One of the unintended consequences of my change in status from a relatively well-off management consultant to a ‘scrounging-around-with-a-wild-gleam-in-the-eye’ entrepreneur, has been the big change my relationship with Cars. Over the last 5 years it has swung from ‘quite interested’ to ‘fairly uninterested’. And a corollary to that has been my growing fascination with another form of transport – Boats.
I love the quiet non-motorised types. This obsession with boats seems to be genetic – like some of those namelessly horrid diseases, this one too seems to skip a generation and latch on to every alternate one. My grandfather was so besotted with the whole boat thing (although I can pardon him for it, for he lived in a part of Kerala where boats were a natural form of transport), that he published a longish ditty on his boat wanderings and presented it as one of his gifts to my mom when she got married to his son. And, if you are interested, it was titled Mankombu yatra – although you would be hard-pressed to find it in the sinister book collection that Google is putting together, you can always write to me to get a copy. Of course, a pre-requisite is that you be able to read and write Malayalam.
Anyway…so boating is in my genes, so to speak. Latent for the most part, but there nonetheless.
A number of years ago, I was on a training course (in Kathmandu, I recollect) and the course instructor turned out to be pretty interesting. He was an Englishman who had forsaken his country to go to Spain and live on a boat. Yup, that is right. He had no home anywhere in the world other than on a boat. And his job required him to hare off to various countries of the world to help with training courses and then come back always to his boat/home. I couldn’t think of a better life then and I cannot think of one now.