A few weeks back, one Wednesday, my husband calls up from office and tells me "I am going on a trip to Silent Valley on Saturday". I was like, "Huh?" Vagamon was just two weeks back and another one, so soon?
Well, he is this auto crazy guy, anything and everything with wheels is his passion and he had joined an online community of even crazier guys sometime back. You have to go through the discussions they have, to believe it. They have regular get-togethers and one of them came up with this wonderful idea of driving their beauties through a forest with no roads, in the monsoon. Envy was not the word to describe my feeling when I heard it.
There was this person from Coimbatore with a farmhouse somewhere in the middle of a pristine forest and he had thrown open its doors to some 18-20 of them, many of them absolute strangers to him. A couple of others organized the food, barbecue, drinks, beds, blanket and God knows what else. They had the time of their lives and I have no words to describe the place. The stories and pictures are out there in http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/team-bhp-meet-section/25027-monsoon-meet-hills-4.html (mansidea is my man, by the way)
A few years back, four of us friends wanted to get together in some place. Two of us were in Kottayam and the other two in Kochi. It took us almost a year to find a date convenient to all. One’s husband would have a problem, the next one had a PTA meeting, other’s kid fell ill, the list of reasons was endless. Finally we managed to meet, drove to Alleppey in the morning and got back in the evening. And there these guys are, deciding, planning, organizing, executing, all in a matter of a few days. Don’t blame me if I turn green whenever I think of it.
Are there any communities, online or otherwise, where women of similar interests get together, I wonder. For a majority of women, interests are limited to family, children, dress, jewellery, cooking. Do not misunderstand me; I am not being judgmental here. That is just the way things are. So it is no surprise, I guess, why it is so difficult to find such forums anywhere. Or is it that I am such a frog in the well, I do not know what is happening outside.
Now, let me imagine there actually is such a thing and someone organizes something like this. Would I be able to go off, just like that? Without even the need to think, the answer is an outright no. And it is not a bitter or reluctant denial. Reminds me of something my friend had told me sometime back. She had this great guy for a boss who treated her like a long lost daughter. He was always urging her to learn as much as she could before getting married because “Now, your time is yours only. After marriage, you are lucky if you get 50% of it for yourself. First kid, it is down to almost 15%. Two kids, it will be a miracle if you can manage a couple of hours a week just for you”.
Another friend of mine with two school going kids and a busy husband came out with this classic quote “For men, family is something they occasionally get back to and for women, it is something they occasionally get out of”.
There has always been wanderlust in me. However impractical I know it is, my greatest dream still is a trek in the Himalayas, all alone – just me and the mountains and streams and valleys and flowers and trees and sheep. If I were a guy, it would have happened long back, I’m sure. And just for that freedom to travel whenever, wherever and however I feel like, God, let me be a man in my next birth, please…..