Tag Archives: Wanderlust

The Wanderlust Comic Competition Winner!

comic winner jw

WINNER: Vrinda Bhatia, English-1B

SCRIPT: The Universe in You

  1. Son, don’t you spend too much time on your computer these days? Go get some fresh air.
  2. Hmph, the air inside my room is stale. It’s just… These days… Dad, I’m frustrated.
  3. Hi frustrated, I’m dad. (grins) Do you want to talk about it here or somewhere else?
  4. Let’s go for camping tonight. I’m so done with school, sadly the school isn’t done yet.
  5. …and so I lost that competition and it’s this rat race that I can’t escape from.
  6. These kids… they don’t realise how small a part of the universe they are.
  7. Dad, how does nature’s beauty solve every problem?

Note: Each line corresponds to one of seven speech bubbles.

The Eternal Forager

To an unfathomed world like a butterfly breaks the cocoon,
To unknown places, my vagabond heart want to croon.
Places, where getting lost is a journey of discovery & maturity,
Places, which are not dimmed but lit up with obscurity.
You speak through your soul & hear through your eyes in places so imperial,
Places, which speak to you in a language so ethereal!
Places, where you can experience the stillness of a meandering river,
Even as the dynamism of a magnificently motionless mountain makes you shiver!
Places, where one feels tranquil in the hubbab of buzz, booms & bellows,
In the ataraxy of which, the sweetest melodies can be heard,  one knows!
To paint the virgin canvas of the cosmos, I yearn,
About the hitherto unseen places, I wish to learn.
How I lust to wander in such places!
How I lust to feel such embraces!
Places where you aren’t solitary even when alone,
Isn’t that what is called a home?! 

-Kanchana Ramanujam
Panaji, Goa

Traveling With Your Friends, aka, Waking Up To 999 WhatsApp Messages And No Decision

Six friends standing silhouetted against a starry night, or an expansive ocean, or a beautiful sunset. Arm in arm, at the end of their travels, which had, like a meticulously concocted potion, equal measures of fun, moments of self-discovery, carefully curated moments of frolic, precious bonding and meetings with strangers that change perspectives. The wind rushing through their hair, an unmistakeable sense of life-affirmation pounding through their veins and a genuine sense of love for their friends and a love for their lives. This, shall happen to you too, when you go traveling with your friends, you glibly believe. You’ve seen Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Dil Chahta Hai and Eurotrip. You have already created a playlist with songs like Ramble On, that you think you will listen to, and Babydoll, that you will actually listen to. You’ve packed that Proust you’ve never read, convinced that spread out on a beach somewhere, you will read it. With your friends, you’ll discover cute eating joints, quaint little shops, and new ways of living. And of course all this will be documented through Instagram.

Unfortunately, the Valencia filter does not extend to real life.

What will really happen : You’ll plan and coordinate fruitlessly for weeks. Your group chat will begin to resemble a Pythagorean equation-solving process, peppered with passive-aggression and frustration.

Nikita : Hey guys, should I book two shared bathrooms for all of us?

Rinki : Yeah sure, go ahead.

Nikita : Everybody cool with it?

Aarti : Yeah, yeah, not a problem.

Nikita : Okay, I’m booking it then.

(Five hours later)

Ridhima : Dude, we can’t share toilets! I am not okay with this!

Nikita : But I’ve already booked them…

Rinki : It’s fine, we’ll manage.

Ridhima : It’s not about the bathrooms. I just wish someone would care to take my opinion into consideration. We’re supposed to be a team, but I never get to have a say. Even that one time, for that group project no one asked me..

Ayushi : Why did the tomato go red when it saw the salad? Because it wasn’t dressed! Hahahahaha!

On the road : You want to reach the airport early to sip with a coffee and  read a book and feel like a real serious traveler. Your friend will arrive an hour late and the methi chutney will have spilled in her suitcase and there will be chaos covered in a green haze of methi. You’ll sit next to the one friend who hogs both the armrests, and when you finally arrive at your hotel, you’ll collapse, dusty and annoyed with yourself for ever having befriended these people. Too tired to take “checked-in” pictures.

