When I read that quote, it puts a smile across my face. If that is true, I am surely walking this path of life with my eyes glazed out in one super dream after another. However, we all know that THAT would be ridiculous. Life isn’t all sugar and spice. However, there’s one superpower that I am born with, which gives me enough chutzpah to dream on unabashedly …and that super power is my ability to read…to read and to live that story, character, place, age. This superpower also gives me this immense yearning to experience all that that I read on those black and white pages in technicolour, in 4D, in sound and taste and tangibility.
I have grown up reading books of Jim Corbett. I am always amazed at how in spite of being the ‘’hunter of the man hunters’’ that he was, he had this immense understanding of nature. To quote him, he said that the tigers I kill have not broken any law of the nature, but the law of the mankind. He said that Tigers are the most large hearted and kind animals that he has ever seen. Due to his simplicity, his understanding and his ability to give respect to the simple village folks, he was considered a God, a messiah. He was the ‘’Carpet Sahib’’ of Kumaon. If it was not for his great deeds, how would we have a Tiger reserve in his name?
So when I used to read the description of those quaint little villages in the foothills of Himalayas that would put even heavens to shame, I always dreamt of doing a trekking expedition of all those village, go meet the people of Kumaon, those simple hill folks that Jim Corbett spoke so highly of, to see that exact knoll or brook where he sat up for a man-eater to make an appearance. Or go sit on that hanging bridge over the river Mandakini where he sat waiting for the Man-eating Leopard of Rudraprayag- the one who killed close to 400 people. Basically I wanted to walk in his shoes.
There was a time when I was fresh out of college, new job, new taste of ‘’own money’’ that was kind of surplus at that time, zero responsibilities…this dream seemed within a grabbing distance. And then suddenly other things took over. I found myself falling in love, getting married and setting new life goals. Then kids happened…and there was a complete paradigm shift. My needs and wants took a back seat. But mind it, it was all done very happily and lovingly. That is, if given a chance, I will do all of it again in a heartbeat!
But what is life without some magic and some happy, crazy dreams…So this dream, this wanderlust of walking in Jim Corbett’s shoes still lingers. When I see those happy crazy shows where the host gives the participants a brand new car or they take off their super expensive watches and give them away just like that, or when a family is away, the community people get together and give their humble home a complete facelift…my eyes glaze out. Not that I lack something in my life. By the powers that run this universe, I live a super content life but we all can do with a little bit of magic right? Even us stay at home, work from home moms sometimes crave for that ‘’Cinderella moment’’. And for me, it is walking those beautiful hills in the shoes of Carpet Sahib.