One day, a compatriot of mine posted a picture of him writing in his diary while he was sitting in the compartment of the train going from Mumbai to Pune during one of his trips to India. A couple of times earlier, I saw a great picture which I shared on my timeline, and for which the message perfectly matched the message that my compatriot wanted to pass to us through that post. I am sending you that picture in attachment, because it’s worth to meditate on it and on that picture of my compatriot writing in his train compartment.
Let’s first of all analyse my compatriot’s picture. He is sitting in the compartment, and he is writing. There is an extract in whatever he wrote on his website about that picture, which really amazed me, and which I would like to share with you all: “The train journey fuelled my inspiration to lose myself in the world of words. I took out my travel diary and wrote down my emotions and memories
.” Whatever he was sharing with us through his diary on that picture, and the way he described how attentive he was to every sound, every sight, every scenario happening during a train trip, is perfectly summarised by that picture that I am sending you in attachment.Look at that young girl carefully. She shows, through her clothes, her bag on her back and the way she is standing next to the exit door of the train, how she is really appreciating the trip, not as a travelled, but as a true traveller. Contrary to some other travellers who are comfortably sitting in their compartments, either reading their newspapers, sleeping, chatting on all sorts of things, eating, drinking or playing cards, that young lady is exactly doing what my compatriot has done while travelling by train. Though she knows about the danger of standing in front of that door, she doesn’t care. She is admiring the landscape, exploring the green grass in front of her eyes, enjoying the cold breeze caressing her face and caused by the speed of the train going on. She is capping with her eyes, and not with her camera, every little detail she would notice during her travel: People crossing, cattle from afar in the green grass of a local farm… And travelling such, that young lady will do exactly what my compatriot did: She will also salute every person she will see walking or riding in front of her eyes out of that train, as if she was a part of them and no more a passenger in the train. That was also what my compatriot did… Not only seeing people from outside, but even with the other travellers inside, by creating such a true human touch. And who knows if, when she will sit back in her compartment, that young lady will do the same also? That is what we truly hope and expect from her and we wish she really did it.I remember that, when I was still in my college years, we once studied a subject together with our French teacher, about the difference between the traveller and the travelled. I don’t remember exactly the whole course nor did find any personal researches about it, but I remember a few lines that he shared with us about the difference between those two kind of people. The traveller is the one who feels, the one who enjoys the feeling of every little detail around him or her. The traveller is the one who will see with his heart whatever the eyes cannot see, and even see with his heart the physically unseen. He will hear sounds from the heart, which are different from what he would hear with his own ears as physical sounds, because those sounds he will hear are spiritual sounds. It goes on in the same way for the other senses of the human race, such as the taste, the touch and the smell. The traveller is most of all a feeler. The travelled, however, will only think about his or her material and financial comfort to better enjoy his or her trip. He will think about the promotional rates for the flight or train tickets, look for the most comfortable compartment where he would sit, choose the best menus for the comfort of his mouth, take a whole bench of seats available to sleep comfortably… And at the arrival he or she will look for the most comfortable hotel to live in and to relax his body, instead of enriching his or her soul and heart like a true traveller. The traveller is mostly a spiritual person, not forcefully a physical one. It’s the inner person within us expressing itself, whereas the travelled is only the outer person that we represent physically. Unfortunately very few people have that gift of travelling like travellers… And that compatriot of mine is part of those rare people
I will relate you a little anecdote. I have a relative who is settled in Europe. One day, her husband brought her to a very peaceful and beautiful lake located in a mountainous and peaceful region in Scotland. My relative kept on taking a lot of pictures continuously and her husband, at a moment, got very angry against her, because she was loosing her time captivating those moments with her camera, instead of seizing that great opportunity to appreciate that wonderful landscape by appreciating its beauty, embracing the fresh air caressing her lovely skin, feeling the pureness and peace of that place, feeling Heaven’s presence in it, enjoying the ducks in the pond peacefully swimming, etc. I sincerely congratulate my young brother-in-law for having scolded her for that, because he wanted to show her the true meaning of life… And she admitted she did the wrong thing by being stuck too much to her camera.
