7 May 2008
On a dark desert highway..
Being a travel writer can be a thrilling experience for any person. Recently, I came across this short story by Roald Dahl, who is infact a great writer for adults, as well as children. Having read almost all his Children's stories long back, I plunged into this one as enthusiastically. I'd read this book twice before, but the stories seemed as fresh as ever. "The Visitor" is one of his feats as a short story writer. All the other stories in the book are as good but this one really hit the spot.
The roads can be fascinating in a very metaphorical sort of a way. Geographical, for some folks. The views, the people, the life. With your own two eyes. Be it any place with civilization.. you get to see a good deal. Even without. The wilderness revels in its own glory. There are innumerable accounts of people coming across strange circumstances, people or seeing something plain weird while they're travelling. Almost all of us get something to tell the others when you get back.
Personally, I had once dreamt of becoming a travel writer, going to strange and even eerie places on my own. A lot of things inspire idiots like us who dream everyday and run away from reality as if it's plague. No, there is no "running" away, but we just don't like visiting the place. There's nothing sweeter than Home Dream Home. But we do visit sometimes and yes, the memory always remains deeply etched into the brains. Painful memories. And we say, thank goodness, we don't actually live there. Poor people, wasting away their lives stuck in one boring place when they could travel away their lives on the roads of Dreamland. Reality is an absolutely fixed place. And boy, when you get stuck.. you get stuck real bad.
Everyone thinks a romantic is a stupid, absent-minded person and they go on goading themselves that they are some intellegent people with their feet firmly set on the ground, with work to do. Jobs to attend to and life to get on with. They don't know they're missing out on what life really is. These people, they run away from fiction saying they rot the brain, fill it with strange stuff which is not good for you. But they're wrong. Once you start living to what you just know, then you're gone for good. What you know in this tiny, mean life is just what your infernal brain thinks. They never get to know what a hundred other think of everything.
They get stuck in the mud knee-deep, getting on with squirming to get away from stress that they build on themselves. The world is not cruel, the cruelty is what you make of the world. People get tangled in this whole mess of affairs which they take responsibility of. Duties, they call it. Too many things to take care of. They search for things to be happy about, forgetting that there are people having bigger problems who only think about making others happy.
So, these people should be shook by the shoulders and told that the world in NOT reality. The world is a dream waiting right there on the bookshelf, down by the lane, a hunder kilometres away, in some forest.. in another country. There's a whole new world out there for you to escape to instead of blaming every other person for what the world has come to. Selfish, self centred people with only money on their mind, it's all about them. Not some poor small boy starving when he gets no food all day, not a dolphin who's been trapped just because someone needs cheering up. It's not about seals dying, not about some poor animals who have to die because something had to be tested just to make it right, just so it could be sold for money to give you a better life.
How can a country be labelled better on what weapons it has? Why make weapons when we aren't supposed to kill each other? Anyway, if people decide on what they want for reality, they can make a difference. A good life is not too far away when the line between dream and reality starts to fade. But first, we need to start dreaming.