You’ve planned the itinerary of the next day carefully. You’ll all wake up at 4 am, and see the sun rise from Sunrise Point. Then you’ll head to the National Museum of Art, which is what any curious,intelligent tourist would do.  None of your friends wake up before 5 am, and spend an hour drinking tea and eating omelettes and deciding whether the green earrings go with the white dress. Fuming silently to yourself, you’ll slowly give up the hope of seeing the sunrise and cling to the last vestiges of your sanity by imagining yourself in the museum. Your friends will spend two hours getting ready, and when, feeling like a shepherd with an unruly herd of sheep, you’ve finally managed to usher them out of the hotel, one of them will say, “Dude this museum is so boring. Let’s go to Adventureland instead.” Adventureland is a tourist scam, you tell them. Also, the smell of sweat-infused rubber rides make you want to vomit.

You reach the end of your tether when you’re asked to pick out a restaurant for the evening’s dinner. You pick out a delightful, reasonably priced place which serves authentic local cuisine. “No, I don’t feel like eating this today. Let’s have Italian.” You find an Italian restaurant. “That’s way too far.” You end up in a greasy dhaba. Later that night, when your stomach is churning because of your butter chicken, you wish you didn’t have any friends. Even later that night, when you’re vomiting and one friend is holding your hair back, another is searching for medicines, someone is calling your doctor and yet another is checking if the museum is open tomorrow to distract you, you’re glad that you have friends and feel immensely grateful for their presence in your life.

-Anushmita Mohanty
English 1B

MAPS

There are paths being charted out,
maps emerging,
co-ordinates surging through my veins
that become curators of
positioning. 

I keep shifting inside my own self
holding on to the convexity
that has come to define me.
I connect dots resonating
like mountain sounds

inside of me,
and I wait for voices
that crawl against my shadows
to echo
in mouths that stretch like valleys. 

I cannot follow the paths set out
for me; I cannot keep up
with these revolts
I initiate against silence
within a silent body,
this cage I build around
my walls. 

I cannot acknowledge
my latitudinal insincerity to remain
and my longitudinal will
to slip away.

-Swastika Jajoo
English 2B

Freedom is my name.

I am important to her, you see.

I am so important that I’m kept in a safe, away from the eyes of my beholder, for she loves me so, that her inner violence comes out day by day, as I sit on the panel, revisiting the places I’ve been to.

She loves me so, that she would do anything to be with me. I think she’s in love with me. For whenever she does manage to open that safe, she looks at me as if I were the sun, rising along the drops of a rainy day, creating rainbows of joy. She laughs over me and she cries over me, as if I were the sunshine of that very sun, only this time lighting up the dark room of imagination, and prays to see the sunlight, while she prepares to see me at the end of the tunnel.

She talks to me. Sitting at home, she tells me about the infinite, yet finite places of the world, and how she wishes that I had wings, so that she could attach herself to me, and fly. She talks about playing with the universe as if it were some ball. I had warned her to not fly so high, but she did, and she fell down.

She did not die, she could not die as long as I existed in the world, because I was the ray of hope that kept her alive, minute by minute. Death, she told me, is a gyre of nothingness, and she must do whatever she can, go wherever she can, to keep the black hole at bay. Little does she realize that there will be a time when I die. I leave a legacy behind, but I die, and all the beauty that she had gathered from around the world would suddenly evaporate, and each page of my life would be frozen in the past.

Maybe I love her too. I decided from the day I was born, that I would help her, whenever her demons ensured that she head to a land far away. She has always treated me with kindness, though she may be self-destructing in the inside. Sometimes I feel as if she worships me, for she kisses me softly, week after week. I know I would be there to console her, and keep within myself the power that I have to destroy her – such is her vulnerability.

Each day I go to sleep, and in my dreams I see memories of us, here and there.

If only she knew how I felt about her, if she knew what I would do for her, if she knew I would wait in the hands of strange people fondling with me, saying that they’re doing it in order to give me freedom, and standing in long queues to help her realize her own freedom.

I must stop, for if I talk with these tears in my eyes, I would wet my precious pages, and that would be the end of the freedom whose sweetness that shifts mountains and clouds, and the constellations in the sky.

Thank you, my love. For never leaving me. and you, reader, for listening to my story.

