Sunday, 31 May 2009
India Travel Month (begins tomorrow)
When I went to North East India this month, it was as if the skank of life had been scrubbed from my eyes. On two fronts, I felt revitalised and refreshed and far more optimistic about my 29th year on this planet, even though the events leading up to birthday 28 last year were so much more optimistic.
While traveling in India, I may not have blogged online, but I was writing like a madman. Without the distractions of computers, filming or meeting up with people, I was left to my own thoughts and devices and experienced the surroundings with my own eagle sensitivity. Part log, part fiction, my little red book and myself were inseparable during the trip. Give me a writing implement, something to write on and a lack of distractions, and I will write. Prodigiously. It is what comes naturally to me, as does eating or drinking. It is a need for me to carry out, and I feel lucky that I am able to do this.
But anyway, why the month long blog about India, when I was only there for three weeks? Well, firstly, I want to share the experience of India, particularly North East India. This is a part of the world that few outsiders penetrate, mainly due to its inaccessibility (the farce of partition continues 60 years later). Go on, check out the literature for North East India, it just does not exist. Even for Indians, this is a part of their country that seems remote and detached from the rest of the country. And on visiting this region, expect the unexpected. The nature of the terrain, compounded by its location at the junction of South Asia, South-East Asia and Tibet has made this region rich in terms of culture, wildlife and people. Diversity is the key here and while it may seem farcical that this small area contains a quarter of India's states, on visiting the area, it is easy to see why, such is the breadth of change that occurs in this small region of that vast country.
Secondly, I want to share my travel experiences in general. While I have been blogging my life as 'Mr. Babarouge', the fact is that I have travelled far longer than I have been a film maker. If it was not for films, it may be pretty unlikely that I would be sitting here in London on this sunny day, typing away. It may even be unlikely that I would know how to use a computer, such is my love for the simple in life. In the past ten years, I have seen a fair chunk of the world, particularly Asia. From those first hesitant steps by myself, I have experienced joys that simply cannot be bought. Compared to many of my contemporaries that live here in the UK, I have seen sights, witnessed events and gone through trials that many cannot even imagine. I am also fairly seasoned in the rigors of the road. Luckily my health is pretty good, in fact better when I am out of the UK. I want to share a little of that experience, share the tips, share the farce of traveling as well as share some of the moments that become priceless experiences, long after the memories of a 'large one on the tiles' fade away.
I know that travel is not for everyone, and I realise that many do not have the opportunity to partake in the adventures of globetrotting. But I made a conscious choice when I was young. I threw the life of stability aside and decided to take advantage of a remarkably good passport in order to see more of humanity. To paraphrase from a famous film, I chose not to choose life. You may or may not agree with my choice, you may think me immature (and hell, I am - the mind of a kid, still!) but for me, personally, when I look back on what I have done so far, it has not been the material wealth that has satisfied me, nor has it been the academic or the career that has inspired me. What has kept me thriving, is doing what I wanted to do, personally. In terms of cash, I am scuppered. But in terms of living, it gives me an energy that exceeds that of many of my contemporaries and keeps driving me forward in what I want from my life.
Food for the soul, thoughts for the mind and practicalities for the traveller as well as some great pics from a beautiful country. All through June, here on 'El Director's Blog'.