In the last nearly 25 years of my professional life as a journalist, I realised one important thing, I didn’t ever want to get lost. I was and still am passionate about writing and more so, NEWS. If anything turns me on the most, it IS news. But there is more to life and I never wanted to lose that and along with that, the need to have fun anytime and anywhere. It may sound slightly exaggerated, but i always live with that spirit.
Most Indian news organisations have developed a pattern to kill individuality and their staff having a life. Basically because most bosses have none, or their lives suck real bad. Those who do have fun are interns, new comers and the culture simply erodes and eats into you. We aren’t encouraged to take holidays and moreover to publicly say you enjoyed your holidays. The office ensures that feeling is killed instantly. So here I was, wiyh my life’s mission to travel, in such volatile environment. Now, by rule I’ve taken two holidays a year- 1 small and 1 big holiday. I basically work for my next holiday. This nomad, bohemian spirit was encouraged by my parents. But that lessened as I climbed the ladder of designations and with them came unnecessary burden of taking on other people’s responbilities. Holidays became rare and the duration even shorter. Initially it depressed me, but i realised through work I still travelled across the country side. The subjects also i wrote of took me to tribal areas, increased interaction with villagers and went to places away from main cities. I soon realised I am a rainbow chaser and catcher.
Not that I go to a place to specifically see a rainbow, but i’m like a bomb spotter. Bang on, I feel I am close to nature and I tend to see, feel and smell things around me. And for this, one need not go to some distant lands. Often it is common sense, which I gathered reading and talking to villagers. A drizzle with thr clouds giving way to the sun, or a short spell of rains with the sun smiling in the background; look up, wander around and you will see a trace of rainbow. I can recount from college days that i’ve spotted a rainbow in Girgaum and have wanted to share the utmost pleasure with others around. And let me tell you i’ve got disappointed that people in our cities have lost the ability to enjoy small pleasures, plus they snigger at those who do. It is an inexplicable joy to see a rainbow. Recently I saw this Rainbow on my way to the gym in the evening. I again wanted to share this moment when i saw a young boy looking forlorn. I just looked at him and said “why don’t you enjoy looking at the rainbow?” He must’ve thought i’ve lost it and asked ‘where?’ This was the best part, as I told him “just look above you.” The young boy went crazy with joy. He mumbled ‘shit’ for not spotting something that was so obvious and had there been no puddles, he would have jumped about. He promptly called his friend on the cell to share it. And i was glad for once someone else shared my joy.
My rainbow stories are plenty. I realised, I didn’t have to go on a holiday to enjoy such simple pleasures. Travelling way inside in Vidarbha on the train, as i missesd my dear Bombay, for the first time in my life i saw a full rainbow. Wide as ever and I could see all the colours-VIBGYOR. My absolute favourite place is Khandala ghats, the ever green spot to catch rainbows, same with Sanjay Gandhi National Park and most of all, the Himalayas. In peak December winter at Gulmargh, as i struggled to walk through calf-length snow with a friend, suddenly i saw faint streaks of a rainbow. Like i said, only if it excites you will you understand my extreme joy. It is simple pure and immense happiness, similar to seeing any sort of wildlife.
This year, in the initial days of showers, some friends posted pictures of a double rainbow. Now i admit that’s something i haven’t ever seen. And it is my aim to see a double rainbow once in my life. I am sure very soon i will be able to see a double rainbow. I’ve made myself a promise That I will continue my pursuit of chasing rainbows in this city and around. So what if underneath that beautiful coloured arch often there is slush, dirt, lakhs of homeless or sewage. The truth is, that rainbow still signifies beauty and hope. And both I will hold dearly, something so nice this very city has taught me to believe in..