Tuesday, April 03, 2012

All Alone

I’m sitting in a hotel room in Patna as I type this, with a television sitcom providing an incongruous background sound. My room is comfortable enough but old; the furnishings and upholstery are heavy and faded, giving this room a dated feel. I know by now that this is how most mid-range hotel rooms in the smaller cities are and with my curtains closed, I could be anywhere – Bhopal, Srinagar, Bhubaneswar, Patna.
Usually, I love being where I am right now. In an unknown city, in an anonymous hotel room, all by myself. It’s the only time when I really get ‘me’ time. When I’m home, even if I am home alone, I rarely get ‘me’ time – I’m talking on the phone, I’m chatting on the internet, I’m reading blogs and commenting on them, I’m faffing on Facebook, I’m sending and receiving emails - basically living a busy social life, even if much of it is virtual. But in these old-fashioned hotel rooms, internet is at a premium and I don’t use a data card, so I finally get ‘me’ time; I watch more TV in a day than I would in a whole month at home, I read, I sleep.
But this time around, I’m not enjoying the alone time. I’ve been travelling almost continuously the last two weeks – Tirupati, Vizag, Delhi, Agra – and throughout these weeks I have been spending a lot of time with family and friends, so maybe I’m just disoriented to find myself alone all of a sudden, after hanging out with not less than six people on any given day in the last two weeks. Or maybe I’m just tired and disoriented from all the travel and movement, and it’s finally gotten to me and I’m beginning to feel low. Or maybe there’s nothing fun to watch on television – and as uninteresting as that sounds, that’s most probably the reason.
This is my first visit to Bihar. Since I am travelling alone here, I’ve been advised by all and sundry to be careful. And all these ‘be careful’ suggestions have led to a slight sense of discomfort about being here by myself, especially because I will be paying a visit to some rural villages as part of this trip. And as much as I try to shake off that discomfort, it doesn’t completely go away.
But the people here have so far been incredibly friendly and helpful. Whether it is my driver, or senior government officials, or local NGO workers. And Patna was a surprise to me – it’s a fairly clean city with good roads (atleast the parts I have been to). Tomorrow though, I will get a taste of rural Bihar. Which reminds me that I need to go to sleep now – I have a long day tomorrow, and I need to get an early start.
That's all for now!


Anonymous said...

Can't imagine a better way to pass one's time.

Love your blog, the template and especially the funny expression on the little girl's scrunched face!

subbulakshmistoned said...

Can I be your PA when you're travelling? I make nice Ginger tea.

Preeti said...

I can also be your PA! I'll entertain you with nice humourous stories from my life! :D

PS: Lemme know when you are in Delhi next! I really want to meet you! :)

Ruchi Jain said...

visiting a new city is a nice experience, but when we didnt find the way or adresses, than mind messes up..

smartassbride said...

you should have your own helicopter. if i ever get filthy rich, im buying you one!

Ramya said...

@Nilu: Thank you so much! I love this template too; on days when I'm bored I decide to change it but I haven't yet come upon anything I like better than this.

@Subbu: And Oreo cookie cheesecake?

@Preeti: :p Yeah, will let you know when I'm in Delhi next...I come often but I'm there for just a day or two and that's packed with meetings :(

@Ruchi: Yeah, true. But when I go on work, I have a cab with me so it doesn't matter. :)

@SAB: That is SUCH a sweet thing to say :)

hAAthi said...

Do you also sometimes feel like life sort of swallows you up? Between work and a hectic social life, it always takes me a while to reorient myself to being with myself. As much as I love it, it takes some time to come out of that hectic social mode to a solitary one..

What NGO is this?

Anonymous said...

So I am reading your archives, and I can totally identify with the content! I started writing in 2004 too, though that was when I was doing my summers, but the kind of stuff is SO similar. I have assignments, I have work, I have placements, I need to fill forms, I hate this place :D etc etc! So totally loving it!

Ramya said...

@hAAthi: You're so bang on about how it takes effort and time to be with oneself. It's very important to have some alone time, but often, I don't even realise that it's been missing.

I work in an NGO in the public health sector.

@DI: I am so embarrassed by those posts. Such a whiny, angsty, sad person I was then. I am so tempted to delete them but they are the best memories of the other side of b-school (if not for the posts I would remember mostly the good bits) so its best they stay, I guess :)

kiran said...
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