It was a chilly September morning that I woke up to. It was the first day of my new found unemployment. And I was loving every moment of it. With two good friends from far off visiting Bangalore then, the week seemed like the onset of spring. In a way it was. It was, for me, a new beginning. A new adventure in a new country, a new job, a new apartment. A new life. And it was a rainy day in July when it all began.
I always liked rainy days. They seem to make me go on long drives and forget about the jobs that needed getting done. Staying inside during a beautiful drizzle seems like such a waste. And it was maybe this heady state of mind that prompted me to quit my job that day. As I gave my two-month notice, I felt strangely at ease. But the gamble was big. Lethargy had prevented me from trying for a new job when employed in this one, and this one was slowly eating me from the inside. I decided that the only way I would go about finding a new job was if the security of the current one did not exist. The rains increased into August and my heady mood along with it.
The beginning of August offered a surprising and tempting offer. A mountaineering trip in Nepal was on the cards. We would head to Makalu base camp and see how high we could go from there. When I heard the plan, there was no way I could say no. I was in with all my excitement. It would be brilliant. And since a new job seemed remote at that point, there was nothing holding me back. And it would be for a month, which seemed like the perfect amount of time. We were to head out in the middle of October and return in the middle of November. To me, it seemed like I had quit the job at the right time. Like it was all falling into place.
On the day of departure, my bag was packed. This was something I had looked forward to for the past month. It was finally happening. I was yet to put on my shoes, but there was still time for it. The train wasn't for another five hours. It was then that I got a call from the other fellow who was also going along with me on this particular trip. And it wasn't pleasant. The agency from Nepal had called. All flights to Tumlingtar in Nepal were being badly affected due to the runway being rebuilt after monsoon damage. Our flight may or may not be affected. He would call us back in an hour and let us know.
An hour passed and so did another. And the fateful phone call arrived. The trip was not to be. All air traffic to Tumlingtar would be affected till further notice. There was no way he could guarantee our flight. At this news, the other fellow backed out and the agency refused to arrange for just one person. And so it was, that at three hours before the departure of our train, the whole thing stood cancelled. And as I sat there, thinking about what to do, my packed bag stared at me in the face. And I just couldn't bring myself to unpack it. It lay there for a day.
It was decided that I just couldn't stay at home thinking about what could have been. That I had to go. Somewhere. Somewhere close enough so that lethargy would not win over. And I would see from there about what to do. I picked up my bag and caught a bus to the inter-city bus stand. I reached the bus stand with nothing but a hint of a destination and a fainter trace of a plan for the month ahead. But I knew it was going to be good.