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The appeal of travel is universal, as it promises the discovery of new places, experiences, and perspectives. It’s an idea deeply embedded in human culture, from seeking new stamps in passports to capturing picturesque moments for reels and photographs. However, beyond the excitement lies a profound truth – travel is not just about changing scenery, but also about evolving perceptions.
Consider the story of Arjuna from the Mahabharata, the epic Indian tale. When asked what he saw while aiming an arrow, his response stood out. While others saw trees and branches, Arjuna focused solely on the bird’s eye. Similarly, our experiences are often shaped by our moods and what we seek. Just as Arjuna’s laser-like focus determined his target, our attitudes influence what we notice during our travels.
A personal anecdote sheds light on this phenomenon. While visiting a grand temple in Kerala, the focus was initially on finding a restroom. The search for a signboard led to overlooking the temple’s beauty and its surroundings. Only after the immediate need was satisfied did the temple’s magnificence become apparent. This underscores how our fixation on specific concerns can obscure broader experiences.
The act of travel involves curiosity and the desire to understand a place and its people. To truly explore, one must be open to not only fulfilling needs but also absorbing the ambiance. Often, we become consumed with our requirements and miss the essence of a place. By shifting our attention to the details around us, we can uncover hidden treasures.
S. Ramakrishnan’s “Desanthri” delves into this theme extensively. It contemplates the essence of travel, emphasizing that our perceptions shape our experiences. Travel isn’t limited to physical journeys; it also encompasses the way we view the world from the comfort of our homes. Our homes become the gateway to exploring our hometown, offering a base of fond memories and nostalgia.
Childhood memories of exploring the neighborhood streets on bicycles are reminiscent of the thrill of adventure. The world felt vast and new, even within the familiar boundaries of one’s hometown. Through windows, a seemingly ordinary view could transform into an awe-inspiring sight. These early experiences lay the foundation for the wanderlust that often accompanies adulthood.
Yet, historical significance and hidden marvels surround us, often unnoticed. A cannon, which once evoked fear during wartime, now becomes a perch for a crow. This transition speaks to the passage of time and the shifts in perspectives. Similarly, major historical events, once mere essay topics, shaped the world in profound ways, rippling across continents.
Cultural differences in behaviors, like sun-tanning, reveal how our upbringing and environment influence us. Such quirks, like a tan representing the “painting of the heat,” showcase the idiosyncrasies of human behavior. As travelers, embracing these subtleties enriches our experiences.
Ramakrishnan’s journey takes readers to various places, each with its unique charm and history. From caves in Salem to hidden libraries, his narrative uncovers these hidden gems. One’s perception of a well changes when seen from a bird’s perspective while flying. This metaphor speaks to the idea that our views might transform if we alter our vantage point.
Travel introduces us to diverse individuals whose paths cross ours fleetingly. Each interaction becomes a unique memory, deepening the sense of connection and emphasizing the transience of life’s encounters. Ramakrishnan’s encounters with fascinating characters, like the resourceful young explorer in Nagaland, remind us of the beauty in these fleeting connections.
“Desanthri” resonates with those who crave not only the excitement of travel but also the power of perception. It encapsulates the idea that travel is an invitation to see the world with fresh eyes, to embrace both the expected and the unexpected. The book’s essence lies not just in the places it explores, but in the lens through which it views the world.
Travel encompasses far more than the act of reaching new destinations. It’s a journey of perceptions and revelations, of transcending immediate needs to unearth the hidden beauty of the world around us. “Desanthri” offers a literary expedition into this world, inviting readers to join the author on a journey of understanding, curiosity, and transformation. So, whether you’re a travel enthusiast or someone yearning for new perspectives from the comfort of your home, “Desanthri” promises a captivating exploration of life’s intricacies.