– Akhila Nagar
English – 3B

Away At Home

Dear diary, I took a sick leave yesterday
The lungs were giving a little trouble
But mostly, I was just sick of ’em all
And of living in this city-shaped rubble.

I was then on those roads so narrow
And these paths dizzyingly round
But it’s only the paths here, not lives
Or words where complication is found.

The directions aren’t accurate, you see
Google maps haven’t replaced old men here
Men who wear so many layers of clothes
Yet are somehow able to leave their souls bare.

There’s instant communication here as well
With the neighbours living next door
There are the phones that catch lesser signals
And there are the humans who catch more.

There are water and electricity issues-
But we star-bathe, and count on the fireflies’ light
Without any Good Nights to to protect us
It somehow manages to be a better night

– Vrinda Bhatia
English, 1- B
Lady Shri Ram College

The Borrower

On golden, lamplit evenings

I wander, stumble and fly

as I run my fingers over maps and their crooked rivers,

their contours and their creases-

all the places which are less travelled by.

I take less frequented lanes

and share secrets with the cracked walls.

The quiet and the crowd,

they both whisper to me

incoherent fragments of half-lived lives.

I slip from shadow to shadow,

from your heart to his to hers,

from a page to a king to a screen-

I wander to get hopelessly lost.

For you must be lost to be found.

So, I wander

in search of a soul.

For I live on borrowed souls,

borrowed words and borrowed tales.

I am but a curious medley of

all these borrowings and wanderings-

disjunct and colourful yet seamlessly threaded together.

I grow with each step I take into no man’s land

and yet there’s always more space to grow.

And you wonder how

so many hues of black, white, crimson and grey

fit into one borrowed heart.

I’d like to stop and rest for a while,

to breathe- I need to catch my breath.

But the wanderlust drags me ahead

and my feet will not stop, they can only slow down.

Exhausted, I give in

to my pillow’s softness and the warmth of my blankets.

But my mind and soul continue soaring,

playing cards, clinking glasses

and flying with wings on their bruised, untiring feet-

through the colourful landscapes of my dreams.

-Megha Chakrabarti

English I A

Binocular vision

We wander from dream to dream.

An ephemeral fantasy

to never settle

for a home,

for less than where we deserve.

Binocular vision

of mountains and snow.

The land of Washington

that legitimises our lives,

Miller and Monroe,

is within reach

through the binoculars.

Kaleidoscope,

I’d rather say.

For, with each passing sunset,

the colors change.

So, I wander, wander

in the pages of books.

Pirates, mermaids and Tintin

guide me.

I walk, I trek.

I bruise my soles.

Rocks after rocks after rocks

I tread.

Wanderlust,

let me rest.

I have seen the marvel,

and the despondence.

I have fed the starved,

and my whims.

I have traveled,

I have reposed.

But for how long

do you cross borders,

boundaries?

Lust, lust,

for endless vacation,

for endless polaroids,

from a 60’s movie.

My feet ache.

My heart grows heavy.

But this quest is not without reason.

I wander and wander.

Resolution, have you dipped in the Nile?

Is there no shelter for harmless lust?

No cloud, no daffodil,

no road less traveled,

leads me to

the languid lands where,

rain bows,

dances and shimmers.

I see leprechauns,

giving out golden laughter.

Not fake, this once.

I flip through terminals,

I crush cherry blossoms

under my soles.

My soul, has seen,

the utmost world.

Books, airplanes and movies, however,

cannot replace

where I’d rather

be blind to my wanderlust.

I miss the stench of monsoon,

how my country turns green.

And all my lust to wander over vales

is vanquished when I see

my roots, my paddy fields,

my red alluvium,

the breadth of my river,

catering to the ancient capital.

The steel bridge looming over it,

staring keenly at the red sun that has set.

The red calls to me,

“You are yet to see your own land,

discover the soil that your goddess

and you are made of.”

Wander, wander through the

alleys of history,

sit and see the lores being written.

Wander, wander and explore yourself.

All the world is upon your shoulder.

Free Atlas, and would you rather flee?

Or would you,

stay, stay

to wander?

Wander, and wonder.

Can you live?

Can you leave

the sky that has sowed you?

The sky that is yet to see

the seven colours

triumph

against

the Tri.

We search and search.

To wander,

loiter,

linger.

Further and further

from the journey

of our lust.

