22nd May 2015, yes this was the day that we (me and my friends) decided to go for MORNING WALK. Morning walk means to get up early after a sound sleep and go for a walk. After almost leading four years of engineering life in hostel we students have become night owl. Sleeping time is from 6:00 am-2:00 pm. Now for morning walk we had to wake up at 5:00 am i.e. one hour before I sleep. Yes by now you must have got it what I did. I didn’t slept and sharp at 5:00 am went to my friend’s room to wake them up. By the way they slept half an hour before. They were still sleepy but after 5 minutes of pampering they agreed.
We left our hostel at 5:30 am. Our 10 minutes got wasted in arguing with the warden that where are we going at this hour. We sharp minded creature were ready with the backup plan for this question. So the only realistic reason that goes like this was ma’am we are going to railway station to book tatkal ticket. As expected she agreed and gates were opened for us. We took it as our victory. So it was three of us – I, Aditi and Ritika.
We decided to go to Central Park, Raj Nagar, Ghaziabad. It was at a distance of 3.1 km. On the way we saw the people who were busy in their daily chores. Stall owners were setting up their stalls, some were waiting at the bus stop to reach their workplace, small children were roaming on the roads to collect rags. We were wondering that how come these people get up so early and are able to do all the work. Along with this we continued our photo session too. In between we also came across railway track. As these are the last days of my college life so wanted to make each and every moment memorable. On the way we clicked photographs at the places which no one can even think of, laughed out loud, made fun of each other. Then after walking for almost half an hour we reached our destination.
As soon as we stepped in the park, I was awe struck by the view. Hundreds and hundreds of people of all ages were busy in their respective activities. The older section was busy in doing yoga exercises, middle age men and women were jogging, teens and kids as usual were busy in playing with their large group of friends. We were astonished to see all this because in past four years we never encountered anything as such. For us it was a complete new world. So these people seemed alien to us. We sat there for half an hour and were observing people.
After that we decided to hunt a new place that was Sec-10. This is one of the busiest street of Raj Nagar famous for its street food. It varies from Chinese to south Indian and sweet dish and what not. But this was early morning so this street was completely deserted. Near to it was another small park where not even a bird was wandering. We went to this park and sat on swings and drank tea from the stall adjoining to the park. By the time we finished our tea it was almost 7:45 am and sun was right on top of the head. Moreover all of us were tired and sleepy by now. So we decided to return.During all this process I missed my friend and roommate Shreyashi a lot who could not accompany us due to some reasons.
On our way back, chain of thoughts was running in my mind. After few days college will be over. All of us will be separated and will move to different cities. We will never have this freedom of going anywhere at anytime. Will stuck to 9-5 schedule in our cubicles with strangers in giant metro cities. No more sleeping in morning and waking up in afternoon. No more knocking at each and every room of hostel whose light is switched on and asking for Maggie at midnight. Seeing those strangers waiting for bus at the bus stop in formals I pictured myself that soon I will also be standing there in a queue in my formals waiting for the bus at bus stop with strangers and watching the group of college students giggling among themselves. I am really gonna miss this place. I am gonna miss my college days.
Finally after so many hurdles, clouds of thoughts and so so many questions regarding safety that were revolving in mind, I decided to hit the road solo. Trust me initially it wasn’t at all easy for me to do it. Reading online travelling blogs seems very fascinating but when time for actions come then there numerous questions revolving in your head. Mind said something else and heart something else. I closed my eyes and asked myself what I really wanted. As my eyelids shut the picture that came in my mind was of highways with gleaming streetlights , then the snow covered mountain peaks, then the sky full of stars. I opened my eyes immediately because I got my answer. So my curiosity of exploring places overcame my fears. Nothing was planned. At midnight around 2’o clock I decided that tomorrow I am going to McLeodganj. Its a small town near Dharamshala in Himacahal Pradesh. Many people might not have heard about it but this place is very famous among foreign Backpackers. McLeodganj is known for its Tibetan culture. There are several buddhist monasteries. Due to its natural beauty and diverse culture, I decided to visit this place. On the eve of 4th April 2015, I reached New Delhi and boarded a volvo bus from Paharganj area. One thing I would like to make clear that if you want to visit a place to spend some time peacefully, then never choose a weekend. On weekends hills are crowded with tourists moreover availability of rooms in hotels also becomes a major issue. So I chose weekdays for my holidays.
