Utpal K Dutta



From 'Hop Stop & Go'  written By Utpal K Dutta
It was a pleasant evening at the Wolf Trap National Park near Washington D.C. We had gone to watch a concert of Yanni, the Greek musician and composer. The majestic open air theater made the ideal back drop for my favorite music composer, who uses exotic instruments to create “fusion of ethnic sounds, influenced by his encounters with cultures around the world.” At the very start he gave a beautiful statement that defined his music. He described one of the meetings he had with an astronaut. He asked the astronaut what he found unique in looking at the earth from space. The astronaut replied, “What struck me most was that there were no boundaries between the countries.”

Human beings are accustomed to seeing globes and maps defining countries by boundaries. It is a unique experience to see the world as one. He conveyed that the theme of his music is that the world is one.

This reminded me of the overwhelming feeling my wife and I had during the years we spent in Singapore. That was one place outside of India where we lived as residents for a few years. We often used to dine at street-side food stalls. Watching the people – families and friends,  dining and chatting leisurely, we felt they were no different from the crowd at similar food corners in our home country, India.

The world is a very interesting place. The two most important entities that make the world so very interesting are people and nature. My travelogue is more about people. One of the most enriching things in life is interaction with people. It is a great learning experience that lasts a lifetime.

It becomes more interesting when you visit other countries with language and cultural barrier. You often learn by making mistakes – which adds to the fun. Once you break the barriers, you may find that at the core people are very similar everywhere, even though there may be differences in color, size, appearance and culture. Love, happiness, hope and sorrow – all these have no boundaries.

The book is about the world of people. If you love people, I have strong hopes you will enjoy reading this book.