The Importance of a Road

July 17, 2016, 1025 hours.

We just passed a small section of road which had been cleared a few days ago. An entire section of a hillock seems to have crumbled under rain and washed down onto the road and beyond, changing the landscape, severing the link between #Tabo and #Kaza, thus cutting off supplies. The landslide also brought down a electricity pole, leaving Tabo without electricity for the fifth day running today.

We have passed three such stretches of road today already on the journey from Tabo towards Kaza. Just now we sat and watched a bulldozer clear rubble from the road, then stand aside (so to say), allowing the bus ahead of us to drive on, and then we followed suit.

The various landslides on the road to Kaza were cleared and opened yesterday (after two days of work) enabling supplies such as essential groceries, equipment, hardware, meat and chicken to come through. Chicken. Chicken is something that is available in three shops and one store all within five to 10 minutes walking distance from our house in Pune. There are four roads from our house and five from the office to get to any part of the city. Out here, there’s this one road … of course if one is willing to walk, then there are several trails available to get anywhere in due course.

The things I take for granted in a city are many. Life here in the wilderness, on the edge of civilisation, is fulfilling mainly thanks to the lack of taking very basic things for granted. Today is the third day without mobile connectivity, Internet, electricity, and hot water (note the order of importance). Thing is, I don’t miss any of those. And I also know that when I get back to all of these luxuries, I will slip back into it as if I had never been away. But for the time being, a bath with ice cold water is very refreshing and it just takes getting used to – the body adapts very very quickly (if we allow it). Without the mobile and the Internet, I am talking to people face-to-face (something I have to specify although in villages, talking necessarily means face-to-face), and writing and sketching five-times more than I am able to do otherwise. By the time any of this gets published, I would have written a lot more.

Somewhere between the city and the village and the wilderness lies the meaningfulness of living a fulfilled life. And I aim to find and maintain that balance.

Meanwhile, we are moving again …

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