DAY 1 In the morning around 6’o clock my bus reached McLeodganj. The homestay which was suggested to me by Mr Parthasarathy Raghavachari named Jagatram Niwas was incredibly beautiful. It was on a hilltop surrounded by villages between the fields(Step farming) away from the hustle and bustle of the city crowd. I was not in Dharamshala neither in McLeodganj nor in Dharamkot. I was staying at Upper Bhagsu near Triund Hill from where Triund trek starts. As I was exhausted by the overnight journey I decided to take a short snooze. I woke up in afternoon, got dressed and left my room. I asked my owner which is the nearest place where I can go for side seeing. He suggested me Bhagsu Falls which was on other hill. So first I was supposed to get down to the main market of Dharamkot and then climb another hill. Now I was on my way to Bhagsu Fall. As it was a sunday afternoon, so the place was crowded with the tourists. I spent sometime there and then decided to take a walk to Mcleodganj. On the way it started drizzling. After reaching Mcleodganj I visited Dalai Lama Temple Complex. After that I returned back to my place which took around 2 hours of walk including the climbing of mountains. Climbing almost brought tears to my eyes because it was extremely exhausting. This made me realize that how easier the life is at plains. Even for basic necessities these people work so hard. As it was a home stay so I did not had to worry about my dinner. Home cooked chicken is always delicious.
DAY 2 Next morning I woke up late. As I was all by myself so I thought no need to rush for anything, do things as you want. I left my place without any clue in mind where to go. Instead of rushing to a destination I slowed down my pace and started enjoying the the view of the magnificent mountains.So I went out and spent sometime wandering in the village clicking pictures and then I decided to go for Bhagsu Falls as yesterday due to over crowd I was not able to explore the mighty mountains. So this time I decided to go higher than the falls. So I took the other way to reach a place called Shiva Cafe. When I reached there I was awestruck by the beauty of the place. The cafe was built beautifully and outside it pictures of Lord Shiva and other deities were being painted on the wall. Inside the cafe there were frames of Bob Marley, Che Guvera and other popular bands. I sat there for almost 3 hours listening to the sound of gushing water and reflecting on my life. The atmosphere could cast a spellbound on anyone. While climbing down I encountered a temple on hill top on the other side of the bank. I decided to pay a visit to that temple. So there I was conquering another mountain. The view from the top was as usual amazing. There I met a guy who was from Canada and came to McLeodganj for spiritual purposes and to learn the art of yoga. After that I returned back.
DAY 3 When I woke up in the morning it was raining. Climbing down the hill at this hour might cause an accident and we all know that prevention is better than cure. So I decided to stay in my warm and cozy bed for some more time. In mid afternoon I left my place and on the the way I decided to go to Dharamshala. It was 10 kms away from McLeodganj. I took the local bus to go there. After my previous trip to Kasol I learnt a lesson that one should prefer to go by local transport rather than booking cabs. These cab drivers extract huge amount from tourists. Travel by local transportation as far as possible. There are two benefits of it. Firstly you will be saving large amount of money and secondly you will meet localites or other tourists. Local people can guide you very well because they are simple people who know more about the place than any other. I reached Dharmshala by mid afternoon. As usual it was like any other city on the hills surrounded by it local people and shopkeepers who where busy in doing their chores. During my journey there was lady sitting beside me with whom I asked about the places that I can see in Dharamshala as I was clueless about the place. She suggested me that there is nothing as such to see there, but yes I can visit a Dharamshala Museum and then I can go to Chandi Devi Temple which was around 30 kms away near Palampur District. So I covered these two places by evening in Dharamshala. While returning back suddenly a new place popped in my mind from no where. I read about it few days back in some online blog. The place was Baijnath. I inquired about it with other fellow passengers in the bus. So I got my destination for the next and last day in mighty mountains.
