Of Holidays and Sadness

‘One day I will come to the hills and not bring any sadness with me.’

Being sad is not limited by metros and trains, like my pet cactus Benny is (plants are not allowed in metros).

Sadness travels everywhere.

You will do many happy things in the hills.

You will sing and dance in buses.

You will breathe in the mountain air that tastes so different from the city air.

You will pose ridiculously in touristy places.

You will laugh over books with your friends, sitting in a cramped train compartment.

You will go for walks that sometimes give you the illusion of being alone with the hills.

You will pretend you are gazing at the sunlight against red leaves when you are trying to hold in the motion sickness.

You will have encounters with monkeys, and stay up all night (or not).

You will hike to distant places, and play cards in odd spaces.

You will do many other things that I would never do, but I think at some point we would feel a similar relief over our happiness.

While you are doing some of these things or all of these things, your city-sadness will come to you, as if you’d stuffed it in your packet of socks, or mixed it into your sanitizer.

You will feel sadness that I’d never feel, but I think at some point we would feel a similar frustration with our sadness.

Holidays cannot erase sadness. Sometimes they lessen it, and sometimes they increase it.

Star-gazing is wonderful. Tiny points of light swell up inside you, pushing out all the tiny problems – but I have realised that no amount of star-gazing can replace tiny problems, because holidays end, and so does the night.

So then, what was the point?

The hills, too, aren’t limited by metros and trains like my pet cactus Benny is (plants are not allowed in metros, but pots and soil are).

‘One day when I am sad, I will bring the hills with me.’

Written by Anushmita Mohanty

Featured image by Stuti Pachisia

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