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Thursday, August 7, 2008

On the Highway

Imagine buying your first vehicle. It could be your cycle, your motor-bike, your car, your van, your truck, or even your own bus. It gleams and shines while adrenaline rushes through your body.You cannot wait to be seated on or in it, resting your hands on the steering and driving/riding away to some place that makes you happy. You speed, you slow down for bumps, you accelerate again, you dodge puddles and potholes, brake, change gears, stop at traffic lights, swerve, take a u-turn, come back home, and park your new precious vehicle. And then you look for excuses to go out on it again....maybe.

Many of us get overwhelmed with life, its worries, its stressors, often wanting to run away from it all, wanting someone to come save us, wanting to move ahead happily. How many of us do that while driving, though? If we come across a bridge that is closed for the day, do we not turn around and find another way? If we come across a bump, do we not slow down and go over it such that we don't fall off the bike? If we fall off a two-wheeler or are in a motor-crash, do we not find someone to nurse our injuries, take the required rest, and go about our daily ways as soon as we are well?

Speed breakers are those problems in life that halt us when we are being impulsive or rash, often causing a dent in our plans. Potholes are those problems in life that often come unexpectedly causing us to detour or fall right into it. Closed roads are those problems that cause us to start everything right from the beginning, wasting precious time and energy. One-way roads are those problems that have you stuck in them once into them and there is no looking back. And then we have accidents where someone else's plan does not co-incide with ours and there is a crash, often causing much damage, to our mental health, relationships, stability, and so on. And yet, when these things happen on the road, many or most of us survive with some assistance or not.

Maybe, life is not that hard as we think it to be. Maybe, when the traffic gets too bad, we can take a detour. Maybe, highways are not always the best or the fastest. Maybe, its ok to take another route sometimes. Maybe, we need someone to lend us a helping hand when we are stuck.

This is what I was thinking this weekend as I drove 21 hours from Dayton to Houston for my final stint in my doctoral program. I am now in a new territory, on new roads, trying to find my way around. What road are you on?

118 Words of Wisdom:

gunj said...

wow! i always love ur analogies!

rayshma said...

really thought-provoking piece...
i'm still trying to figure out what path i'm on...

Pavi!!!! said...

The answers to all ur mabbes are in the affirmative sumtime or the other in life.. But its just that when one reaches that dead-end, that one-way from where once cant turn around or has that accident...it seems like its the end of the world.
But yes..soon we recover..therz no alternative to that.

I loved ur last para... Wish u all the Very Best for ur home run!I'm sure u ll do wonders..coz seems like thats a habit wit u :)

La vida Loca said...

Good luck at Houston

Solitaire said...

@ Gunj,

Thanks!! And what were you doing up so late??

Solitaire said...

@ Rayshma,

That's fine. Just don't get disheartened when you get lost. Try mapquest. :)

Solitaire said...

@ Pavi,

Yes. Sometimes those wrong turns seems to be the end of the world. Just like it took me more than 2 hours to get back home when I ventured out by myself on a kinetic honda during my early days, and I thought I never would reach home!

Thanks!! I hope so too! And if I get lost, I will call you for directions. :)

Solitaire said...

@ La Vida,

Thank you!

aqua gurl said...

loved the post!!
I am a roadie, a huge driving fan!!!
I bet the drive felt like the best thing in the world??

Ne said...

YES!! I agree... I hate the feeling of being lost or being a cause of an accident (so to speak) but it happens and then we recover...

Piece by piece!

I liked this... Finding ones path leads to some potholes and even a lot of MUDpuddles!!

Ne.

Vrij said...

All the Very Best!

For ur Dr prog as well as the drive back!

Vinz aka Vinu aka Vinayak said...

~One-way roads are those problems that have you stuck in them once into them and there is no looking back~

i liked this one..u know, i always compares my driving with life..with my decision making..hehe..strange but yeah..!!

whenever i take a wrong side overtake i think, such things shud not happen in life..its like geting ahead in life discarding others routes..keeping on applying horns is like disturbing others with our boastings(those continuous horning sessions are irritatiing..)..!!

nice post..

Neeku said...

wow.... !
Thats all i can say...

and offcourse the post :)

Southpaw unplugged said...

These days its the turbulence in the air, huge waves in the sea and the flooding rivers test me...

Ghost Particle said...

dayton to houston....when is singapore?

Solitaire said...