DAY 4 I woke up early in the morning as I had to visit Baijnath which was 70 kms away from my place. Moreover I had to leave that day in evening. So I checked out from the home stay at 7’o clock in the morning, left my luggage at the shop where I booked my ticket for the evening bus and headed towards my destination of the day. From here the series of boarding bus at different bus stops starts. First from McLeodganj to Dharamshala. Then from Dharamshala to Palampur. Then again from Palampur to Baijnath. It took around 3:30 hrs to reach there. During whole journey I kept myself stick to the window seat staring out at the mighty snow covered mountain peaks who accompanied me right from the beginning. On the way I interacted with locals who sat beside me. Moreover I also used to tell the conductor regarding my destination every time I boarded the new bus so that he can drop me at the right place from where I can get a bus to the next stoppage without any trouble. And their response was very appreciable. Seeing a young girl traveling alone they made sure that every time I my fellow passenger was any female and they dropped me at the right place. So around 1:30 I reached Baijnath. Here I was supposed to visit Sherabling Monastery and a Shiva Temple which is said to be built by PANDAVAS when they were heading towards Himalayas. Temple was near bus stand only which was easily accessible but for monastery you have to take a cab because it was built on hill top on other side of the mountain. It takes around 45 minutes to get there. Reaching monastery was an experience in itself. It was very huge building with number of rooms where along with the monks other people could also stay and learn the art of meditation and yoga as long as they want. After spending sometime there I came back and went to Shiva Temple. It was way more beautiful than I saw in pictures. So this was last point of my destination.
Now I had to rush back because I was already running late than the time I calculated. Again the series of long bus journey started along with the mountains by my side. I arrived on time. My co-passenger in volvo was a guy from New Zealand who was on a holiday in India with two of his friends. He entertained me throughout the journey by asking funny questions regarding Indian cinemas , bollywood music and reactions of people towards them. And with this my journey came to an end. But its just the beginning there are more to come because for me “To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” by Ibn Battuta
These are the questions which nobody ask in an interview neither anything related to them is mentioned in your resume nor your friends talk about it. Leave the world even your very own parents never discuss about it. All they care about is your diet chart (like what you had in breakfast, then lunch and finally dinner) and what are the opportunities that can flood your bank balance. I sometimes wonder that is life all about food and colorful paper. I mean seriously. Although its just a FOUR letter word but this four letter word covers the journey of an individual from birth to death. When I asked myself that what I want from life my answers were
I want to be happy and content in my journey of life.
I want my parents to be proud of me.
I want to inspire people.
I want that people should look at me and say “Because of you I didn’t give up”.
I want to see the world.
I want to climb mountains.
I want to learn photography so that I can have memories.
I want to learn 4 new languages.
I want to teach underpriviliged kids.
I want to live in different villages across India and experience their culture and life style.
I want to hear stories from people who are counting their last days in old age homes.
I want to achieve higher dimensions by practicing meditations and learn about buddhist culture.
I want to experience solitude and serenity in the valleys of Himalayas.
I want to meet sapient sages so that they can share their wisdom of knowledge with me.
I want to spend days away from facebook, instagram, twitter, whatsapp, snapshot etc.
This is what I want for myself from life. I believe in improving the quality of life rather than increasing it. Its a quote of one of the old bollywood hindi film “Anand”.
“Zindagi badi honi chahiye lambi nahi…”
Earning lots and lots of money shouldn’t be the sole purpose of life. Take out a little time from your busy schedule, look around and see where your life is heading. Ask yourself was this the life you dreamed of when you were kids. Have a look on things you keep on postponing day after day beacuse you were so much busy that you didn’t have time even for yourself. Remember you only live once. Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. Every step towards your dream today is a step away from your regret tomorrow.
