The Travelogue Of Life & Death: 3 Welcome To Kalga; Where The Days Bewitch And The Nights Enchant.

12th Oct 2016
Photo of The Travelogue Of Life & Death: 3 Welcome To Kalga; Where The Days Bewitch And The Nights Enchant. 1/11 by Malvika Duhoon
The Milky Way Rising At Kalga, Yes That What I Was Talking About When I Mentioned Enchantment Of Night.
Photo of The Travelogue Of Life & Death: 3 Welcome To Kalga; Where The Days Bewitch And The Nights Enchant. 2/11 by Malvika Duhoon
This Particular Mountain's Peak Is Made Of A Single Massive Rock.

When needed counsel,

I heard the best in my own voice


I wanted but was told '' Remember that everyone is capable of giving what they have''

Want from hateful & you will receive more of it in you

Given from generous you get some of it too


Want from yourself and you draw everything there is to have on you

Withdraw your gaze from without and focus it within*


You have taken the truth as the way

All your fears have been absolved

Yes, that's what you had bygone!!!!

Photo of The Travelogue Of Life & Death: 3 Welcome To Kalga; Where The Days Bewitch And The Nights Enchant. 3/11 by Malvika Duhoon
Snow Line At Entrance Of The Village

Started on our way to Mandi from where we had to change for Bhuntar. It was in twilight we reached Bhuntar, the last bus running to Barseni had taken its departure yet peace had to come any way. Our next ride was in a very well maintained commercial van and the driver a 17 years old Aman(peace) with his boyish probity that showed, yet he was nonchalant in ways. He happened to be going till Jari from where Kasol would be 6 km further. I had become casual and mechanized in my conversations, when we start to talk it was mostly about relationships and stuff, typically teenage but interesting if the teenager is interesting. Aman had never been down at the capital and that was his first on wishlist. He went few extra miles to drop me at the entrance of Kasol. It was already dark, dark, with the last bus gone I dropped my plan for Kalga. It was stil 20 kms to Barseni from Manikaran on a dilapidated road and then a 30 min walk & trek to Kalga, so I would try to stay at the Manikaran Gurudwara but was hopeless with Hachi along. I walked till Manikaran enjoying the bustle and assemblage of Kasol, then the penetrating silence of its woods even after a beating Parvati. Hachi immediately recognized that we were near her past home (Katagla was 3 km before Kasol) with the sound of river and smell. She became resplendent in her show. We meet a local walking his Husky Puppy and you should have seen her play with him, Hachi had tired him to the bones but was still eager to play more, jumping over him, flying around like the wind, standing on him with her front paws in her short rest. I haven't seen a dog like that in my entire life, if I were to be a dog I would have been her. Reached Manikaran, I was denied Hachi being present in the premises, but Plan A implemented--told them how my card has blocked and I did't had sufficient cash to accommodate us for night. Hachi at her best behavior " I'm the most innocent creature to have walked on the face of earth'' through all deal makings. They relented, we were given a place at a place that provides an open langar and accommodate people coming from all over. We always met 2 kind of people, the ones who despised us on sight a woman travelling alone with her over spoiled pet, dishonoring her family. I guess they had never discovered their own space and freedom to understand other's but then how could they keep from my sight the ones who were absolutely fascinated at this possibility and our congenital chemistry. The ones who wish they could experience something like that themselves but were happy to witness it. I had to miss the Sulphur bath but the young man who had earlier denied our stay came with an offer to get our food packed from the Langar.

Photo of The Travelogue Of Life & Death: 3 Welcome To Kalga; Where The Days Bewitch And The Nights Enchant. 4/11 by Malvika Duhoon
Captured From The Holy Cow For Sure

We were up before 6:00 to check in the first bus to Barseni, found it waiting at the stop to start within 2 minutes of our arrival. Kalga was expecting us, I could feel it in my bones still we walked in as a surprise to it. Based on a half mountain, no roads, trek up the place, embedded with apple orchards,an opening to mountains beyond, pristine in view, silent in composition and remote. A place to see and be. I had been to this place before and maybe 'before'. (I had stayed at the ''Peace cafe'' adjoining Jewish House which is a sacred cult funded by Israeli Government with a Jewish priest couple taking care of it, their son had became bloodline of that place, a captivating 2 years old ' Sassone'. As soon as I laid my eyes on him, I was thrilled that he would be staying around. In July the place was full, full of people(majority Israel), full of blood apples,full of sudden rainfall, full of sunlight, full of music coming from Jewish House. Un comprehended still the perfect background. Life to Summer. I was with friends, Hachi and I found each other 2 days before my return. Sassone with his chants in a no one can understand language from a book that he had been holding upside down. An explorer always to be seen returned home by any of the guests, or someone from the village or any of the cafe owners or their workers, in soiled clothes that his mother had changed again prior to his traversing activity.)

