In Hyderabad, there is a special, very exclusive tour service known as Gagan ki Ola. The chauffeur Gagan is an excellent tour guide, often taking you on long trips gratis, usually ending with hot chai.
At the dusk of my friend Paritosh’s birthday, Gagan took us on one such trip. Driving back from the restaurant, we passed the house, opting to take a round around the block. This came at the behest of my co-passengers (Gagan ki Ola Share), Sheena, Shruti, and Riddhi.
The trip round the block caught my attention when it went on just a bit too long and reached a toll booth. Being in a vehicle, where I’m prone to nausea, with people I don’t know too well, is a recipe for anxiety to rear its ugly head and set in.
But I wasn’t anxious. I am not. I’m quite at ease. Why?
Maybe it’s because I made a lot of progress with my issues over the last month. Maybe it’s because I felt comfortable in my gut with Gagan driving. Or maybe it’s because the people I’m with are genuinely nice people.
As is custom with those who claim the sacred position of “shotgun”, Sheena was the trip DJ, taking the effort to engage the audience as best she could. A number of ambient songs and the pure air of the Hyderabad-Bangalore highway later, I closed my eyes, shoulders at rest, breathing in a rare oasis of peace, which is becoming easier to find as of late.
Maybe I’m okay. I’ll be alright.