Located 223 km from Manali, Himachal Pradesh, this is a place where you can experience more about Tibetan culture and people. The suburb is also known as “Dhasa” because of large population of Tibetan people. It is famous for the Dalai Lama Monastery located near the market place. There are monks moving around the monastery in red robes, prayer wheels are installed at various places, people are seen meditating at white stupa and there’s more to observe. As I was totally unknown to this culture, I requested a monk to explain about the whole monastery and to my surprise I got information which was worth listening.The history of the monastery, there daily schedules, various programmes arranged in the monastery, the importance of the things placed before Buddha and what not. The same day I decided to attend the meditation session early morning at the monastery. Next day, the session was arranged on the foothills of a mountain located nearby and the experience of meditating peacefully between the mountains and seeing the sunrise was worth living. The calmness and the enlightened state I experienced that day was overwhelming.
Also known for it’s market place, it definitely introduces you more to the Tibetan culture. There are small stalls installed along the roadside and there are women selling out the products. When asked, the women told that each handicraft present in the stall was handmade. And to my amusement the bead necklaces, wall hanging, articles carved in wood,were all very fabulous. Along with this talent they very well knew how to do business. But one thing that was common was that each lady was busy doing her art and that made a impression.
The restaurants and cafe’s here are the best. All of these have great Tibetan cuisines to offer and believe me if you go to a local, simple restaurant you can get the original Tibetan cuisine. Even though the suburb is a bit undeveloped, the restaurants here are modern with great scenic views. There are various types of tourists visiting MCleod Ganj and this is the best place to interact with them! I met a lot of people in these restaurants and cafe’s and listened to various life experiences each one had to say. These interactions are gifts that I carried back home and cherish till date.
The locals here are sweet and helpful. The day I reached McLeod, I was extremely late and there were no outlets or restaurants open. But the landlord was so helpful that she herself cooked a delicious meal for all of us. Over the dinner she shared that how the town has changed since her childhood.These small talks full of lessons and the great scenic views I experienced are the treasures which McLeod Ganj gave me and I’m so great full to experience it.
My childhood was the best phase of my life.It passed by making plans for how to win a game rather than how to defeat the opponent, plans of what colours to fill in the beautiful flower that was drawn on the backside of dad’s journal rather than competing whose sketch is better, getting a ten bucks chocolate was fun then, but a fight between which is the best chocolate :A Bovetti or Valrhona never happened. Happiness was so easy to get then!.But I as a toddler was unaware of the vast, diverse, world outside.As I started growing up, getting good grades started getting importance.Words such as hobbies ,passion, ambitions, dreams were never introduced, but becoming a multi-tasker was however explained.Then a teacher named “LIFE” came to rescue me.This wonderful teacher taught me what are dreams, what hardships are needed to fulfil these dreams, the importance of determination and patience to get to these dreams.The subjects such as English,Geography and Science never came to help me in these situations.Sports however helped me to maintain my patience when I could not understand what was “LIFE” trying to explain me. As I grew up ahead, the importance of good percentage in 10th grade was explained by my parents and the teachers in school.But they never explained how to face failures, how to accept defeat and start anew, the importance of relationships, how to maintain these relationships and many more.Again the teacher named “LIFE” helped me. I was placed in various situations where I had to decide what was right and wrong; this taught me decision making.
I lost many people who were close to me; this taught me the importance of dear ones in my life and the need to mend the mistakes I made which took me away from my dear ones.However I failed in many circumstances life gave me as a test.But again this teacher made sure how could I get up on my own.Life has given me confidence to face and improve my mistakes rather than getting depressed by it. Life has taught me lessons which are way more tough but also interesting rather than the lessons in history textbook.Life taught me to dream fearlessly. Life taught me what is right and wrong.It always gave me numerous perspectives to look at people.The feeling of thankfulness was taught to me by life.
Life has always been a great saviour to me . Thank you for being such a good teacher!
Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning- Bruce Lee.
