As we grow up, our life becomes more and more complex and we gradually move way beyond the simple things however, overlooking these simple unornamented aspects or feelings, we miss the greatest gift of our life – Happiness. I have marked my stop line already in an effort to make my life simpler and more enjoyable. Whenever I rush to the mountains, meet with the people and witness the simplicity in their village life, I become wiser and richer.
In the month on May’2019 I went for a trek in Himachal. Our base camp was in the village of Janglik which is a 10 hours’ drive away from Shimla, the state capital. Travelling across the Pabbar river valley when we finally reached Janglik, it was almost evening. We could not reach Janglik all the way through by car, instead, we had to stop our car and start walking with our backpacks, due to a broken bridge, located three kilometers away from the village. While I was walking along a calm, simple and picturesque village road, I met with some cute teenage Pahari girls of Janglik giggling and walking effortlessly as we were struggling to find our rhythm. They were returning home from school. When I asked, they told me that they love to study and go to school. I wanted to know the average age of marriage in their village; they said that their parents are liberal enough in allowing them to study as much as they want. It made me happy. It made me happier when even more effortlessly they told me that they trek for 10 kilometers daily to reach their school and come back home for their love of education. The colors of Himachal were there in their cheeks, the music of Himachal was there in their walk and the simplicity of their life was clearly seen in their knee-long hair.
Next day morning, we left our lovely wooden cottage in Janglik and headed for Dayara. At the end of the village we met with some working women of Janglik. Perhaps they were taking some rest after running behind their herds for hours. As soon as they saw our team, they moved towards the edge of the road so that we could pass easily. They were tired but when I requested them to sit for a photo, with a shy friendly smile they all sat in a row and looked at the camera. I found my mother, my sister or even my country in them. They made my day.
Our trek ended in Barua Village on 23rd May’2019. In the middle of the village, in a traditional wooden Pahari house, I saw one aged woman looking at me anxiously as I was passing by. It seemed that her eyes were weak and so was her body. As she was coming down the ladder from the upper floor towards me, I stopped walking and waited for her. Suddenly, one of her much younger relative rushed in from the backyard and told her – ‘Maa, he is not a doctor; he is just a tourist passing by. Now you go inside otherwise you may get cold again!’. I understood the she was not well and waiting eagerly for a doctor to come. I asked her – ‘Grandma, can I take a photo of yours?’ She listened carefully for a moment and without having a word, posed for me smiling. How nice was she!
I made an old friend during the trek. Together we decided to enjoy some more days in the Himachal, so, from Barua, in our 4 x 4 Bolero, we headed for Chitkul, another lovely village where you can enjoy wonderful beauties of the Kinnaur Kailash range of the Himalayas.
We found a hotel room in Chikul to stay for the night. Chitkul was pretty cold and cloudy. It was the day, when BJP won for the 2nd time in a row in the Loksabha Election in India and for that matter, my dear old friend Mr. Sehgal was very happy. He chose to stay back inside the room and watch TV news, while I decided to come downstairs to click some photos. I took out a chocolate out of my pocket and was about to give a bite at it when I saw a cute and lovely kid with chubby cheeks, extremely silent though, looking at me from his father’s lap. His father was busy in chatting with our hotel cook. I could not bite my chocolate looking at his adorable and innocent eyes. I smiled at him and went closer to him. ‘Do you love Chocolates? Will you take this one?’ I asked him; He glanced at his father expecting for the affirmative nod. Once the permission was given, his eyes shined, but everything else in his face remained unmoved. I told him – ‘but you have to give me a kiss! will you?’; and I offered by cheek to him. His soft little lips touched my skin and a kind of sensation ran through my body; my eyes got wet. ‘Here is your gift sweetheart’ – I handed over the chocolate and kissed him back.
Life is a collection of stories and I am eagerly waiting for each of them.