If you ever feel lonely and want to talk,
just call me.
I’ll be there from dusk to dawn for you.
If ever you feel melancholic and want to shed tears,
just call me.
I won’t console you but I’ll cry with you.
If ever you feel nostalgic by seeing your past,
just call me.
I’ll hold your hand and move along with you in the lanes of your memory.
If ever you are ecstatic,
just call me.
Because your elatedness makes my day.
If ever you are in a state of dilemma,
just call me.
I’ll make you to listen your conscience.
If ever you want anything,
just call me.
Just call me and I’ll be there that very moment.
I’ll be there because I love you.
Yes I love you from the abyss of my heart.
And in return I ask for one troth,
never make me look in the enigmatic eyes of yours.
You are immense sky and I am endless sea,
our rendezvous is horizon and it will be speculative.
Still I love you.
My love is bizarre but its chaste.
A part of you will always be with me.
Your presence makes me resilient everytime I stumble upon the hellacious journey of life.
I’ll love you till my watch comes to halt.
And in return I ask for one troth,
never make me look in the enigmatic eyes of yours.
As I grew up slowly and slowly I started realizing that our planet is very beautiful. The places which we used to study in primary classes do exists. The castles, waterfalls and beautiful views of countryside and mountains do exists. I was very much fascinated by my so called newly generated passion of “Travelling”. But then there was a big question that was running in my mind. Is it possible to travel whole world. How? From where to start? How to afford expenses? And many more. I researched more and more and to my amazement I found that there are many people like me around the world called “BACKPACKERS” who shares same interest as of mine.
They travel across the world. Slowly and steady I came in contact with all the stuffs and sites related to traveling. Now the first question that popped in my mind was which place should I start from. As it was going to be a starting mark of my travel journey so I had to select a exquisite and special place. I am a nature lover and prefer less crowded places because spending some quality time at such places gives you an opportunity to introspect and rejuvenate. So according to my specification the first place which hit in my mind was “KASOL”.
Well Kasol is a small sleepy town in Himachal Pradesh, northern India. It is situated in Parvati Valley, flowing Parvati river beside it. Kasol has recently transformed into a hub for backpackers, who are attracted to the scenic beauty, low population, and good climate throughout the year. Visitors from Israel can easily be spotted in Kasol. So I decided to go for this place which is a foreign land in Indian territory. Here I would like to give one tip. If you love travelling then never plan your trips because they somehow they will get cancel on the last moment due to some unexpected reasons. So whenever you feel like you have enough money just pack your bags and go to the place you have been dreaming about since many days. I am very courageous girl so initially I decided to travel solo but then deep inside I was bit scared because I have never been alone to a new place before. I asked my younger brother to accompany me and he willingly agreed. It was 27th August 2014 when he arrived Ghaziabad (my college).
From there we reached New Delhi. Booked our tickets for volvo from Pahad Ganj. It was mid afternoon and sun appeared like giant ball of fire. Waited there for some time. At 6 pm our bus arrived and we started moving. The population in my bus was diverse which included a solo female traveler from some South-East Asian country, a couple from Israel, a high class drug addict couple from Delhi and few more. I placed myself at the window seat and started enjoying the view of busy Delhi streets from large glass window panes. The view of highways in evening was beautiful. The sun was sinking. At around 10 pm we reached Karnal which is a part of Haryana. There our bus took a break for refreshment. The restaurant was quit expensive and the quality of food was poor. Again the journey started. I was feeling refreshed. By now hardly any vehicles could be spotted on the road. The street lights were glowing through the dark. Almost everyone slept but I was busy in staring outside. My eyes were filled with curiosity just like of little kids. I was noticing each and every house on the way and various questions were running in my mind. I was wondering who must be living in those houses? Will I ever be able to cross these paths again in my life? And most important will I be able to return back home safely because nobody in my family knew that only me and my brother are going for a trip. With all these thoughts I don’t know when did I go into deep sleep. I woke up suddenly noticing that bus is on halt. I came out of the bus and suddenly my heart skipped a beat for a moment. What a spectacular view was infront of my eyes.There were mountains all around. It was around 5 o’clock in morning. The bus stopped for refreshments. Again the journey started. But now along with the bus someone else was also accompanying. Yes river Beas was flowing beside the road.
