The simplicity of life in hindsight
Salvation in Utopia
He left his familiar surroundings wrapped in an attire that seemed rather ludicrous for one that lived in a land that’s used to being perennially watched over by a sheath of grey clouds. He strutted off under the familiar greyness with a large rucksack that somehow looked disproportionate, as it wrapped around his back. He was weighed down by the familiar feeling of uneasiness, but was excited about the road that lay ahead of him.
The train, bus and flight were all but a blur, especially for one who was so fixated on the destination. The temporary utopia couldn’t come soon enough, but then it did. As he stepped on foreign soil, he was received, like a master would be received by his adoring dog after a hard day’s work – the warm winds, the joyous people, the skip in the step of the locals, and the sun – he could feel these forces akin to a dog charging toward him and licking him with delight and love. Just for a moment, as he stood there, he thought he heard his senses cave, he thought he heard them resign and give themselves up to this wondrous place.
He roamed the port in search of a bus that would take him to his hosts for the weekend; he didn’t need to walk far to see another lost soul on her way to another land. The world is so full of us beings, wandering and chasing our hopes and dreams. Most of us in pursuit of salvation from a falling out with a world that we used to inhabit.
He struggled to come to grips with the route; he knew that he needed to disembark and let his feet do the rest, but he didn’t know when or where. He got off anyway, more as a leap of faith than anything else. He stood at the cross-roads with emptiness ahead of him on all 4 directions. The walk to his destination was more of a battle against heat and dehydration; the walk was longer than he envisaged. He soldiered on the lonely highway; the barks of dogs and mooing of cows were his only companions. The road seemed to get longer under the wrath of the sun. Civilization was nowhere to be seen. As he walked, he could feel the rucksack weigh down on him, he could feel the water evaporate from his body, but he soldiered on after the reassurance from a local that the destination was not far away.
He began to appreciate the metric system at times like this, when terms such as “not far”, “a few minutes away”, were all but open to interpretation. The destination loomed, finally, the beach on his left and the warmth of his hosts on the right. He took a deep breath and stepped forward to meet his hosts, all the while knowing that this was truly the point of no return.
The people seemed to be scripted off a science fiction novel – The warmth, the love and the grace that they exuded were surreal. They welcomed him with joy, benevolence and unconditional love that almost seemed alien to him. He was taken aback in disbelief. Slowly, the people grew onto him, some grew on to him more than others.
He was alien to the atmosphere, but he knew he had to fit in. He had 2 days to recreate the reality of the utopia that he had created in his head. He let himself be swept off his feet by beauty of the land, and the grace of its people. It almost felt like the land had given birth to these people, he could see a little bit of the utopia in each on of them.
The city was lodged between two hills on either side and the bright blue ocean in front. It felt like the city was cradled in white sand and protected by the hills on either side. Utopia was full of secrets. The hills gave way to more beaches and ledges of rock that opened it’s doors to lands that were so remote that you would think that utopia was intentionally hiding them from you.
The world’s most popular sport, the cold delicacy and the famous cheese crusted delights were almost like frosting that made the cake that was utopia ever so delicious. The campfires, the treks, sunset on the boat all added to the mystery that was utopia. He was beginning to feel a part of a group, he was beginning to enjoy himself, and most of all, he was beginning to get away. He slowly adorned the gregarious cap and was beginning to feel like he finally belonged, but he knew better than to get too close to the feeling of belonging. He always knew at the back of his mind that allure of utopia would lead to a romance, but one that lasted just for a weekend.
As he got into the groove of the city and it’s people, he began to search for the little things that made him love the city. He searched for the little things in the people who drew him to them – he found their cheery nature endearing, he found their care-free nature refreshing and he found the atmosphere intoxicating. Night slowly dawned on utopia. The streets were adorned with lights of the evening, utopia looked like it had invited the starts to rest on its belly while it let its children dance around the stars. The place looked magical, and he was lost once again. He was lost in the beauty of this little gem.
The night passed, as did the following day, and before he knew it, the familiar sense of listlessness and dread overcame him. He knew that the end was near. Salvation was temporary, but the memories and alliances would last him a life time. This was his first leap of faith, and at the end of the weekend, he knew that this would not be his last. He now knew his path to salvation, and he had utopia to thank for it.