@ Aqua,

If you are a roadie, you are prepared for life. I like driving if there is no traffic, my car is clean, and I have good music.:)

Solitaire said...

@ NE,

True! If we focus on the entire journey, it may become overwhelming. But piece by piece is good!

Solitaire said...

@ Vrij,

Thanks!! Am not driving back to Dayton, ever!

Solitaire said...

@ Vinz,

Yes! Honking could be our useless chatter. The traffic cops could be those people in our lives who keep us on the right track. Traffic signs are those rules in society that help us stay moral and ethical.....and so on.

Solitaire said...

@ Neeku,

Thank you!

Solitaire said...

@ Southpaw,

All the routes are stressful, yeah? Never mind. They will clear up, as they always do.

Solitaire said...

@ Ghost,

On the highway? Never!

SMM said...

Good luck on your new road

Iceman said...

New roads.. are fun.. unknown territory is fun...
the thrill in exploring make life interesting & fun... (read:less boring!)

Ash said...

Wonderful analogy. Brilliant!

Solitaire said...

@ smm,

Thank you! Need it!

Vinz aka Vinu aka Vinayak said...

@sneha..

:)

traffic policemen as someone who will track us..hoo...not the ones in India..not atleast the ones in Pune..!!

Solitaire said...

@ iceman,

Thanks for that reminder. Will think about your words when it gets scary or overwhelming.

J said...

Wow.. love the way you put it and the driving.

The word runaway reminds me of something stupid I did recently. Thank god for the emergency service van that came to the rescue ;)

Solitaire said...

@ Ash,

Thanks!!

Solitaire said...

@ j,

Thanks! Care to share more about your story?

Solitaire said...

@ vinz,

Oops! What role do they play then?

Rakesh said...

do u remember gladiator or mahabhrta dialogue.."u all r dead"...go ahead..whatever u r doing is not real its maya:)..thats why i told u might be exploring abt. maya:)

Ghost Particle said...

duh! there is no Highway from US to Asia da...

Ria said...

tht was so awesome!i m on a new road of a career in banking which is so new to me coz i was an HR person prior to this!

Vandita said...

i agree life aint that bad after all, and we can surely find our way without or without help...
atleast im not vowing never to drive again ! :)
btw sorry for being ignorant but i didnt get how spanish is related to houston...
have fun in houston sol :)

Metrosexual Monk said...

greetings, the Queen of analogies

Tarun said...

Dayton to Houston 21 hours.

*goes to sleep*

Yeah read something similar a while back.

Abhishek Khanna said...

as guru abhi has said" its never about the car, its always about the driver"

Some people can enjoy the life in a ricket 20 year old car on a road fuull of potholes.. others crib in merc also!

Abhishek Khanna said...

n yea .. all the best.. is baari doctor banke ana.. mujhe bahut cold ho gaya hai :D

SunRays said...

Completely agree.... our destination is the sum of all roads we have taken before.. and how we drove those roads...not always highways ..remembering Frost... sometimes its the roads less travelled that we ought to take.

Here's wishing you a smooth ride to whatever road you do take :)

And wishing you a safe journey back.

Cheers and take care!!

Princess Mia said...

ah this reminds me of the song 'life is a highway' by rascal flatts.

btw my best wishes to u n take care dear

Pujan said...

I am doing too much work these days. Looking for nice vacation but many things are so tied up could not plan it properly.

I hate long driving. I drove too many times from Michigan to New Jersey for 3 years. Now i am done with it. I live train rides. So far experience with Amtrak is not bad.

Damn!...stress level is up!!

I am said...

I am surprised indeed..but since we both are phd we both can be classified as 'psycho's ' ourselves and that can lead to same thought streaming :) :-)

how about that :) ?


You have too many blogs :) hard to keep up...am at par only with Calm and Warm Diaries

You have some interesting stuff here too ;-) too much of interesting stuff girl :) bad for health :)

chal will see ya around and good luck with Houston

confused teju said...

http://lifemeansdrama.blogspot.com/
may be you would love this blog....

AmitL said...

Hi,Sol..I'm impressed..that example of corelating driving and potholes,closed roads,et al with life and it's situations was excellent.

Yes,indeedy-life needs us to take detours,when we feel we are at a dead end,and,we often do not have the courage to take that chance.