After 1 hour our destination i.e. Bhunter
arrived. From here we had to board a local rickety bus to reach kasol. I and my brother got down. Along with us Delhi based couple and Israel couple also got down. It was an early morning so streets were deserted. No vehicles could be seen. Suddenly a man approached us for cab. I refused initially because he was charging triple amount than the bus fare. But then seeing no other mode of transportation at that hour I chose to go for it. So all 6 of us placed ourselves comfortably in the cab. I am a window freak so I grabbed the front seat for myself because from there one could see both ways i.e. front view along with side view. On the way me and my brother asked the driver about various places for sightseeing in kasol and near by areas. The route from Bhuntar to Kasol was mesmerising. The natural beauty was at its peak. As we were approaching kasol one could easily notice orchids of apples on both sides of the road and plants of cannabis. Finally after 1 hour of driving we reached Kasol. Yes I reached the place about which I had been dreaming to go since months. After the other two couples left the cab as they knew very well where to go next, the cab driver inquired me that what the hell I am doing in Kasol with my younger brother. On the way I told him that my co-passanger is my younger brother. I told him I love natural beauty and I m here for sight seeing. Let me tell you that people of India have lot of misconceptions about Kasol. I know very well that people from different parts of the world come to Kasol for cannabis and hash. But you can’t put a bad name to it and cut it out from society. There are people who visit this place solely for the purpose of scenic beauty and trekking. You will find yourself in a completely differnt surrounding than what you are experiencing in normal Indian cities. So before checking-in in hotel we decided to visit “Manikaran” which is few kilometers away from Kasol. It is a hot pool of natural water spring. There are two huge bathing rooms of hot water springs for localites. There is also a Gurudwara. It’s a religious place of Sikhs. The road to Manikaran further leads to Kheerganga for trekking. So spending around half an hour at Manikarn we proceed further on our journey.
Now the next place which we decided to go was “Malana Village”. I read about it that this village is cut-off from rest of the world and there is myth that these villagers call themselves as the descendants of “Alexander,The Great”. After travelling for one hour we reached the foothills of Malana Village. On the way we met some local village children and also took apples from the orchids with the permission of the owner. The village was situated at the top of one of the hills. From there on we have to go on our foots. The area was surrounded by never ending mountains and not a single human being was in sight. There was no proper path to the village. It was all covered with trees and shrubs. It became difficult for us to climb as we were approaching the top. So after covering almost half of the distance we decided to return back. Moreover what made us to take this decision was that it was only me, my brother and the cab driver. Anything could have happened. But by god’s grace everything went well. We came back safely to Kasol by noon. We found one decent hotel to stay. After taking rest, in the evening we decided to explore the streets of kasol. As I told you that its a very small place so it took us hardly 20 minutes to cover the entire town on foot. We could spot only two things- hotels and cafes. From clothes to bags and to cafes everything had a picture of “Bob Marley” painted on them. The menu of cafes comprises of Italian, Chinese, Israelis, French and ofcourse Indian. Late in the evening we also got a chance to have a look of rave party. After that we had our dinner. It is a small town so people wind up their shops early and the streets get deserted by 9:00 pm.
Next day we planned to go to Chalal village. This village is connected to Kasol via footbridge. It was way beautiful than I imagined. It is a saying that ” Its not a destination that is important but the journey”. On one side there was a crystal clear flow of water and on the other side the tall pine trees. On the way there were few cafes too. After walking for one hour we reached the village. Like kasol it was a very small village. People were busy in doing their household chores. After having almost complete view of the village we started to return. On the way back to the kasol we spotted an area where rave party took last night.
