“One who is afraid of emptiness, of being nothing, is attached.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
As someone who loves driving, and going on road trips, I have always had a strong attachment to my car. I usually never give it to people to drive, I would wait at the garage if the car is being serviced, I ensure I know what work is being done and each and every little niggle with it.
When on our road trip I ensure that I’m parked in a spot that is safe and no one will mess with it. But I have never repaired a dent, or scratch, it’s never been much about the way the car looks, but how well it functions. I never really pondered about this attachment of mine to an inanimate object, until an experience on the journey made me question this level of attachment.
The landslide experience
We were cozy in the place we stayed at along with some friends in a village called Chamba, in Himachal Pradesh, Northern parts of India, and our plan for the day was to drive to a picnic spot called Padari Jot, Kashmir, where we could see glaciers and lush green meadows. But on our way just before a village called Langera we passed an area that was flagged as dangerous due to landslides, and while passing one stone entered the car and another fell on the roof.
We had a lovely day with the kids climbing and sliding down glaciers and on our way back to our guest house the place where the pebbles hit the car was completely blocked. We had no means of crossing over and it was getting late, it was already evening and we had no option left except to check into a guest house close by, and we were assured the next day the bull dozer would clear the landslide.
After breakfast the next morning we went to check what the status of the landslide was. The rocks were still falling, we had no clothes or any of our supplies with us. The choice was to leave the car parked on this side, cross over the steep mountain where the slide was happening, and then take a bus to our guest house a few miles away. The other choice was to drive over 400 kilo meters over mountainous terrain to get to the other side.
Crossing over the mountain was an adventure for the children, but for me, I was skeptical, I was contemplating driving the car which would take me a minimum of 12 hours alone. But after listening to suggestions I handed the car and the keys to the owner of the guest house who said that he would bring it to me as soon as the road clears.
Four days later we had to traverse the same mountain path and in case it did not clear we would have to cross over the mountain again along with local help to carry our luggage over as it would be impossible for us on the narrow steep climb. The next day I called the guest house owner, the land slide hadn’t stopped, I had a bit of anxiety will the car be safe in his hands?
Will he make use of it or take it for a drive, but then there was nothing that I could do. I let this monkey mind of mine take some rest and as luck would have it, we were crossing over the mountain after 4 days with the landslide now covering multiple parts of the road.
I had a leap of joy when I saw the car, overjoyed that nothing had been touched nor was it driven apart for a few kilometres to the landslide and back, this made me question my own self.
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Jiddu’s words are generally always a slap to the face, if you realize you’re nothing you won’t be attached to anything. I’m thankful for the opportunity that I have had to travel, always an eye opening exploration into my being. I do hope you have something to ponder upon, what are you attached to and can you let that go?