Otherwise, another detail in my compatriot’s post captivated my attention, I quote: “I inquisitively and gleefully peeked through the window to catch a view of the glorious Lonavla and Khandala.” Why did those two regions especially fascinate my compatriot? As usual with my curious nature, I did my personal researches about those two regions.
Here are some interesting points I noted out through some researches on Wikipedia, and which describe the beauty of both those regions, representing another shape of the Green Maharashtra, like the region of Konkan, from which my friend and sister Kishmish Réhahn
“Places of interest around Lonavla and Khandala
View of Rajmachi Point, Lonavla Rajmachi Point Rajmachi Point is located about 6.5 km from Lonavla. This point commands a view of Shivaji’s famous fort, Rajmachi (Royal terrakouioce) and the surrounding valley. Regular State Transport buses ply between Rajmachi Point and Lonavla from the State Transport Bus Stand. The famous Vaghjai Dari is also located here.
Ryewood Park & Shivaji Udyan This is an extensive garden situated in Lonavla. The garden covers a lot of ground and it is full of tall trees. There is an old Shiva temple in the park. The garden has plenty of place for children to play.
Valvan Dam Valvan Dam has a garden at its foot, and is a popular evening spot 2 km from the town. The dam supplies water to the Khopoli power station at the foothills of the Sahyadris for generating electricity. The Kundali River feeds into the dam’s reservoir.
Lonavla Lake Lonavla Lake is surrounded by natural scenery, about 1.6 km from the town. The lake dries up during the winter months.
Duke’s Nose Duke’s Nose stands 12 km from Lonavla, clearly visible from the highway while driving towards Mumbai. This landmark in Khandala is popular with hikers. Also known locally as Naagphani (Cobra’s Hood), the cliff owes its name to the Duke of Wellington, whose ample nose it resembles.
Tiger’s Leap Tiger’s Leap also known as Tiger’s Point is a cliff-top with a sheer drop of over 650 m, giving an extensive view. Buses are available up to INS Shivaji and the remaining distance of about 1.6 km has to be covered on foot.
Just around tiger’s leap, there is a small waterfall active only during the monsoon. It serves the purpose of relaxing in the water better than Bushy dam, as the force of the fall is higher. Also, after the brief steep descent, the fall becomes a stream with a fair amount of force to go all the way down to the base of the Tiger’s Leap. Adventurers can trek down the stream whilst intermittently stepping back on land where the water current is too strong and the fall is steep.
Karla Caves Karla caves, located near Lonavla, is a complex of cave shrines built by Buddhist monks around 3rd to 2nd century B.C. A famous temple of Goddess Ekvira Devi is also present here.
Bhushi dam during the rainy season Lohagad Fort A robust climb of about 11.2 km from Malavali Railway Station takes you to the ‘Iron Fort’, once a formidable battle-station of Shivaji. The fort commands a view of the surrounding hills and hamlets.
Lohagad Fort during monsoons Bhushi Dam A waterfall near the dam is a popular spot between Lonavla and I.N.S. Shivaji. Buses running on the I.N.S. Shivaji Road stop here.
Lion Point Scenic point midway between Bhushi Dam and Aamby Valley .
Tungarli Lake and Dam This lake and Dam come to life during the Monsoon season, where youth climb the mountain top to the Dam. This dam was built during the British era and features a serene surrounding.
Shooting Point Another scenic point in the town of Khandala (Bazaar path), which provides a magnificent view of the Rajmachi Fort and the valley. Also the home for the St. Mary’s villa.
Wax Museum The ‘Celebrity Wax Museum’, modeled on the famous Madame Tussaud in London, is located only 3 km away from the railway station at Varsoli, near Toll Plaza is a new attraction for the tourists.”
