Flight to freedom

She looked out of her window.

The lone street-lamp lit up a small patch of the space, and she watched snowflakes dance in the light as if fell, slowly, swirling, as if never wanting to touch the ground.

On a whim, she wore her winter jacket and gloves and cap, opened the window, and let the cold wind touch her.

Simon and Garfunkel were singing on her iPod, ‘I am a rock, I am an island…’, and a brave man, or a desperate man, drove past in his SUV on the road.

She froze time around her. She rewound time, and saw the last 4 years, in reverse.

The iPod shifted to Coldplay singing ‘You’ve been living life inside a bubble…’.

The voice of insanity, the voice of hope, the voice of adventure, the voice of instinct, the small voice deep inside her heart, spoke again.

This time, she listened.

She had waited enough for the moment that will change everything to come. She decided that this was the moment.

She unfroze time, got onto the website, and got those tickets to freedom.

The iPod, shifted seamlessly to Rahman singing ‘Yeh jo des hai tera…’

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  1. #1 by unpretentious on November 3, 2008 - 11:22 am

    :)oh how i wish we all could listen to our inner voice and be impulsive decision maker. the pain of conditioning by the society

  2. #2 by Moi on November 7, 2008 - 7:41 pm

    🙂 I think I am ready to go back……..economy or no economy!!!! 🙂

    Long time Kaushik…and you are like just a couola hrs drive away ….in fcat we have been to and fro Madison 4 times now I think …it’s always a last minute plan……did i tell you that i love the young energy of your school town…particularly the weekend market around the campus…….and all those eateries…… 🙂

    and i never answered you on Tennessee question, did I? We went to Smokies……didn’t visit other parts of TN at all……..so if you are ehaded to Smokies during Thanksgiving, I can send you all possible details…I did a through research before I left 🙂

    Let me know!!!! 🙂

  3. #3 by kaushik on November 8, 2008 - 12:24 am

    @swati!
    That would be great!! We are planning to hit Nashville as well to get some country music magic into our souls!

    Next time you come to madison, let me know.

    Cheers!
    Kaushik

  4. #4 by Anu on November 8, 2008 - 8:37 pm

    Wish I could be that girl.. just buy the tickets and get back home!
    Till then I think I will still keep hearing yeh jo des hai tera and driving on the hwys

  5. #5 by janani on November 11, 2008 - 3:02 pm

    I guess the choice is available to all of us. Unfortunately, most of us prefer to stick on here and then crib about missing India.

    Well written!

  6. #6 by Moi on November 20, 2008 - 8:16 pm

    kaushik,

    here are the most important destinations in the park:

    Most Important Destinations in the Park

    1) Cades Cove (Heavy traffic but easy drive)
    Cades Cove is a lush valley surrounded by mountains and one of the most popular destinations in the park. A wide array of historic buildings dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries are scattered through out the cove. These include a grist mill, a variety of barns, three churches, and a marvelous collection of log homes and outbuildings. An 11-mile one-way loop road takes you around the cove. At the following times, only bicycle and foot traffic will be allowed on the loop road: sunrise until 10:00 a.m. every Saturday and Wednesday morning from May 9 to September 26.
    Mileage to Cades Cove: from Cherokee––57, from Gatlinburg––27, from Townsend––9

    2) Cataloochee (Challenging drive)
    Historic structures include a school, church, barn, and several homes. Elk and other wildlife can often be seen. The challenge is getting there. From most places it requires a fairly long trip on narrow, winding roads. At least three miles of the trip is on gravel road. To get there, exit I-40 at North Carolina exit #20. After 0.2 mile, turn right onto Cove Creek Road and follow the signs 11 miles into the Cataloochee Valley.
    Mileage to Cataloochee: from Gatlinburg––65, from Cherokee––39

    3) Clingmans Dome (For sunset viewing)
    Clingmans Dome is the highest peak in the Smokies and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi. On clear days the observation tower on the summit of the mountain offers spectacular 360° views of the Smokies and beyond. To get to the “top of old Smoky,” turn onto Clingmans Dome which starts 0.1 mile south of Newfound Gap on Newfound Gap Road. It’s 7 miles to the end of the road and there are scenic pullouts The road ends in a large parking area from which a 0.5 mile trail leads to the summit. The trail is paved but steep, and leads to an observation tower on top. Besides the trail to the summit, several other trails start in the area, including Forney Ridge (to Andrews Bald), the Appalachian Trail, and Clingmans Dome Bypass.

    Mileage to Clingmans Dome: from Cherokee––25 from Gatlinburg––23

    4) Roaring Fork : Highlights: wildflowers, historic buildings, waterfall walks
    The Roaring Fork area is a favorite side trip. It offers rushing mountain streams, glimpses of old-growth forest, and a number of well-preserved log cabins, grist mills, and other historic buildings. To access Roaring Fork, turn in Gatlinburg, TN at traffic light #8 and follow Historic Nature Trail-Airport Road to the Cherokee Orchard entrance to the national park. Just beyond the Rainbow Falls trailhead you have the option of taking the one-way Roaring
    Fork Motor Nature Trail (closed in winter). This narrow, paved road winds for six miles beside forests, waterfalls, and streams. Mileage to Roaring Fork: from Gatlinburg—1 , from Cherokee—35

    Few Observations:

    1) My fav. part of the whole trip was Roaring Fork….it’s a little off-beat a path but i loved it, precisely for the same reason.

    2) Try and stay in a log cabin: nothing like it!!!!

    3) If you can not get a log cabin avoid staying in a hotel in Gatlinburg: unless you approve of all things kitsch and commercial just outside a national park. Honestly, I hated Gatlinburg : it’s so crass and more so when you realize it’s just outside a revered national park. Townsend is a quieter and far better a place to stay at.

    4) Don’t forget to drive on Blue Ridge Parkway….it’s awesome a drive even if you don’t cover the entire length of it.

    5) The park has no entrance fees and when you see the state of roads in the park you will wonder how they manage to keep it that well without charging visitors a single penny

    Enjoy and have the greatest of the times…..:)

  7. #7 by kaushik on December 17, 2008 - 8:00 pm

    @swati
    Thanks a lot!
    Unfortunately…the farthest we got to was till Chicago!! Too many constraints to make the TN plan work! some other time maybe :p

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