But,then,also what about divergent roads? i.e. when you come to a point where the road branches out into four or five lanes,which one do you take?I feel that's the real test in life-to keep one's eyes open,so that whenever things seem to be getting stuck,we think divergently of the options and take the best one available.Dost thou agree?

ceedy said...

Well isnt it sad that they dont have AAA for real life situations...

and sometimes...its not the road...but one could be in the wrong car itself...that leads to a bumpy journey and trying to escape one could end up not heeding to signs and signals and make a mess...but its not a DEAD END...buckle up - reverse and take another road or simply get a new car.......

very good post..enjoy houston...

lukkydivz said...

:) :) thats sucha nice comparision :)

Prakhar said...

dost...long drive... nice!!

Sometimes after reaching destination...you wish you can start again from the source...but you cant :(

21 hours hmmm...i guess its not non-stop??

btw ...had put up the poem for u Sonia style..chk the comments

Prakhar said...

dost...long drive... nice!!

Sometimes after reaching destination...you wish you can start again from the source...but you cant :(

21 hours hmmm...i guess its not non-stop??

btw ...had put up the poem for u Sonia style..chk the comments

Solitaire said...

@ Prakhar,

I rarely want to go back to the starting point. My motto is "chalte raho". Yes, it was not non-stop. That is not my cup of tea!

Thanks for putting it up Sonia style. I was wondering who Sonia is until I read your comment there. ;)

Solitaire said...

@ Lukky,

Thanks!!

Solitaire said...

@ Ceedy,

Thank you!

What does "wrong car" mean, though? Its all about perspective. Sometimes, we think that the other person is in a better car, maybe the right one when all it could be is "grass is greener on the other side". And yes, if it indeed is a damaged car, then its time to get a new one!

Solitaire said...

@ AmitL,

Thanks!!

***But,then,also what about divergent roads? i.e. when you come to a point where the road branches out into four or five lanes,which one do you take?

Yes, I agree we end up taking what we think is the best for us. That's where my points come in. If at some point, we feel that this is the wrong road, one should not panic. Cos in real life road situations, we only huff and puff, take a u-turn, go back to the same point, ask around, and somehow reach the destination, right?

Solitaire said...

@ confused,

Thanks for the link! I did like the blog, especially the current post.

Solitaire said...

@ I am,

Haha doc! Maybe "fools never differ" or "great minds think alike"?

Yes yes! I know I have too many blogs. But what to do? I love to categorize everything I do. So all the blogs are different based on what resides there. Thanks for stopping by!

Solitaire said...

@ Pujan,

Does not matter if you hate driving. You like the trains, right? That is also a means of transportation! Why is your stress level up? Is the road too bumpy?

Pujan said...

My bad! I wanted to say I am done with long drives and yes Train as transportation medium suits me well.

I guess you are trying to hint that campus days are done and new roads of live has started? Yeah. Change comes with surprise. this is big change.

yeah Stress level is up. so many things on plate. Not too bumpy but kind of unexpected ones are tough to handle at times. i am just juggling it to handle gracefully.

Solitaire said...

@ Princess,

Thank you!! Nice song. Maybe I can put that one on this page.

Solitaire said...

@ Sunrays,

Exactly!! I was thinking about Frost when I wrote this post.

Thanks!! I am not driving back to my starting point. I will keep moving ahead to wherever life takes me.

Solitaire said...

@ Abhishek,

Haha! Cold thik karane waali doctor toh nahi ban paoongi!

I like how you said that some people complain in a merc while some make do with an old car, especially because someone just complained about being in the wrong car!! Guess there are so many different perspectives to this.

Solitaire said...

@ Tarun,

Why? You don't like long journeys? Life is one long journey too! Are you sleeping through it?

Solitaire said...

@ Metrosexual,

Greetings my friend!! How you been?

Solitaire said...

@ Vandita,

Haha! Texas (where Houston lies) shares its border with Mexico. More than half the population here speaks Spanish!

Great to see you so optimistic!

Solitaire said...

@ Ria,

Enjoy the ride, the new sights, smells, people...gradually it will all become familiar.

Solitaire said...

@ Rakesh,

Oh ok!! I don't remember an english dialogue in Mahabharat!

What do you think about this post?

Solitaire said...

@ Ghost,

Crazy guy! I know that!

Solitaire said...

@ Pujan,

Unexpected turns can be scary and surprising. But who knows what lies at the corner? Maybe your soulmate is waiting for you there. :)

Yes, campus days are gone. So are familiar friends, places, roads, etc. :(

ceedy said...