On reaching back to hotel we packed our bags and headed for the bus to Bhuntar to reach our next destination “Manali”. Sitting and looking outside my window I got lost deep into my thoughts. I was wondering what an amazing place it is. The life of people is so peaceful. They are serene and accepted happily what they had been granted by the god. That was the life there away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The air was so fresh. There was a sort of magic in the atmosphere that one would feel like getting lost. This place completely goes by the line that “Inorder to find yourself you first have to get lost”.
Well this post is all about how to do INTROSPECTION. This term basically means- “to look inside and describes the act of thinking about your own actions and inner thoughts”.
Not everybody is lucky enough to get that calling from deep within. Although most of the people get but then it varies from person to person and their state of mind. Some people neglect it calling it a diversion or distraction and follow their same routine from which they are fed up religiously. The factor which plays the crucial role in this process is TIME.
People get this calling at different stages of their lives. Some might get it in their early stages and some in later years. Now the point is that those who figure it out in early stages have a great opportunity to work on it and can escape from the rat race and can live the life they dreamed of in their childhood.
But those who get this calling in later years of their lives are afraid to accept. Their are many reasons for their fears. But in the end its “YOUR LIFE, YOUR RULES”!!!
Here I would like to quote one of my favorite line ” You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it”.
So doing introspection is a very difficult task. There are 8 basic questions which you should ask yourself and note down the answers in your personal diary and then follow it religiously. One important suggestion to all of you. While writing the answers please be truthful to yourself. Its your personal diary and no one is going to judge you. Here I have mentioned my answers which might be a lot similar to yours too. Here we go….
1) Am I really happy with my current state?
Well if the answer is YES then you don’t need to read further. But if the answer is NO then you should go till the end.
2) Why Am I not happy with my current state?
Here are reasons for my dissatisfaction-
Because I am stuck with things I don’t like to do.
Because I am not able to live a life I have dreamed off.
Stuck with some not so good memories and experiences of past relationships.
Not able to go through the courses in the degree which I am currently pursuing.(I just don’t like it.)
Due to the above reasons I am not able to do things which I like.
3) Should I focus on things which I don’t like and strugglethroughout my life to get it?
Should I focus on things I am already good at and gives me pleasure and satisfaction?
I haven’t answer this question because its quite understood.
4) What are the things which give me happiness?
Travelling (Its my passion)
Writing (quotations/ travel experiences)
Volunteering at NGO
I want my entire life to be spent doing all such things.
( Although I am from technical field but I have no interest in it.)
5) Should I stuck where I am at present and keep on frustrating?
Change my state because I am not a tree and do all the things mentioned in previous answer?
Well here too I think I don’t need to write what answer should be.
6) What is preventing me to follow my heart and live a life of my dreams?
So here comes the main part of the story.
Fear of society.
What will people say if I will choose an off beat career?
Fear of getting failed.
Fear of not be able to live a stable life like most of the people around us following the trend.
Fear of what will my parents think? Will they support me?
7) What will happen if I don’t go by my dreams?
Always remain frustrated.
Always remain unhappy and complain about everything around me.
Would wear a fake smile on face to show the world that I am happy but deep inside I am crying loudly for help to get me out of this HELL I am going though.
After many years I would be regretful and cursing myself about the opportunities I had.
I had the key to the door of my happiness but I didn’t have guts to open it because of the fear of society and people.
No inner peace and content.
It may also lead to mental imbalance.
8) What will happen if I go by my dreams?
Life will change drastically…
I would be cheerful and content.
Would start enjoying each and every moment of life.
Always feel motivated.
Most important- I will start living a life.
Chances of becoming successful are more because then I will do things by my heart and would put more efforts in it for the best output.
Follow your heart but then don’t forget to take your mind along.
In the end I would like to quote one of my favorite lines by OSCAR WILDE
“ To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist.”