'Twas Theoatmeal.com that sent me into the depths of despair all this while. How could I even poke the issue of randomness with grandmasters like Mr. Innman around? Utterly hopeless, I had given up this-is-so-random and drifted to lower crafts like drafting and rendering,well, at least in my dreams.
I wasn't the only one having troubled dreams.
The Troublemaker had a dream about her past life. That she had once been Christopher Columbus, the chosen one, the great man who never let the wind go out of his sails, the intrepid traveler who introduced his companions to the wonders of scurvy. She regaled tables, chairs and a few walls who were ready to listen with how travel was the only ambition in her life.
Meanwhile, the Beanstalk lost her mind and her heart and bravely masked this great tragedy by putting up her autobiography in installments through periodically updated status messages.
So it was a nervy and twitchy audience that the Troublemaker had, when the Beanstalk and me accidentally caught her in an impassioned " Why the hell won't you ever move your a*ses out of Roorkee? " kind of speech. Beanstalk burst out and declared- " ALL RIGHT THEN. Tomorrow, the land of Rishikesh it is! You can do whatever you want to - hog, amble, raft-
Why the hell would I say draft!"
Which is how we found ourselves ensconced in a bus, still rubbing our eyes, on a trip that we decided to improvise as a food trail. Since ambling sounded suspiciously bovine and I firmly put an end to any discussion on drafting, and also since two out of us were consummate foodies, we decided to go as on-the-job gluttons.
...And it was heaven. It doesn't take long for one to come under the sublime spell of Rishikesh, and nothing can ruin it, not the supersonic roar of the auto engines, not even the charging cows, not the jostling crowds.
While we stuck to our hogging plans, soon food wasn't the only thing on our minds.
Don't Lie, Look Awesome, Are completely at peace, Come only in One's or Two's and are God's Gift to the Opium Industry.
And now it wasn't only the Beanstalk who had lost her heart.
Their faces are unusually unlined and carefree. They spend all their life in pristine unwashed glory. They provide home to stray birds in their magnificent coiffures and they can make a raggedy cloth ,that a non-fussy mechanic would scorn, look like the most elegant line of pret wear.
A hippie will think nothing of squatting by the curb to read a book, something of the nature of The Tibetan Book Of the Dead. A hippie will revise yoga postures in the middle of a cafe. A hippie will, more often than not, be accompanied by a thick cloud of smoke. A hippie will walk hand-in-hand with mendicants and write on how beautiful and divine the beggars of India are.
Hippiedom is the pinnacle of pointlessness, what they call nirvana. It is a sublime state of existence, where soap, comb and sanity are shunned, where laziness is but a way of life..
Where was I?
Something about on-the-job gluttons. Heaven. Mystical.
I was mystified into the world of magic stones , as a cross-eyed shopkeeper showed us a memory-reviving stone. I would have liked to buy an entire (double-strung) necklace of those stones but the Chief Treasurer forbade any investments in anything that wasn't edible. FOCUS! commanded she, and we treated our intestines to an interesting mix of pancakes, pasta and deserts. The Troublemaker refused to eat at one place unless we sat in the view of the river and this being neatly overruled, a killing silence followed that made me fish out The Tibetan Book Of the Dead for advice. Anyway, from where we ultimately sat, we had a good view of an Italian hippie, resplendent in a lungi, who referred to the waiter as 'You- CHINK!', and thus restored us to good cheer.
But all good things must end and soon we were back on the jolting ride home. Back to the 360 acres, back to a Monday, but back as sworn believers of the hippie cult...