Thursday, December 16, 2004


Restlessness bit me again today. Again I felt heavy feeling in my chest, a quickening of breath, my limbs itching for action, my eyes roving and seeking, my mind saying, "Anywhere but here..." Where does this come from, this constant need for change - an irrepressible wanderlust that makes you seek, to transform, to stretch yourselves beyond the boundaries? Is it a sign of fundamental insecurity or is it a need for expression of your innermost self?

Actually, this wandering need not always be for seeking, sometimes it is also running away from something. In fact, come to think about it, you don't even need to physically move about to be a wanderer. All you need to have is a restless spirit with a hunger for change.

I remember character of Vienne in film Chocolat. She inherited the wanderlust from her clan, they said. From village to village, town to town she wandered, her cute little daughter in tow, seeking something which even she could not define. She found it finally or gave up, I could not figure out which, and blew the ashes of the past to the wind, much to the delight of her daughter who was tired of their constant moving from place to place.

Is this what happens to all the wanderers of the world? Or is it just for a lucky few, others being consigned to their restlessness for life?

I think people deal with it in different ways, some just resign to life and suppress that itch for change, others choose to run. There is a legend in India about a musk deer who runs till it dies in search of the source of the perfume that has been haunting it. The scent actually comes from the musk gland located in the deer's own body. Those who run behind that elusive desire for change are actually like that musk deer. More they run, the farther their goal seems to be. Desires are like sun rays that come through cracks in the roof. They form a sparkling circle, beckoning you to hold them, but when you try they slip away from your palm leaving behind a shadow.

This need for change is actually good or bad depending on how you choose to live with it. On one hand it is rejuvenating. It urges you to reinvent yourselves again and again. But if you let it decay into expectation and desperation, it can haunt you and gnaw at your heart.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to sink like sediment at some point, to plant oneself saying,"This is where I belong, this is where my journey ends!" The idea of being steeped and satisfied, plump and settled seems romantic at times. But the wanderer in me will never die. She may only lay quiet for a while. Then again, invariably, she will wake me up and cajole me into seeking what is there beyond.

1 comment:

  1. Act on your urges, discover the world and you will discover yourself.