Sometimes, some random conversations are enough to get me out of the blogging lull. But at other times, a gentle nudge and a timely prompt would work wonders. Heartfelt thanks to Janani Srikanth (will I ever get tired of doing this?) for this wonderful picture that triggered so many words, some of which I have compiled to post here. ❤
************ DELVE ************
The pen paused over the paper yet again, running out of the right words to describe the emotions. Being a travel blogger meant that Riya could travel to exotic locations, sometimes sponsored by the top names in the industries, each experience making her richer in all senses of the word, not just monetarily. But the third caustic comment she had received for her writing recently had meant she had to reassess. It was clear that her writing lacked its usual lustre. She just couldn’t point out the exact problem.
A friend suggested changing the writing medium to paper, and had even gifted her a journal. But just two sentences in, the pen was poised over the exquisite paper as her mind ran over the right word to describe the crushing emptiness she had felt during her recent travel to Malibu. Shaking her head at herself, she debated on the sensibility of actually writing such morose stuff on a blog that had ten million hits a month.
‘You had 23 years of stuff to write on wanderlust for the first three years of your blogging. You’ve just had a burnout, having exhausted most of it. Maybe it is time to go back to where it all started. Take a vacation to your roots. Reenergise yourself before you attempt writing again for money! Who doesn’t love nostalgia?’
Riya frowned at the obviously well-meaning message from her best friend, the uncomfortable truth staring at her face in the first two lines. The mere suggestion that she, the fantastic travel blogger Riya Mehta, travel to a rusty village that had heard of electricity only three decades ago, where the only interesting things to photograph were a broken old well and a despondent scarecrow – all this to just ‘reenergise’ herself, was preposterous. The only positive point to be said for that place was its lack of proper internet connectivity. A welcome break from pestering emails to meet deadlines and churn out increasingly interesting content.
The onward journey itself took seventeen hours – by air, rail and road. As Riya tumbled thankfully out of the groaning auto-rickshaw, she paid the grinning man an extra bonus just for agreeing to come into the village when others had refused. The memories came first, each little insignificant thing triggering a recollection so strong that Riya found the words aligning themselves in her head.
The empty swing in the backyard of a house beckoned, as if it were standing still so she could climb it. Overcome a childish glee to check if her increased height had bettered the chances of her climbing onto the swing that had been elusive years ago, she rushed towards it, ignoring the fatigue of the journey. And as if the to and fro motion of the swing took her back years, the midday sun threw a shadow of her younger self – the girl who had read, dreamed, swayed, and soared, all from the humble wooden plank hung from a tree.
And in one stroke, Riya knew the phrase she’d use to title her next post.