A Blind Date With The World – #TheBlindList #SayYesToTheWorld

A Blind Date With The World – #TheBlindList #SayYesToTheWorld

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I often wonder what kind of life nomads live. When I was a child, my thoughts as far as nomads were concerned were generally like, ‘wow! what a wonderful life they lead!, no rules to follow, no school…, happy-go-lucky life, eat exotic foods…, see a new place every day, how fantastic that must be…’ This liking for a nomadic way of life has its roots in the glimpses I have had of a certain marginalised sect of society in Mana Madurai, a remote town in Tamil Nadu. The people of this sect were considered untouchables.

Don’t get me wrong, I am totally against caste and religious divisions of any kind in society. I strongly believe that people of all strata of society should be given equal opportunities and should be treated with the respect and dignity due to all human beings. Having said that, let me relate my tryst with this sect of people I met when I was a child. Both my younger sister and I spent our formative years in New Delhi. We were usually packed off to my uncle’s place in Mana Madurai in Tamil Nadu as soon as school closed for summer holidays.

Our cousins would also join us and we would all have a really gala time. In one of these visits, my grandmother who was a very orthodox woman, caught me hobnobbing with some passing travellers dressed in exciting colourful clothes, carrying nets, utensils for cooking, tents, bedding and several other interesting items. The minute my grandmother saw me talking to these people, she caught hold of me by the collar and marched me home immediately.

She admonished me severely and told me never to talk to such strangers again. This struck me as odd. Being a rather rebellious child even at that early age, I immediately asked her for the reason one had to avoid these people so meticulously. She told me that these people were untouchables and belonged to an inferior caste. They had no homes and never stayed in one place for long. They would capture stray pigs with their nets, eat pork and were to be strictly ostracised from society.

I subsided for the moment but my fertile imagination was set on fire by the awesome lifestyle of these people. I imagined being constantly on the move, visiting new places every day, eating different food and generally doing just as I pleased. The more I thought of it, the more I liked it. I solemnly vowed to join these people once I grew up. But the thought of becoming a nomad never crossed my mind after I came back home to New Delhi after the holidays and I forgot about the incident. I grew up and graduated with an engineering degree and have not done much travelling in life.

But the topic of this post ‘A Blind date with the world’ reminded me of the above incident and those nomads I had met who were constantly on the move from place to place. I thought I would mention it here. Coming to the question of a blind date with the world, when I ask myself, ‘would I have the courage and temperament to say yes to a blind date?’, my immediate reaction is to say ‘yes, of course. But the cautious side of my mind argues, ‘what if it turns out to be dangerous…? what if I do not like the food…? what if the climate does not suit me…? what if…?’ There are a large number of ‘what if’s’ involved here.

Would I brave all these issues and still say yes? I thought for some time and my answer was still a big loud yes. And it is not a rational decision. Let me explain my reason for saying yes. Admittedly, there are a large number of reasons why I ought to avoid blind dates. But off-late I have been smitten by an itch to travel widely. In this context, I would first like to mention something about my laptop. Thanks to the Windows 10 OS, the wallpaper in my laptop changes automatically every three or four days. And Windows also asks me whether I like what I see, everytime it changes the wallpaper. If I reply in the affirmative, Windows comes up with new wallpapers of a similar kind. I have seen the lights of Shanghai, New York, Paris and Madrid adorn my computer screen as wallpapers.

Thanks to Windows, I have also seen some beautiful scenic lakes, snow-clad mountains, erupting volcanoes, breath-taking beaches and several other wonderful images on my computer screen. I have never visited these places. When I look at these images the thought that immediately springs to my mind is, ‘how wonderful it would be to actually visit these places!’ And that is the reason for the big yes to a blind date in spite of my apprehensions. I am pasting below the images of ten such places that have appeared on my computer screen. I would also like to state that if I were offered a blind date to any one of these places, I would nod my head without any hesitation. 

Hence my readiness to say yes to a blind date and to #SayYesToTheWorld. Here is the Bucket List of places I would like to visit. I will not be providing any descriptions of these places because I have never visited them and I don’t believe in giving descriptions based on what others say or what I have read. However, I will briefly state what I find attractive in each image and why the image makes me want to visit the place.

1. The lights of Shanghai, China 
Those dazzling lights are something out of the world, aren’t they? The waters appear dark, deep and silent. I would like to climb to the top of each one of those skyscrapers and look at the vehicles plying on the roads below. I am sure the view would be dazzling. I am assuming there will be well-laid roads with a large number of vehicles plying on them in this beautiful city.  It would definitely be an experience of a lifetime.

2. Brooklyn Bridge, New York City 

I am fascinated by this majestic bridge, a man-made marvel over deep waters. I would definitely like to drive across this bridge at night-time and reach the other end to enjoy the throbbing night-life which I am sure exists there.

3. Palacio De Cibeles, Madrid, Spain

This palace looks like it is right out of medieval times. I am a great admirer of architecture. Even when I go to temples in India I never fail to pause and look at the sculptures sculpted by our own great Indian artisans. The architecture of this place looks like something from the heavens. But I know this is European and I want to see it from close quarters.

4. Belogradchik Fortress, Bulgaria 

This fortress looks like someone from Rajasthan had travelled to Bulgaria and built it. When I looked at this image the first time, I thought it was some fort in India. Imagine my surprise when Windows informed me this fort is located in Bulgaria. I would sure like to visit this place.

5. Peles Castle, Romania

I remember watching the vampire movie Dracula a long time back, and this castle has towers that bring back vivid memories of Dracula’s castle which I saw in the movie. But the castle in which Dracula the vampire resided was extremely spooky and frightening. This one, on the other hand, makes me marvel at its beauty. I would sure like to visit it.
6. Transfagarasen Mountain, Romania 

I remember travelling by bus up the steep hill in Tirumala to visit the Lord Venkateshwara temple. This mountain and the curving road on it appear to be a much more sophisticated version of the Tirumala hills. What fun it would be to travel in a car on those winding roads!

7. Port-Ordaz, Waterfall,Venezuela

I have seen some tall waterfalls in my time. But this short beautiful waterfall looks extremely pleasing to the eye. But I am sure this waterfall is pretty dangerous though it looks innocuous, and I suspect one cant play games here. I would prefer to watch it from a distance.

8. Ladovec Mountains, Switzerland

I don’t think I can ever reach this spot. I would like to travel in a low-flying helicopter and look at this beautiful sight from the air.

9. Grand Canyon, National Park, Arizona USA 

Look at the reflection of the rays of the setting Sun from those rock faces. Boy! They are something out of the world! I would give my right hand to visit this place.

10. Stonehenge, UK

The mystery surrounding Stonehenge has always fascinated me. I think this is one place that is attractive because of the intrigue it arouses in my mind.

The above places are in my bucket list. I hope I get to visit these places someday and have the most enriching experience of a lifetime. It is a deep heartfelt wish.

Tags – #TheBlindList, #SayYesToTheWorld

Visit #TheBlindList contest page here.

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