One of my favourite mythological story is that of Ganesha racing around His world. As Devdutt Pattanaik narrates:
One day, the two brothers, Ganesha and Kartikeya, decided to race three times around the world. Kartikeya, being more athletic, jumped on his peacock and flew around the oceans, the continents and the stars. The elephant-headed Ganesha simply went around his parents, twirling around himself, and declared himself the winner. When asked for an explanation, Ganesha said, “I went around my world. You went around the world. What matters more?”
Ever since I have heard of this tale, and this happened quite early in my childhood, I have wondered as to what constitutes my own world. I am, thus, partly glad that Renault is now offering me a chance to seriously think about it.
Every college kid wishes of a road trip. Books have been written on it with Kerouac’s “On the Road” inspiring a generation and Guevara’s “Motorcycle Diaries” launching a revolution. Countless songs and movies have been made on it too. One only needs to search for it. It, indeed, is a genre.
Unsurprisingly, it has been one of my personal dreams to go on a long road trip as well. In which there will be a series of endless roads, experiences and memories.
What will I take on it? Well, I am glad you asked. Assuming that the boot space will be immense, which surprise surprise it is, here are six things which shall constitute my world as I venture out on Renault Lodgy road trip:
- Great Company – The most important by a distance. Mark Twain once said, “Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company“. The rest of the things on this list don’t even matter if this isn’t fulfilled. Ideally, I would have loved to bring along my closest of friends and given that it’s an eight seater car, it would have been amazing. But then, maybe it’s time to make some new friends – those who can make even hell enjoyable. I think I am up for it. I have already started preparing my stand up comic routine. I am sure the others will be up for it too.
- Good Music – What’s a road trip without good music? Exactly my point. I will bring along a storage device – preferably a heavy duty USB drive with songs from Iceland in Sigur Ros and Amiina to those from Africa with Miriam Makeba and the vocal percussions. We shall groove to Bollywood numbers and philosophize to Bach.
- Balls and other such sporting equipment – We shall stopover somewhere on a beach where there are but a few people around. We shall make two goals, or tie a net somewhere, and play football, volleyball, or even croquet if you will. Plato once said, “you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” and I intend this trip to be as much a self discovery as it is a discovery of my fellow travellers.
- Hajmola and Anti-Motion Sickness medicines – A characteristic of a road trip is the occasional break at a dhaba and that person who doesn’t feel because of road sickness. For the former, since I intend to satiate myself with good food and get others to do so too, I’ll be getting a Hajmola. For the latter, a strip of anti-motion sickness tablets. Take one, or at best a couple and be set for hundreds of kilometres.
- A tent and a telescope – Late at night, when we shall camp our selves in the middle of nowhere, I shall take out the telescope and as we gaze at the stars above we shall realize what mysteries that lie above us and compare it those that lie within.
- Books – As we leave after the road trip to our respective vocations, I wish to gift a few of my favourite books to others. I hope they shall read it, learn a thing or two from it and remember me. I doubt there will be much chance to read while on the trip. After all, people are books waiting to be read too but if I do get a chance, I’ll like to borrow and talk about a few books that others are carrying around. I think it’ll be a lot of fun.
This I am writing without a number, for it is in the realms of the noumenal world – I shall also carry a small Ganesha idol and a kala teeka with me. The Ganesha idol shall go on the dashboard for no car is Indian enough without a God figurine on the dashboard and this is an Indian road trip. The kala teeka will be the first thing I shall place on the body of the car, taki nazar na lage.
Also, I will puposely not bring any internet device. It’ll be just us and the Lodgy. Ah, it feels like I’m all set to go for the trip already. The power of visualization, so they say. Let’s see.