The Travelogue of Life and Death : Part 1 How it all started with my canine partner Hachi

30th Sep 2016

It feels really good when you hear something exactly you thought, making your belief even stronger because it is something conveyed to you by your soul and when you follow it it becomes true to be unbelievable.

Photo of The Travelogue of Life and Death : Part 1 How it all started with my canine partner Hachi 1/1 by Malvika Duhoon
That's Hachi, Hachuka, Hachiko , a fox, wolf, bitch, cat, dog. The Talisman of my life

Isn't it fascinating that we are living all the time until we actually die?? Situations & circumstances of a person and decisions taken in them make you what you are but It is the way one takes life that determines how its gonna be like.

Let's spare how this trip came by but it was like * '' Wake me up, when September ends'' I decided to just leave for Dharamkot, Himachal on the 30th of September 2016, sick with the environment of Chickengunya everywhere having suffered myself, along with a knee injury in an accident prior to it to make worse. Limited cash, No bus tickets, no camera, no smartphone, no study and no idea how it's gonna be possible but my mind had already envisaged it with an approval from my soul, heart skeptic but frantic and all three made me decide to make it un solo by taking Hachi with me. (Hachi had came by in a very special way while on one of my travels like a gift from the mountains. I still remember our first eye contact, she crossed a swelled Parvati bridge to follow us till the road and jumped in from the driver seat to passenger's to sit comfortably as soon as my friend opened the door. She came in as threshold of a new phase her eyes making a deal with mine told me '' I'm not coming with you to be chained, i'm here to unbound you forever''. She's been like a talisman ever since amusing me with her magic spells). It is very difficult to sustain with limited resources but then there was something like,

I'm here to look at these mountains with the sky

I can hear people talk behind my eye,

But I can't stop when my laugh wants to fly..

I'm impervious to jeers at my sight

But even the celestial shine bright when they know how i love their sight.

Sometimes i talk more than i hide

But in my silence shooting stars pass by

when i pray to the trees the wind replies

with wrath my own knees jolted me down

All the wilderness show me if i watch

And Oh! How i love people when they sing and laugh

God! What an energy it surpass

Why Don't you get it??

I'm here to live, let money not be my boss,

Be it the only servant i ever have..

Sometimes you need to trust your intentions more than the fear of other's. So i also decided to hitch hike when required, I was vigilant and chary to avoid any problem plus oh! Damn, I had Hachi with me, her presence had turned it into an entirely unique experience coupled with a queer feeling of security. As i reflect on it now, I think every haphazard on this trip was planned by The Universe, even the ones i would hike from. Instead of travelling via Delhi i took the GT road NH 709A connecting Meerut to Karnal , straight ahead, smooth with exquisite countryside views of one of the most fertile lands of our Nation.Our brother dropped us halfway till Shamli. I was to take it from here, with some experience in hitchhike and people too. Trust me It's always not the girl who's scared most of the people don't stop, absolutely not in for any trouble a girl can get them into and at times i don't like the aura of someone who has stopped and i don't take it. The truck that stopped for me was of Himachal, unhurried, without a helper. The driver was reluctant to hike me till Karnal where I could have managed to get a bus to Dharamshala, he might have not even considered taking us in if we did not have our brother along, i could have passed for an absconded. Hachi on the other hand had decided to be perfectly okay with whatever happening wherever going, bewildered at getting on in the truck she made herself at home once I was in. We wished bye to our brother to continue with the switch. With awkward conversations at the beginning we both were soon composed with our company. Ahmed was a hardworking and honest family man who drove his truck real steady, without a helper so as to save some money on fuel and assistance, coming all the way from Agra headed Baddi with his truck loaded with glass bottles. He shared many experiences of his professional life I even slept for sometime. I could have gone all the way till Himachal with him but I needed to be faster than that, going few kilometers off his track he dropped me at a dhaba where the roadways buses stopped for meals. There were already two buses at the dhaba , I had to buy one extra ticket and I was allowed to take her after a verbal confirmation from my side that Hachi is absolutely innocuous to everyone except me. When I came back to say goodbye to Ahmed he was already gone, amazed by such an encounter I took my seat along with her who had chosen the most appropriate set for both, jumped to it like a regular passenger and we started off.

Dharamshala, wish I could show it with my view

Photo of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India by Malvika Duhoon
Photo of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India by Malvika Duhoon

Its a small place with Tushita and Vipashna Meditation center at the entry halt along with a school, 2 shops, a tea stall, one school and a village water tank joined by a way to Triund, back to Macleodganj and a narrow way down to the parking, cafes and residential. Tourism is limited and commercial but travel is insightful and beyond the mundane. Its like an open space where you find what you be, so I managed to get a room for 250, deciding to think about everything else after a bath and some rest.