Photo of The Travelogue Of Life & Death: 3 Welcome To Kalga; Where The Days Bewitch And The Nights Enchant. 5/11 by Malvika Duhoon
I Got This From Internet But It Is Definitely Outside Dream Hut, As I Can Remember

Rest to October.

Kalga was tranquil now, all the wild grass and crops had gone, with lesser apples and fading leaves, a still blue sky with speck less view of mountains around. 'Raabeen' as Sassone had called him was dead surprised at my arrival. No way in the world he was expecting me, he was a friend from Meerut who was running Peace in partnership along with a couple. Though he was a little mobile & reckless but a pure gem at heart. I got to know that his worker had left for his village a few days ago and that's why he had to close the Kitchen for guests affecting the sales in end of season. This, was my no cash opportunity to offer my services for kitchen & Maintenance. The cafe was to be declared open for meals & refreshments though with fewer options. Thankfully it was in ending season with fewer guests. I had a 'room' of my own now, however the Jewish House was closed for the season making the place creepy silent. A cloud here and there on a clear sky that would just float softly for hours and then disappear to come back out of no where in a new form. It was crisp and cold until midday and, I also came to know that there has been No Electricity in the entire village since last 12 days, that meant No geyser, No Lightning, No Charging and No Nothing. For a moment I did't understand ,Did I regret it or was fulfilled??

Photo of The Travelogue Of Life & Death: 3 Welcome To Kalga; Where The Days Bewitch And The Nights Enchant. 6/11 by Malvika Duhoon
The Paramount In This Picture Looks Like Shiv-Shakti In Meditation its Facing A Parvati Glacier

Work!! Work!! Work!! Work!! Work!!Work!!* The first day, I felt replenished & active to complete the difficult part the same day without leaving a thing for tomorrow except regular maintenance from the next day on. It was a mess, I decide to clean the place the best I could, arranged the Kitchen, prepared all the rooms with fresh sheets for renting, washed all used sheets, thoroughly cleaned the bathroom and then the last and most important, gave myself a proper wash that I had't for last few days. I did't even mind the freezing silvery Parvati water. By the time out, Ravin had prepared sandwiches and tea for me, only Hachi was not to be seen around. She had been here as a smaller pup. I tried to feed her after our arrival but she was more interested in a tour around, had belonged to the mountains. She was already adept & reliant in making the mountain dogs her friend, she had already befriended and already drained out two dogs with her games when I last saw her. (Mountain dogs are super friendly, people told me that they accompany people on treks randomly, sometimes even back, show them their way when lost, only twice we had faced dogs who tried to get violent on her and that too at crowded places) I whistled and called all around but she would't come. I was not to be pacified, searched the entire village, asked everyone but she had been unseen. All my blood seemed to have gushed out of my body. I quivered in dis belief, but was assured of her return in an intuitive way. Tired to the last bone, yet most of the little sleep I got was restless. I had to be cent percent sure of her return without giving a single in doubt. I don't know what gave me strength to continue with my 'Gone Bitch'.

Photo of The Travelogue Of Life & Death: 3 Welcome To Kalga; Where The Days Bewitch And The Nights Enchant. 7/11 by Malvika Duhoon
From A Different Angle

While taking care of Peace at Kalga we've had 9 guests whom I had proposed a stay at Kalga in Peace. I knew that Ravin needed to make the best he could before he closed down for Diwali, From them our first guest had arrived. I met Kanishq while walking through Kasol. He told me that he intended to do the Kheerganga trek the next day from Barsheni and I suggested him to go via Kalga that's the shortest trek way, he'd never been there before and was absolutely in to explore it on my account. Next morning of my arrival I see him outside Peace, I did not even remember the encounter until he arrived. He also got a little worried about Hachi when he got to know that she's went missing.

