Khud mein main yun khona chahun,
Ye behoshi meri khali to nahi,
Jo pa lun khud ko, phir mustaqbil kya
Zindagi ke rang jaali to nahi.
Life can be really hard at times. Family, job, existence, everything eats up a piece of us each day. These are times when we just want to leave our identity for a while and fade into the unknown. But are we really prepared for it?
Home In The Himalayas
There are so many of us who have, at some point, thought of living in a wooden cabin, high up in the Himalayas, sipping on a cup of tea, worries aside. Oh, what a simple way to live!
Here’s the twist. It’s a simple life, yes, but the challenges it brings along—not everyone’s cup of tea. The Himalayas represent raw bounty. They provide all that is necessary to sustain a healthy, fulfilling life. But it depends on us as to how we make use of such abundant resources.
After living in cities for 5 years, I came back home, obviously to take a break from being on the go all the time. The Himalayas were calling and I answered that call. It was home.
The monsoons had hit in July and the water in Beas River rose to a dangerous level. There were landslides all over. Travelling back home, traffic was inevitable. Another piece of a huge mountain had washed away the road into the river. As I reached my hometown, I saw people living near the river pack up all their belongings into trucks to shift to higher reaches. Huge bungalows and cottages were being emptied out. There was a high alert that Beas could get violent at any moment, causing floods.
Scary, right? As it turns out, this has to be done by the inhabitants every year during monsoons. Luckily, there was no calamity this time.
A few months went by. Winter came in and with it came huge amounts of snow. Time for some adventure sports! Well, not yet. Water pipes froze due to low temperatures—there was hot water to be poured on them so as to keep the flow going. There was no electricity for a month, so the only option to keep oneself warm was self-made fire in the Bukhari (a wood-burning heater). This was not easy either. Quintiles of wood had to be carried all the way up to the house. Bigger logs had to be cut by self. They were wet and took time to catch fire. The pipes of the Bukhari clogged every now and then, which filled the room with smoke. Communication to the outer world was lost. Snow had to be cleared up from the roof everyday.
Being vegetarian became more expensive than buying meat due to high transportation cost of the veggies. Candles were being sold in black. The great Himalayan winters had hit real hard.
Spring began to show up around mid-March. Finally a time to relax with flowers blooming all around and butterflies fluttering over them. But what about the trees in the orchards from which to make a living? It was spraying time. Pests may destroy half of the produce so every tree had to be sprayed with adequate pesticides. This job takes days to complete. Summers went by plucking ripe fruits and taking them to the market to sell.
So yes, it is an organic life. You eat what you grow, get warm by actual fire, and are cut out from the world. But as you enter the unknown, seeking peace, solitude and freedom, your survival takes a lot more than just a social media check-in.
Look out! The monsoons are on their way yet again.