The Trance Expressway
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It was a cold winter night.
Around two weeks to go for the New Year’s Eve. I was having dinner with my family.
After a light dinner, I retired onto the sofa in the living room. Although the stomach was full, the mind seemed empty.
Staring blankly at the rotating ceiling fan above, I kept wondering what to do next.
Watching television was always a time waster for me. The activity didn’t seem to add much value to my life. A few good friends had already left for their long vacation trips. So it was kinda lonely! I am sure, you might have had similar lonely experiences as well at some point……..
Lying lethargically on the sofa, all I could hear was a screeching sound from the fan. It was the first time when I ever took notice of that sound. It never sounded so loud earlier!
There was silence around………
One great thing about Mumbai winters is, that it’s never a drop dead cold winter; but a very pleasant and comfortable one. The temperature rarely falls below 18 degree centigrade. Still, people here somehow tend to feel cold as if it’s the beginning of the ice age!
The outer suburbs, where I lived, wore a deserted look after 9 p.m. during this season. People generally prefer the comfort and warmth of their home.
However, I was uncomfortable……..
My fascination of soaking in the atmosphere and romancing the cool environment, egged me to move out and feel the weather.
It was 11 p.m., when I grabbed my jacket and put on my boots. It was time for me to take a motorbike ride…….
I felt chilly outside. (Kick-start) and I was ready to go.
The streets were almost vacant, and so was the expressway stretch near my house.
45 minutes later, I returned home………
Although I felt good after the ride, something still felt amiss. It wasn’t the bliss of satisfaction. I could not figure out why this happened, why I could not feel the joy of a night ride; after all that’s what I wanted to do few minutes back.
I blamed it on the ‘bad day’ and went to sleep.
The next night, I was ready to get going again for the ride…….
30 minutes later, I returned home…….
I returned home to that same feeling of confusion as to why the drive wasn’t as pleasurable as I had expected it to be?
This continued for the next 4 days, as I continued to take the night ride.
I experimented, by changing the time for the ride, the length of the journey, and crazily, the speeds of the motorbike as well!
But nothing seemed to work…….
After almost a week, it started to feel like an additional workload; like a ritual done, just for the sake of doing it.
It was Christmas Eve, and I was ready again, with my jacket and boots on, at 11 p.m.
I dragged my motorbike out of the garage. I was prepared to go again. As usual, the night was silent, streets empty, and the haze visible beneath the street lights’ glow…….
I started the engine……. But didn’t move ahead.
“This isn’t worth it! I should get back home and sleep”, I thought.
But again, just for the sake of it, I decided to begin the night ride…….
However, this time, just before the start of the journey, I created a route map in my mind. Of course, the expressway formed the biggest part of this route map. I decided on the turns to take, and the point of return (U-turn) on the expressway.
This mental route map creation process hardly took a couple of minutes. But, little did I know that these 2 minutes would provide me the answer that I was looking for, for a week!
At around 11:45 p.m., I returned home. But this time with a smile on my face and an appreciation for my existence! This was the feeling of contentment that I was looking for, the feeling I had been thirsty for.
10 minutes later, I was on my bed, raring to sleep in that peaceful and blissful state of mind.
It wasn’t Christmas yet, 5 more minutes were to go……. but I had already received my Christmas gift!
The next morning, I woke up early.
It was Christmas day, and there was a certain aura of happiness, both; around and within myself.
Having a cup of tea, I began gathering my thoughts from the past few days. A few minutes of brain-storming, and putting the events in sequence; I was able to connect the missing dots.
‘PLAN’ was the word!
So what was the difference between the previous night rides and the ride on the Christmas Eve?
Yes, you guessed it right. I had a PLAN for the Christmas Eve’s ride. I had ‘planned’ the en-route!
It was the same expressway, the same night time, but planning made all the difference.
For all the previous rides, I could not enjoy the journey. Instead, I kept on thinking which turn to take next, which route to move to next, what should be the U-turn point, for how much more time should I continue the ride…….
There was this constant phase of decision and indecision in the mind.
This prevented me to actually ‘live’ in that moment or enjoy the ride in the ambiance around. Instead, there was a constant jugglery of thoughts.
This led to a chaotic mind which continuously moved ahead of the present moment! I hope you would agree that this was more of ‘living in the future’ than ‘living in the present’.
However, this was not the case with the Christmas Eve’s night ride. The route map was set, and my mind already knew what to do next.
My mind didn’t need to put efforts in deciding or worrying about the next course of action. The actions seemed effortless, and I could really be within those moments.
I recollect, while taking the smooth ride on the expressway, I had opened up the helmet wizer, to feel the cool air.
I could feel the haze in my eyes….
I could smell the sea, flowing besides the expressway….
I could hear the passing breeze in my ears….
I could feel the cold on my face….
I felt eternal…. I felt in trance….
That’s the power of living in the present moment!!
The experience taught me the value of having a simple and clear plan to work towards a proper direction (aim), be it for achieving personal goals or professional goals. The “go with the flow” or “go where life takes you” attitude will lead you nowhere. Moreover, your journey and destination will be mostly dependent on your luck.
However, to be in control on the path of life, a simple, clear and adaptable plan is a must. Not only will this help you to be ready for the upcoming obstacles on the way, but will also let you ‘live in the moment’. After all, the joy of the journey is much better than the hard quest to reach the destination!
Few days later, this time on the New Year’s Eve, I went out again for the night ride at 11:30 p.m. (with a planned route in my head)…….
…….When the clock struck 12:00 a.m., and the world ushered in the New Year 2017……. I was on the expressway……. happily living in my moment……. with colorful fireworks in the sky!
Do you have such self-reflecting or trance experiences?
Do you have a simple plan for yourself?
Do let me know in your comments below. Do not forget to share this article socially.