Sure its all about perspective and the comfort of the ride...it might be a wrong car for one but a complely all right for the other....

just like your post is subjective..some people thrive in bumpy rides and specially go off road...

Prakhar said...

well...thats gud..chalte raho...it gets difficult to leave someone behind...

btw...Amisha patel fan??...Lazy Lamhe :P

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

As of now,I am on the road to fulfilling my ambition,and I guess so are you.

Good luck! :)

Keshi said...

Lovely Sol!

I was waiting to find out wut u did :) And its great to know ur on a new ROAD in life and that ur enjoying it and seeing the bigger picture of it all. Fantastic attitude to life. And I wish u all the best in everything!



**Maybe, life is not that hard as we think it to be. Maybe, when the traffic gets too bad, we can take a detour. Maybe, highways are not always the best or the fastest. Maybe, its ok to take another route sometimes.


I agree...life is not gonna be always smooth, fast and traffic-free. Wuts challenging is also a part of it and must be the ROADS taken.


**What road are you on?

to be honest, Im on a very difficult, bumpy and chaotic road...but Im enjoying the ride on it cos I see no point in lamenting over it anymore...Im on that road, so I better drive on somehow and get to my destination.



Keshi.

Neeku said...

you have been story tagged !

vishesh said...

i am on a road ,on which i think i know where i am going,every now and then all those things u mentioned get me and i am lost for a while,but then when i am just about to get stuck,i find the way out of those things and again have my goals and life in sight :)

Sweetstickychewy said...

Very interesting illustration there...

Makes so much sense.:)

Raghav said...

thats very well thot out.
i usually dont drift off like that while driving, im too busy singing along with the stereo or cursing the drivers around me, who balatantly flout driving laws

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Sometimes it's the other way around. We do not choose the road we take but the road chooses us and we have to make do with whatever resources we have. We adjust to the cards that fate deals with us. Thanks for the post. God bless.

maverick said...

i hope the public works department in india doesnt read ur blog...they wud find an excuse not to repair the road s then :D :D

Phantom - The Ghost said...

On the Highway...a poem for you Solitaire...

"On a road so high,
was it a down hill,
or was it some uphill,
or just a flat bed,
nowhere stand still,
the road bothways high,
and so it parts here'n'there,
dunno where,
as i strive,
ofcourse,
with open hands,
where was helping hands,
anyways,
on a road so high,
i strive,
i move,
i crawl,
not a snail or shift leapord,
but,
i know,
i can walk,
i can run,
can i think,
yes,
someday,
to fly or to swim,
i am on my way,
to a new path,
a path chosen,
to follow,
to lead,
to show,
the lights high,
as the lights on a lone highway,
this is,
ofcourse,
a road made for me,
by me and for me,
a life to live high,
dunno when was it low,
On a road so high,
was it a down hill,
or was it some uphill,
or just a flat bed,
nowhere stand still
i know!
I WILL,
if not yesterday,
then,
someday,
or today,
anyways,
i know,
i am on a road so high,
i will fly high,
wish me good luck guys,
on my way shall I try,
to spread life awareness,
happiness'n'smiles!!"

-Raghu Iyer (Phantom Ghost)

Satish Bolla said...

wow, that was something inspiring(but after a long time frm u).

i want to go on some new road that leads to some unknown horizons. i am presently bored of my current road of life.

Dewdrop said...

Very good analogy and All the best :)

humbl devil said...

i dont wanna dent the positive streak here...>:D
but, what happens, when we get into an accident, someone else, say a trucker loses brakes and crashes our car...mebbe we get out alive...but the car is wrecked...the car can be replaced...

but, can we replace our life with a new one???

and no, i m not a pessimist...
i m 50% optimist and 50% realist...
:D

Anindita said...

I love the metaphors! I wish I had a car! It sure beats traveling to college everyday in an overcrowded and stuffy bus ;)

Karthik S said...

Your thoughts always give different perspectives to life. This one is really good.

Cheers :-)

τ ħ€ ĐάЎđяёάmёя said...

Interesting analogies :P
roadtrip ka gehra asar hai :P

lol

Hemanth Potluri said...

how was ur trip and safe drive..ur thought was good had to be very care full in the road of life...:)...

urs..hemu..

Southpaw unplugged said...

Yes it will clear up...

Stupidosaur said...

