“The road was a ribbon of moonlight, over the purple moor.”

– Alfred Noyes

The road was a ribbon of moonlight, over the purple moor. Voices said, we all live in a global village.

But I knew there was no village, no stop. National Highway. We all live in the National Highway. Every moment is a chosen disturbance, in which we press the pedal on some Interstate, some Autobahn,some national highway.

Is there a promise at the end of the highway, we really don’t know. We are highwaymen searching for hope,and yes, a little money for dope.

I’ve been on National Highway for a long time now. National Highway 7, the longest and 47, the shortest. Interstate 10, the murky one and Interstate 95, the speedway. The highway has grown on me over the years. Every week I see the spot opposite the fishing harbour where I first saw the sparkle in an eye, the spot where a truck ran over my friend from college, the spot where I first stayed away from home and we drank both day and night by the river, the spot where a colleague and his immediate family went under the wheels of a tourist bus. I see these places every week and am I expected to feel what I feel. It is a struggle to accept the highway without emotion. Perhaps, this,is life on the National Highway.

Everyone on the National Highway dreams of a final stop called ‘Settling down’. It is more than an excuse for the sorry state of our affairs, it takes the load off. I am not responsible for anything around me; I don’t belong here; No,this is just a pitch stop; I have great ‘hidden’ potential; If I want I can leave this place today; I won’t live here for the rest of my life, so I don’t need friends here; Give me two years, I will settle down somewhere by the sea in the mountains. Then Christmas comes, Easter, Happy Birthday comes, vishu, diwali comes. Year after year, all you see is the national highway, perhaps the geography changes, then one fine day, the cruel highway takes you, the way it killed my friend – out of the blue, like a clown does.