Reha was a normal teenager just like each of us. Full of dreams and ambitions, the excitement to explore the world, to live a life full of independence and to earn good livelihood. Her life revolved only about her college, friends and parents and nothing more.Winning a game, getting small surprises on birthday, eating her favourite cake gave her the little joy of life. She got happiness from the small, mere but precious events in life. She used to daily go to her college by the same street on which was a orphanage residing for many years, attended the college , gossiped with her friends, played a basketball game and came back home in the evening . She used to observe that orphanage everyday while cycling down the route- teachers teaching a group of students, instructors playing with a group of students a small bell hanging in a corner. On one fine day during spring, she decided to visit that orphanage. As she had never visited this place before she was excited and as soon as her college got over she went cycling to that orphanage. As she entered the orphanage she saw a board which said, “ Nurturing the smile of the waif ”. That board itself caught her eyesight. As she entered the hallway, she saw children looking at her with amusement.The woman at the reception asked her wether she would like to give her time or money but she refused both of it. Instead she went on the same play ground which she had observed relentlessly for days. As she went on the playground small children pulled her and asked wether she would like to play with them and she agreed without a second. She saw the smile and excitement on the faces of the small children. After playing for an hour the children became friendly and took her to their classrooms, there teachers and introduced her , they showed her there paintings, some showed there music and dance skills. And after a while she realised that only staying for a hour or so brought her one of the greatest and happiest experience of life. Seeing the smile on the face on these children gave her immense joy. She did not notice a single child crying over his sorrows, blaming the God for being at this place, irritated or disheartened. She saw that they were enjoying whatever life had given them. This made her day. She herself forgot all her sorrows, the argument at the college or disagreement with her parents. She thought to herself how foolish she was to quarrel on small things which meant nothing in this world as compared to the life of these small kids. That small visit gave her many lessons in life. From that day onwards she started spending a hour daily in the orphanage. She realised that apart from her dreams, wishes, ambitions, there were these children for whom she wanted to live and make changes in there lives.
“ Go out into the world today and love the people you meet.Let your presence light new light in the hearts of people ”. -Mother Teresa.
Travelling through Himachal Pradesh in India without doing a single trek sounds absurd right?.This was a rare and a unexplored hike by many.The base point is located at the foothills of Burwa village in Solang Valley. Not knowing much about the place we started out by just reading the guidelines there,never knowing that this path would give us the elite memories in life.The trail to the uphill was through the evergreen meadows with glimpse of various small animals and the breathtaking view of the snow-capped mountains throughout.There was a small snow stretch which we had to cross; but the view after this stretch was mesmerising. There was a Shivling located directly beneath the waterfall.After reaching here it was almost dawn and the sight of sunset from here kept me awestruck.There was tender wind blowing past me,the snow beneath me and bright sky above me.My soul was not tired because of the trek but was experiencing a mere feeling of fulfilment.My heart was not ready to leave that place.The path back was no longer unknown and felt homely. At that point I remembered the words, “Take the roads less travelled,it makes all the difference” and these words marked there worth that day.
Last year I was travelling with my family to Northern part of India by covering a total of 4 states- New Delhi, Haryana ,Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. I visited these places in the month of May.Each state described above has given me memories worth cherishing and many life-lessons.The delectable, diverse and the delicious food of Delhi, the cultural rich cities of Haryana- Ambala, Sonipat ,Panipat and Kurukshetra. The peace that I experienced while visiting the Golden Temple in Punjab and the sweet and helpful folk of Himachal Pradesh are moments which cannot be described into words.I will surely try to recreate the moments through my words
Kufri Market, Kufri, Himachal Pradesh.
Kufri was not just a rural market place located at a hilltop, 20km away from Shimla to me!.But it was all about the amazing trail to the hilltop ( The market is situated on hilltop and due to muddy patches and very narrow road one needs to take a horse to reach the top).Watching the pine and cedar trees, listening to the birds chirping on the branches of these trees and observing the locals was interesting.The experience of sitting on horse and riding on the top of hill was hilarious.PS: I was shouting and yelling though. The trail was almost a half hour journey but as soon as I got to the top, the view was worth seeing.After reaching the hilltop the only thing that I could feel was the shimmering sun glowing faraway between the mountains and the gust of wind blowing past me.There were locals selling there fabulous hand knitted woollen clothes, the vendors selling variety of fruits and a small peaceful temple.
After walking briefly through the small lanes of the market I could clearly notice the simple and alluring locals there with ample of smile on there faces and remark of satisfaction and fulfilment over there faces.This made me realise that in spite of the subsistent livelihood these people were still contended.Recalling these memories merely make me elated.
She was standing in her balcony on a rainy day, sipping her coffee with extra sugar.Always fond of nature,she learnt most of her cognisance from silent nature.It was drizzling slightly,but she could see birds still flying in spite of the rains.Here was her first learning-There will be small hurdles In life but push yourself , push yourself to that finishing line that these hurdles will seem minimal.There were gusts of wind passing by her, her hair twirling with the wind, her coffee gone a bit down and she was now observing the trees move to the tunes of the wind and the prettiest Gulmohar flowers with droplets on them.Nature gave her the second lesson-Flowers, the beauty that resides within them, the fragrance that surrounds them, the positive vibe that never leaves them Is what makes them easy to fall In love with. That Is be a person who Is easy to fall In love with, be generous, be polite.The intensity of the wind had increased and it started to rain heavily.She had finished her cup of coffee and was now keenly observing the sight.There were small rivers flowing alongside the street.She got her next lesson-Patience Is required to see even a small river flowing, this gave her the Idea that how much patience must be required to see her dreams getting fulfilled.The dry leaves had started falling apart.The tree now looked more fresh and beautiful.
This observation told her that-Change Is Inevitable In life.The leaf when small was all green and when in the fall it was red-yellow and there Is beauty at every age and stage of life.
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks- John Muir