Sometimes, I’m immensely lazy. So lazy that I fail to be proactive. Even when it really matters. I’m so lazy that I choose not to go to office on random whim. I wake up on time. Get ready, have some tea and then message my boss – I’m not coming today.
I’m so lazy that I’ve become a compulsive liar. I’m scared to speak the truth for fear of people discovering my ultimate flaw. A flaw so deadly that it can reduce you to a pile on the bed with a remote in your hand and all you do is stare at a screen and laugh at what others tell you is funny.
I’ve seen it. I know what hell it is to be lazy. It is everything I stand against yet, it is what I practice with such thoughtless, addictive abundance. It is my shame really.
But here I am, on the second day of my trip, ditching the option of smoking up with other travelers in a café with the comfort of my room just a few steps away. Instead, I’m enjoying my time alone in a quiet café with mellow music and candle light on the tables, writing away with mad scratches on the paper. And to think that I abhorred writing or even the thought of it in Delhi just a while back. I’ve had a productive day and the plan ahead seems to be fixed, somewhat.
I leave for Batal tomorrow early in the morning. Catch the bus to Kaza and get off mid-way. And then head to Chandrataal the next day on foot – a 14 kilometer hike. I’m excited. And I’m poor enough to have decided to walk down from Old manali to the new Manali bus stand at 5 tomorrow morning to buy myself a spot on the local bus to Kaza. A spot, because all the seats are full. I’ll have to stand and travel.
A dentist from Kaza I met today, Chhildum Bodh, has already warned me. “The road is difficult to deal with even when one is sitting. Standing all the way will be tough.”
But I’m going. I had the back-up option of a discounted seat in a shared jeep for Rs. 800 but that’s almost thrice the price of the bus. It could mean a night or two’s stay in Batal.
I surprise myself. Where the laze? Where’s the inactivity? Where’s the depression and the existential crisis? I’m alone but I’m not lost. Neither am I lonely. Nor do I miss company. I’m content. And I have adventures to pursue. And I feel as though the old me, the one I seemed to have murdered, is right here.
It seems I just didn’t need her in Delhi.
Old Manali, as you may have understood from the previous post, is a highly commercial destination now. I was here in 2014 last time and I remember three yaks lazily swaying down the slope every morning at 9.30. One day, following them, we had made our way to the Hadimba temple which seemed quite like a picnic spot. Adjacent to the temple complex, men were hard at work around a ferris wheel that was to serve the children in the evening. There were stalls where one could try their luck once for Rs. 10; an entire world of goodies, wrapped in shiny plastic, to be won.
It was sunny, breezy and happy.
This time it’s nothing like that. The yaks are gone. It’s damp due to the rains. The amount of stray plastic on the bank of the river and on the sides of the road has increased. The cafes have become ridiculously expensive but nothing you’ll eat here will make you happy. And everyone’s literally waving at you, saying hi to you just to see if they can extract a little money from your pocket. If not money, then something else. Some kind of bargain.