Adrija Ghosh

English I A

Dreamcatcher

The little girl dreamt of unicorns. Pink and golden unicorns

galloped by a silver stream. Rich fruits grew in a meadow not far

away, and a variety of creatures lived on the delicious provender

they provided. Beyond lay an evil looking mountain with the

quintessential sinister castle resting atop. The girl stirred in

her sleep, approaching wakefulness, and this was the critical

moment…None of her dreams must be allowed to enter the

waking.

They called him many names; Dreamcatcher was the one he liked

best. Sure, Zeta-Phase sounded cool at parties, but Dreamcatcher

was what he thought of himself as. He sighed as he looked at the

one-horned creature; this sleeper had a particularly vivid

imagination, and it’d almost be a shame to cull these things. He left

a hazy memory of things for her to mull over as she lay in bed,

for this one was was too innocent (at any rate, he had enough time

to make this one clean) to see the true fate of her creations…She

yawned and woke up, stretched about and soaked in happy

thoughts of knights and castles until, like smoke swirls in the

wind, all the details evaporated, leaving but that craving to

remember what it was all about. She’s think of it all morning, but

the harder she thought, the hazier it’d become until the monotony

of day life distracted the waking mind. As she’d grown older,

she’d subconsciously understand the futility of it all, for the

subconscious knows that its creations are being destroyed each

time, and her dreams would become more and more commonplace

and dreary, all the fantasy sapped away…And the Dreamcatcher’s

job would be made easier.

As the Dreamcatcher rounded up every imagining around him, like

innumerable times before, he reflected upon his task. People

always told each other to follow their dreams, it was his task

made easier that most didn’t care to. After all, if all the creations

of every little kid entered the waking, it would be a very difficult

world indeed. Waking minds could only handle so much detail,

and would easier choose insanity. The simplicity of the world was

just an indicator of how efficient he was – or so he told himself.

He did miss a few sometimes, of course, largely on purpose

(again, he told himself) and he’d seen poor women turn into

snobbish overnight billionaires on a few crude details he’d

neglected to destroy. Or a man who had a dream making vast

differences to millions all because someone had slept on the job.

He had a job to do and largely liked it. But he did grow weary

sometimes. Maybe he’d purposely slip up one of these days, give

the world a hint of the good old days when dreams were real

dreams, nightmares were real nightmares; and the waking and the

dreaming were one…

A tube shaped craft zoomed past a spy satellite, sending its

sensors hyper; a large goat- like creature leapt across Tokyo and

snacked on a paper house; knights in glistening armour served

burgers with side orders of fries; the statue of liberty got tired of

modesty and remembered her European roots; piles of tax return

documents filed themselves beside the bed of a sleeping IRS man;

31 types of ice cream chased children around a school, eating the

more delicious ones.

The Dreamcatcher was happy for a while.

Richa Goenka

B.A English Hons
2nd year
Lady Shri Ram College

So will you?

When the mind ceases to remain still,

call it anxiety, restlessness, if you will.

It ventures to terrains unknown, boundaries that are yet to be explored.

The heart that traverses spaces, but in dreams,

the inscape which broadens and gleams

So, will you keep it boxed or let it afloat?

Rising up and down like waves of the mighty ocean

Drops composed of thoughts, waves of emotion

Yearning to venture all by itself

So, will you arrest it or let it soar?

To enchanted lands with winds unknown

The mind that craves for travel,

contains numerous mysteries waiting to be unraveled.

Maps provide the aperture for probing

Eyes transform into windows to conceive

Reality intertwined with imagination

And Fact convoluted with fiction

So, will you cork it or let it pour?

This urge to go out there and see

Observe, absorb, gaze and swallow

Uncharted territories beckon

Faraway lands plead,

So, will you circumscribe or let it expand?

Do something that your future self would be thankful for

Wander to whichever place life takes you

Lose yourself in the ebb and flow

Find yourself there too!

So, will you let your consciousness erupt or bottle it up?

Saunter like a meandering brook

Outline your peregrination

Be a vagabond through the arts

A soulful melody, a book that does the therapy or

a painting that speaks of rambling longitudes

So, will you button up or start the navigation?

-Sanjhee Gianchandani

M.A ( English) Final year