Regarding Khandala, here are the points which attracted my attention most, and which also prove the Green Maharashtra beauty:
“Places of interest Tiger’s Leap : It is one of the most fascinating places in this area. If someone carefully observes the valley from this point, it will appear as if a tiger is leaping into the valley.
Amrutanjan Point : Amrutanjan point is yet another point located high up in Khandala. It provides an excellent view of the places nearby. The point is a well suited location for an enormous sight of the valley as well as the Duke’s Nose.
Duke’s Nose : Duke’s Nose, also known as ‘Nagfani’ is named after Duke Wellington, who had a pointed nose resembling the cliff.
Karla and Bhaja Cave : Karla and Bhaja Caves are historical rock-cut caves, situated at a distance of 16 km from Khandala. Karla Caves are the ancient Buddhist caves. Bhaja Caves are similar to Karla Caves but are on a much smaller scale. This caves are also in Chaitya style.
Bhushi Lake : Bhushi Lake situated in Khandala is the ideal spot for all those who wish to relax in the lap of Mother Nature. Its serene and tranquil surroundings and crystal clear water provides immense opportunities for the tourists to rest in peace.”
Two regions with fantastic green views, beautiful and clean green landscapes, pure fresh air, calm, sensation of peace, sensation of freedom, strong presence of God through the hidden caves and temples, etc. Exactly the kind of landscapes that a lot of travellers enjoy looking through the waggon window most of the time, and which bring positiveness into their trip. And I am sure that by exploring those places, my compatriot felt a total communication with God while travelling by train as a feeler… As a true traveller.
See the quote on the picture: “Travel as much as you can. As far as you can. As long as you can. Explore our beautiful world”.
A true traveller LIVES. He lets all his senses wide open, all connected with the voice of his heart more than the voice of his brains. Because like we say in French, the heart has its reasons that the reason itself doesn’t always have. With the heart, the traveller lives some unique experiences by being in total communication with God.
A true traveller LOVES. By living those experiences, he learns to appreciate the true inner beauty behind every single experience. See my compatriot himself. He loved seeing the beautiful landscapes of those two beautiful green regions of Maharashtra. He loved the human touch with the people whom he chatted with in the train, sharing all together their life experiences with him. He loved the scenes out of the train with people coming in and coming out of the train, the sellers, the brouhaha of people always rushing around the train to be sure to arrive at their final destination on time, the sound of the horn and of the running train, the feeling of the train bumping on the rail… And he understood that it couldn’t be else than as it is… And it couldn’t be better… Because in each of those experiences, my compatriot showed us the inner beauty of the travelling experience by train, and showed us that such trips should never be painful but rather appreciated for what they are in their brute shape. Exactly like a piece of gold extracted from a gold mine and which hasn’t yet been reworked by jewellers.
Finally a true traveller, by living and loving those experiences, appreciate them so much that his feelings will come out… And he will LAUGH. LAUGH in the sense that he will cry, he will scream, he will jump, he will be hilarious, etc. Exactly like my compatriot who, in one of his pics on his Facebook page, was laughing with some travellers in the same compartment while they were sharing their stories together. And this is the voice of the state of trance in which the traveller will feel as he reached the highest level of his feelings as a traveller.
To conclude on that post, let’s meditate the “Live, Love and Laugh” in a brand new version I wanted to demonstrate through that post: – LIVE like a baby taking birth… That was what my compatriot did by entering the train and discovering his surrounding before analysing it with his heart in a deeper way. – LOVE like the love you give that baby to help him growing up healthily. That was also what my compatriot did, by appreciating every little detail in his trip like I described before. – LAUGH, like the baby who will express his feelings through what he will receive from Live and Love. Again my compatriot did it! And when he arrived at destination, he came out of the train enriched, and wrote all that experience in his diary.
On that conclusion, I let you all on your meditation state of heart and mind and send you my blessings.
Live, Love and Laugh like a journey… not like a destination to reach.