//This is what I was thinking this weekend as I drove 21 hours from Dayton to Houston for my final stint in my doctoral program

See my guess that you were doing something 'work related' or 'official' or 'important' was quite true.

I shoud have guessed it. Someone visited my page from your blogroll from Houston.

PrAcHi said...

21 hours drive? Good going girl.
One-way roads are those problems that have you stuck in them once into them and there is no looking back.
Loved this one. U have a very nice perspective of looking towards the life!

Toonfactory said...

Hey what an analogy....really loved going thru all of ur Blogs :) thanks for visiting mine and leaving comment...keep visiting & KIT
:)

KP said...

good one!

As you know "Life is journey and not destination".

in the journey..one always meets the dead-end and detour to find its way back:).

21 hr drive. You used it well. problems are part of the life! one always finds way its way to the solution, it might not be the best...but it works!

Bubbly Vodka said...

I'm right now on a road that doesn't seem to have an end. I don't see anything ahead of me and I don't have a destination. I'm just walking.

Good luck with your program!

Solitaire said...

@ Bubbly,

Just because you do not have a goal right now, does not mean there is no destination ahead of you. Who knows, while walking, you may find a beautiful place that you want to make your final destination.

Good luck with that!

BTW, how are you now?

Solitaire said...

@ KP,

Ekdum barabar!!

It all works out in the end, whether its a journey from the US to India or a short trip to the grocery store.

Solitaire said...

@ Toon,

Thanks and you are welcome!!

Solitaire said...

@ Prachi,

Thanks girl!!!

Solitaire said...

@ Stupid,

I was only driving! Is that work-related when working has not even begun?

Solitaire said...

@ Hemu,

Thanks!
True! We have to be careful. But sometimes..no matter how careful..it just does not work out the way we think it will. Just be prepared.

Solitaire said...

@ Daydreamer,

Haan!! Abhi thoda asar utar gaya!

Solitaire said...

@ Karthik,

Thank you!

Solitaire said...

@ Anindita,

Thanks!

Look at this way. In a bus, you always have fellow travellers. In a car, not necessarily. :)

Solitaire said...

@ Humble,

**what happens, when we get into an accident, someone else, say a trucker loses brakes and crashes our car...mebbe we get out alive...but the car is wrecked...the car can be replaced...but, can we replace our life with a new one???

You cannot. You reached the final destination..DEATH. That's where we are all heading. We just do not know when its going to hit us. Your journey is over. So what again is the question?

Solitaire said...

@ Dewdrop,

Thanks!! To you too!

Solitaire said...

@ Satish,

Thanks! My road is full of traffic so am trying to be more safe and less inspirational.

What's stopping you from taking a new road?

Solitaire said...

@ Phantom,

Its awesome!!!!!!!!! Good luck to you!!!

Solitaire said...

@ Maverick,

LOL! Ya they might say, "let people learn from our roads".

Damn!

Solitaire said...

@ Mel,

Don't you think this post addresses that? The fact that whatever roads come our way..we have to deal with them and learn from them.

Solitaire said...

@ Raghav,

You mean you curse the fellow travellers just because they do not know how to drive the way you do?

Solitaire said...

@ Raghav,

You mean you curse the fellow travellers just because they do not know how to drive the way you do?

Solitaire said...

@ Sweetsticky,

Thanks!

Solitaire said...

@ Vishesh,

Good luck and kudos!! Like your attitude.

Solitaire said...

@ Ceedy,

Funny how your car broke down after this post and you had to get a new one.

Solitaire said...

@ Neeku,

That's a difficult tag.

Solitaire said...

@ Keshi,

Well-said. No point complaining, whining, blaming the car instead of the road, or other fellow travellers. It is our road, our journey, and we have to deal with it. Great!!

Solitaire said...

@ Sameera,

To you too fellow traveller!

Solitaire said...

@ Prakhar,

Why leave them behind? Take them along too. But sometimes people have different roads to take and we just cannot help it.

Haha..no not an Amisha fan but the song is nice, hai na?

humbl devil said...

DUHHHHH!!!
i was not talking about life and death wala life...:D
i was talking about the moments and incidents that make our life...that comprise our life and that life which we call our lives... :D
the years that define our life wla life...and not dying wala life...

ab samajh mai aaya???
now answer the same question in that context...

p.s.
u sure know how to complicate things up, dont u???

Manasa said...

Ups and downs in life are same as that to the sweet and hot dishes we savour.