My friend and I returned, famished, to our hostel in Jayanagar, Bangalore with just one rupee between us, after a weekend adventure to Yercaud. A classmate lent us money for the luxury of chilled beer and a hearty meal. Youthful impetuousness directed the many escapades of our lives in those days.
A night halt in a low-cost hotel near the bus stand in Salem brought the unexpected. We returned after a late-night movie to sleaze that we were not accustomed to. After bolting into our room and securing ourselves for the rest of the night, we beat a hasty retreat, navigated our way over people in drunken stupor, and checked out early next morning. We were in touching distance of the seamy side of life, a trifle shaken but relieved as we made our way by bus to Yercaud.
I remember we had a pleasant but uneventful stay at Yercaud. Such memories don’t stick. It’s the unusual that lingers on and weaves the fabric of our life.
On our return, we walked rather than take a bus to Salem. A reasonable adventure became an excruciating walk down the mountain in the blazing sun. After several hours, thirsting for water and near dehydration, we made it to the highway. Water from a mud pot at a nearby hut was the sweetest we ever had. The warmth and hospitality of our curious hosts were touching.
We were soon at Salem and back by bus to Bangalore. The little money we had was enough for tiny cups of tea at a midway halt. Then with just a coin between us, we were back in our hostel.
A maze of emotions, the unexpected and the unusual make for unforgettable experiences. A spirit of adventure and the willingness to experiment is natural in youth. Age need never be a barrier, there is no need to be circumspect and unwilling to challenge ourselves.
Give yourself the right to savour life to the full at any age.
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