Saturday, March 10, 2018

My Way or Thai Way

कोई मेरे दिल से पूछे तेरे तीर-ए-नीम-कश को
ये खलिश कहां से होती जो जिगर के पार होता

Koi mere dil se poochhe tere teer-e-neemkash ko
Ye khalish kahan se hoti jo jigar ke paar hota.

(Translation: Ask me how this arrow of yours feels embedded in my chest. I would not have this itch if it had gone clean through.)
It loses a lot in translation but a full explanation another time.

This is basically how I feel about Thailand. After spending 6 days there I feel like we merely scratched the surface. Everything I managed to do I want to do again and more of, whereas everything I missed I definitely want to attempt on the next try.

It was not the typical pleasure-seeking Thailand trip that a whole lot of people go there for. Instead, this was a family trip very much in keeping in with the tradition of my trips when I come to India. The difference was that this time we were headed for an off-India destination.

We picked Thailand for its nearness to India and its relaxed visa regulations. Also we had heard a lot about its beaches and its natural beauty. So we packed our bags and shot off to Bangkok by Jet Airways to try and make some great memories of this land of Buddha.

Even though we got to see the pretty beaches we had heard of that was not the most beautiful feature of the country. That credit goes to the people. Knowledge of English was a scarce and sought-after commodity in this country but that didn’t stop the natives from trying to help the silly tourists. Yes, we were the silly ones for not knowing the Thai language, they were in their country, why should they learn English for our benefit?

While we were there I did try and pick-up a few words of Thai from Google and YouTube and my efforts were well-rewarded. I always got a beautiful smile from the people whenever I tried a Thai word, even when I got it completely wrong.

It took me 6 days to learn to say “thank you” in Thai (for a male, it’s kob-shun-krup), but more important than the words is the intonation. It seems that you cannot speak Thai unless you smile with it. Nobody understood my thank you in Thai until I started to say it in the same cheerful, sing-song tone the Thai people use when speaking.

Swimming in the ocean, shooting the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, playing in the sand, visiting the shrines...we did a lot and still it feels like we needed another 6 months there. At least. A return trip is definitely indicated some time in the future.

We came back with camera-full of photos and heart-full of wonderful memories.

Now, I can see why I have never heard anyone say that they didn’t like Thailand and why so many people I know are addicted to this haven of leisurely fun and natural beauty.

[This time the photo is not from Google. It's my own shot of Sunset from Kata beach. No Photoshop.]

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