at the air-conditioned ceiling and think back at how to start this post.

This is actually an ode, a tribute to a friend of mine who’s been more than just a friend and never more. I call her Chucks, affectionately naming her after the haunted doll in a series of horror movies called Child’s Play. Chuckie’s in Sydney now, and has been for the past year and a half, studying to become a researcher in cancer genetics. Yeah, I know, she’s got big goals.

Actually, this is not an ode to Chucks, but rather a message of hope and strength that she desperately needs right now. She’s never been one to lose hope and direction in life, but quite recently, she shocked me when she said that she had lost them both. A self-deprecating journey can be disastrous and I know this first hand, when a lot of things didn’t fall in place for me at one point of time, and I fell into so deep a hole that it took me almost a year to recover. Chucks played a vital role in my recovery, and ever since, I’ve looked upon her as more of a mentor than a very good friend. it’s now been five years to the day since I’ve known her. April 18, 2002. 🙂

When a mentor loses confidence, then it’s up to the disciple to take over the mantle and guide the mentor out of the looming abyss. Things happen in life that can’t be avoided. We all go through a phase when we start questioning our judgments and our decisions, and whenever possible, we must be strong enough to back ourselves up. Realizing that we are of sound mind and sound body can help a lot.

Have faith, Chucks. Never lose faith. Believe in yourself and you’ll do amazing things. I am sure of that. I know you and I know your abilities and I’m sure somewhere deep down, you do too. Hope and faith are all the ammunition you’ve got to fight depression and bad tides. I urge you to use it.

Nostalgia can go a long way in your recovery. Remember how you cured me, Chucks. Remember the medicines you gave me – nostalgia, hope and faith. I hope you remember, because if you don’t, then I’d have to come all the way to Sydney now. 😀

I wish you all the very best in your life, Chucks. You’ve got a long and fruitful life ahead of you, and please don’t lose track of your original goals and plans. I’m here for you; we’re all here for you, Chucks. We want you to succeed and I want you to fulfill your promises you made me before you left.

Proceed in tiny steps, Chucks.

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Dear Readers: I apologize if this blog wasn’t really the ideal forum for posting this message to Chucks, but I had to do it. After what she’s done for me, I feel this is the least I could do. I would be grateful if you could leave behind your wishes and good will for my dear Chucks, and hope that she can get over her troubles and depressions and return home victorious! Thanks! I owe you all! 🙂

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