I almost knew half of the village and its people very well but some had become friends. Pedro was one of them, (originally from Venezuela, he had already spend last 20 years of his life in India, 10 in Parvati Valley) evening was to be spend with a visit to Pedro at Dream hut. Ravin and Kanishq accompanied but No Hachi. It was a bonfire night, Dream Hut had guests, 5 sisters from Arunanchal Pradesh currently staying in Delhi, from the youngest aged 15 to the eldest 30. All 5 of them connoisseur ed in various fields. A Dentist, an IIT ian, Master of Political Science from JNU, pursuing graduation in Literature and the cute school girl. North East is yet in my wish to be fulfilled list . Their family was in few of the people who have't converted to Christianity, and worshiped the elements of nature, the spirits of forest, the celestial & silence. No wonder how they were so unperturbed yet grounded. I had to suggest them 'Princess Mononoke'. Their flavor in books & movies was incredible, like of the friends you can dote on for a good one. I speculated on how growing up in a sanative environment can bring one about as a person. (All of us are collectively reproachable for the oppressive environment that most of the kids grow up in). The night beautifully lit in full moon, it had rained previously and we could see silver colored peaks with fresh snowfall that was visibly apparent from day time.

Photo of The Travelogue Of Life & Death: 3 Welcome To Kalga; Where The Days Bewitch And The Nights Enchant. 8/11 by Malvika Duhoon
The Village Tracks

Everything and everyone was fine but I had some faults in my ' thinking'. Not all the time but at times I would become over conscious, irrelevant then quiet. I always got this feeling back that everyone disliked me in a way. God!! I was so, so unstable and Hachi was't, this fact had sub-consciously effected me. Pedro knew that, he repeatedly said '' She will get back to you Senyorita, Don't you know how she came by?'' Still I was frustrated inside and sorry outside. It was like being assured of your sanity after a doubt and realizing that you were actually getting more insane. Everyone was so perfectly settled in everything that they were doing but I was here 4 years after my graduation, after quitting 6 jobs all in different fields, the last one of a teacher, doing Nothing. Nothing. A complete absurd and no one. Even Hachi had left me, surely I was't a match for such energy. I slept at Dream Hut that night with my coat, jeans & shoes on for the first time in my life. Got up and just left for Peace after a formal goodbye to the sisters group who were found seated at the same spot waiting for breakfast, ready to leave. As I waled back I saw that all the snow that was seen on the mountains had melted away with Sunlight.

Photo of The Travelogue Of Life & Death: 3 Welcome To Kalga; Where The Days Bewitch And The Nights Enchant. 9/11 by Malvika Duhoon
A Near Utopia As The Picture Says

Kanishq ready to depart for Kheerganga, he then gave me a pair of knee band that he got from Kasol for me, I remembered telling him my inability in making the Truind trek because of injury. He had seemed concerned weather I was doing something about it, 'No' was my casual answer. This was the boy I had been rude to last night in my own apprehension. Those were the girls who assured me of my course of action. ''Most of the people don't even know themselves and are just doing anything for a living, you have the guts to follow your own call '' they said. They even invited me for this annual music festival that was to take place in March 2017 at Arunanchal and was made welcome to lodge at their place, and I did not even care to at least take an email id from anyone. My goodbye was rather rude after our rendezvous last night, and they were already gone. I apologized him for my behavior but I was supposed to be a lot better than that.

Photo of The Travelogue Of Life & Death: 3 Welcome To Kalga; Where The Days Bewitch And The Nights Enchant. 10/11 by Malvika Duhoon
To The Woods

The day went by, Hachi had been gone for 2-3 hours in Dharamkot but came back exactly where I was while on a stroll. She probably would have sniffed my trail back. It was already dark, Ravin had gone to Pedro's place, I asked to be left alone. No need for lightening in that moonshine. I see this dark figure come out of obscurity towards Peace.God!!! I was elated on that sight. It was Hachi, I had been turbulent till then but it disappeared completely like a bucket of water had extinguished a fire, even the fumes. I watched in silence, she was unaware of my presence, busy sniffing something. First she went till the Kitchen's door and then to the washroom before coming up on the porch. Oh my!!! I realized that she was smelling my trail, I had been to the kitchen and washroom before coming up and she came exactly from where my footsteps had been. She climbed up on the deck, still unaware of my watch, went to the other side where I had been first before coming where I was, without looking up for a second busy sniffing before she registered my presence 1 and 1/2 meter away from where I stood. We became wild in our Reunion. Hachi greets me with full jumps and then settle down in time like a smart girl who knows that now we both were here. She would be starved and so was I, we both ate twice our regular meal along with a Liter of milk for her and half a liter sweet milk tea for myself. 'Raabeen' arrived in time, now was the time to be spirited away in the watch of moonlight, under the galaxy of stars.

Photo of The Travelogue Of Life & Death: 3 Welcome To Kalga; Where The Days Bewitch And The Nights Enchant. 11/11 by Malvika Duhoon
The Galaxy Comes Down To Show Itself Here