For the last nine years, the Rajasthan trip has been pretty much the only time out that I take during the year. Most of my travels always combine a little bit of pleasure with a lot of business. It also gives me time to think away from a routine of emails, phone calls and meetings.
I still remember my first visit in this series in early 1997. Bhavana had suggested we make the trip to Nakodaji. Those were difficult times for my business. I had reluctantly agreed. It was on that trip as we drove back from Nakodaji to Jodhpur that we thought up all the Indian names which later became our portals khoj (search), khel (cricket), samachar (news), bawarchi (food), dhan (finance), manpasand (favourites). Since then, every year, I have always kept a list of things to ask the Gods for!
All these years, it had been just Bhavana and me making the trips. Id sit in the car on the long drives thinking about work, and what was going right or wrong. The trips become a good time for introspection because I got near-infinite, uninterrupted chunky time. It is hard to get that in our modern, always-connected world (except on international flights). Even though I would have my mobile with me, I would put it on Silent mode for the entire trip choosing to ignore incoming calls and messages. I was on my mini-vacation.
This year, it was different, thanks to Abhishek. He was the object of all attention. He managed rather well, sleeping for the most part through our road journeys. We had rented a Toyota Qualis, so it was quite comfortable. The roads were somewhat bumpy at times, though! Traveling on single-lane or two-lane roads which are semi-tarred can slow you down fair a bit.
I always keep a small diary in my pocket and a notebook (the paper variety) with me for making notes. I write down all my thoughts and ideas as they come. Writing helps me think better. As thoughts flit in and out of the mind, I capture them on paper so the mind can move on, uncluttered and not having to worry about remembering the previous thoughts.
Vacations are not something I am used to. It takes a day to get used to a very different pace of life. Time seems to pass ever so s-l-o-w-l-y. But it is good to experience something different. As I was telling Bhavana towards the end of the trip, I would love to spend a week or so at one of the temples completely cut-off from the world with just a few books and my thoughts for company.
Tomorrow: Water Problem
TECH TALK Rajasthan Ruminations+T