For some travel is the very existence of life, like for some conversations are. Here I was sifting through the mail,
October—invite to Bangkok writers meet.
October invite to Gauhati for theatre studies meet
November Puri an invite to the toastmaster’s annual event.
Suddenly everything seems to say eastward hoo.
Just when my conversation in my mind said
“Goosy goosy gander, whether dost thou wander?”
Snapping it to shut up I picked up the phone, “hispid a chatty voice,
I applied the learning I had from PG Wodehouse “what ho!”I said
“What ho!” said the chatty voice
“What ho!what ho!” I
“What ho! what ho! What ho!” After that conversation seemed rather difficult in the world.
Here I was with the upper limit of two travels and a round of three places I never visited and would never likely visit.
The chatty voice it appears seems to have been contacted by the organizers of the meet at Puri.
“ma’m this is from the whatsitsname resort, we are looking at the invitees for the Toastmasters conclave, would you like us to book a room for you”
Before I could say yes or no, the chatty voice, pops”ma’m have you ever visited Orissa?”
This is one I firmly answer NO, “then ma’m the odisha tourism has an offer, you see a walk through Puri, is like Thomas Jefferson’s opinion of walking through Paris, it will provide you lessons in history, beauty and in the point of Life. Ma’m Odisha is India’s best kept secret spiritual, artistic capital.”
Gustave Flaubert and chatty voice definitely were irritating, when I had Gauhati and Agartala on my agenda.
“Good morning doctor”voice was deep, enchanting, with a lousy bengoli hangover, “I am from the event management section for Gauhati events, we are hosting this event at Gauhati for the first time, going through your profile, I can offer you conducted tours at the Gauhati museum and of course the open house debate at the Kandil Ramayana group. Would that interest you?”
Of course it did,
His chat time must have runenth over, “shall I book you in then”
I firmly said no, I’ll get back to you, this was kind of empowering. I wondered if Agartala tourism was involved in the Agartala conference then they would probably give me a pitch like ““I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.”
The influx of this chatter-chatter, definitely drove me to action, I changed my contact number, fortunately I had not put in my landline number, deleted my email account and went into blissful incognito.
But the voice of Gustav Flaubert popped into the auditory lobe of my brain, “travel makes on modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world”
The final contributor to the conversation was the only one I empathized with Tahir Shah” as I see the world, there’s one element that’s even more corrosive than missionaries: tourists. It’s not that I feel above them in any way. But that the very place they patronize are destroyed by their affections.”