I believe the biggest myth of life that people carry in their minds is that nobody should be trusted. This myth does have a background to it, though. People tend to doubt people only when their trust is broken. There are so many wrong things happening in the world that we are losing our faith in one another. We don’t want to trust strangers. In fact, we are wary of trusting even our acquaintances and friends sometimes. BUT, I have realized that travel forces you to trust strangers. You have no choice. You can either choose to be confined to a life with just your near and dear ones, and shut all doors of discovery and experiencing life beyond your home, or you can step out and choose to trust strangers.
The beauty of life
It’s strange, but true. All of us, at some point, make a choice to trust people who we don’t know at all. That’s the beauty of life. If we stop placing our trust on one another, life would have no meaning. So, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that TRAVEL cajoles you to trust people and believe that there’s still
some a lot of goodness left
in the world.
Hesitant to visit a mosque?
There are so many false notions we carry for years and years until we hit the road and get to see the real picture of the outside world. We have been made to believe that it’s not safe to travel to places that have people from a certain religious community. For instance, people hesitate to travel to Muslim countries presuming that it might create some unpleasant situation for them. To be honest, I also thought the same way until I visited a Masjid (Mosque) in Hyderabad, where I found some lovely people. They were as warm and kind to me as anybody anywhere else would be. I was asked to wear a Hijab (scarf), which is a must to visit a mosque. As soon as I started taking photos, a couple of devotees told me to go inside the mosque to get a better view of Charminar. I didn’t know I could take a beautiful reflection shot of Charminar – a monument that has been clicked by so many photographers that it’s a clichéd site now. I found a bunch of shy Burka-clad women sitting together and looking at me inquisitively. I stooped to take their photo, but just asked them customarily if they were okay with it. They were cool women. I mean it was a religious place, and I guess I am not supposed to point my bulky camera at people. But, the atmosphere was so chilled out and nice. I was as comfortable as I would be anywhere else.
Are you ‘always’ unsafe when alone?
When I travelled to the Thar Desert with a chauffeur, I was edgy throughout the journey. And, much to my dismay, I had to return alone, too. Though I wouldn’t recommend a woman to travel alone at night (I had no choice), I was taken care of very well by my chauffeur. Likewise, there have been many instances on my travels when I have laid my trust on strangers and everything had turned out just fine.
Is it wrong to trust people?
One incident that really touched my heart was in Pelling (Sikkim), where I hired a cab to go to Darap Village. I had to withdraw money from the ATM, which was a little away from the cab. Since the cabby had already placed my suitcase on top of the cab, I was hesitant to leave my luggage at his mercy. The cabby, comprehending my nervousness, assured me that nothing wrong would happen and I could go and withdraw money. I kept looking back while walking towards the ATM, and the cabby kept assuring me that the people of Sikkim were good and that nobody harmed anybody. What I liked about this episode is that the cabby was so proud of his people and his region. There was a sense of complacency in his attitude, as if he wanted to promote the fact that goodness was their basic character.
Every time I am on the road on my own, I am reminded that life is good – the people are good. Well, I am not denying or belittling the unfair and sordid things that happen in our society. All I am trying to say is that not everyone is waiting to pounce on you and kill you.
Travel connects you to the goodness of life
Travel allows you to break those boundaries of myths and really know the truth. It’s a shame if you don’t travel and never cease to live with shallow notions about other people. When you are a total stranger in a city or a village, you have no choice but to go by what you are told by its natives. I guess travel teaches us a big lesson about life that the best way to live is to trust in the goodness, accept the kindness of people and forsake the old dirty garb of doubt.
What do you say? Has travel helped you break the myths of life?
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