Buddhish Temple

Photo of Dharamkot, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Malvika Duhoon

I have been to the Manali, Manikaran route but was a first timer for this one. 6:30 in the morning 1st of October 2017 eyes already wide open to the haze of mountains as our bus scurry past the sanctuary of woods we match our arrival at the Dharamshala station with dawn light ,took the local bus for Mcleodganj and an auto for Dharamkot from there. I find myself in a strange anxiety once I was there Somber and numb but excited at our arrival. The next batch for Tushita was't on till 8th of October with a already heavy waiting in registration. I could have joined the Vipashna mediation course starting from the same day, free of cost for 15 days with a first come first serve desk registration but I was definitely not allowed to take Hachi along, for a moment I regretted bringing her with me as some days of absolute silence in such a place would have done me good but her presence had me comfortable & composed which gave me strength in being what I was and continue it from here.

To be honest I felt a little homesick and hapless which I would't have if I had sufficient & more cash on me but I had just enough to sustain us with shelter and food for 4 days without a return trip back home. 2nd day I called up my mother who had no idea of my pocket situation and told her that I wanted to come back home and she said '' This is what your problem is, you don't finish what you start. Staying was the option, like a risk that you want to take but scared of its consequences. Unable to walk for a long time due to my injury I would go somewhere near, sit ,ponder ,completely pathetic, aware yet blind to the beauty around engrossed by blame , regretful of my capriciousness and be like that 3/4 of my conscious time but there were moments when I saw Hachi being ingenuous with her winsome aura making everyone bemused at whatever she was, sight of happy people or a graceful smile from a stranger would make my spirit impervious again. She followed me everywhere, it was seldom that she got out of my sight on her solo exploration but would come running to me at a whistle. I haven't really trained her in anything but I guess our nexus is a natural, i did not have to leash her except on occasions. Although even she was't able to put a stop on my languor.


Photo of The Travelogue of Life and Death : Part 1 How it all started with my canine partner Hachi by Malvika Duhoon

4/10/2016 was a morose full rainy day, I shut myself in my room by evening and find myself wailing with the rain. '' What am I thinking?, why am I here?? What have I done" Hachi tried to console me but I was inconsolable, I have been living on fruits, biscuits and bread and tomorrow I won't even have the money to get a proper meal for her. She gave up absolutely irritated which made me cry some more but she was like telling me '' Its okay, I like it here and so do you just get out of it ''

My only accessory was my dilapidated laptop and nothing could have done me better than one of the animated movies of studio Ghilbi. Monokome hime allayed all my fears and I found myself with a sudden urge to get some walk but it was 2:30 in Am. I swear I would have stayed put if Hachi was't. We moved out of our room to witness first clear starred sky of my visit, she followed me, eagle eyed and closer than usual. Even the dogs were fast asleep on this moonless night except on of her friend who started following us too reluctant to go out of his yard I and Hachi assured him that we'll take care of him if he wants to come along. I guess he understood what we said and continued with us checking out imprints of other dogs. All three scared but excited. We followed the Truind road few meters past the last street light. Pitch dark, starred but nebulous, noiseless except the woods with its creatures now and then. I sat there to meditate with my eyes closed both the canines sat on my opposite sides touching a part of their coat with my body it was time to annihilate all the fear out of my spine.

How it took away all my fear & hate, a must watch for people who like Symbolism, Spirituality and Nature

Photo of The Travelogue of Life and Death : Part 1 How it all started with my canine partner Hachi by Malvika Duhoon
Photo of The Travelogue of Life and Death : Part 1 How it all started with my canine partner Hachi by Malvika Duhoon

''Most fearful ever fearless on me, Breath''* With every breath I tried to conceal all the dark within ,before I registered footsteps of someone coming down the road Hachi and him were up in their guard position with ferocious barks simultaneously , I have never heard her bark like that before it clearly said '' BACK OFF, BEWARE'' I told them its okay, it would have scared the hell out of that person I asked him to pass by with an apology and he went on without uttering a single word pale as if he had encountered some ghost. I have seen Hachi get friendly with anyone who was my conversant they were appeased seeing me composed. She had been absolutely harmless to hundreds of tourists that we pass by daily, but it was 3:15 AM with her protective instincts to brim. I was wanted loved and watched more than anything else by this little girl and was absolutely fascinated at what I just witnessed, came back to be hove though I had a little problem keeping 'him' out who would have surmised that he's in on the team too but it was an all girls team. I slept snug for the first time in 4 days, now in a state of flux because there was something like ''change is the only constant''.