Of all the paths traversed so far,
The journey home is unsurpassed
As the mountains camouflage the roads and higher the birds soar,
Home is what the heart yearns for,
With every inch of elevation I ascend
The river sings " Welcome home my friend."
In a time where each one of us is bit by the Wanderlust or the Fernweh, I happily announce to the world that I am bit by Heimweh, or homesickness and there is no other journey as sweet as the journey back home just as there's no other journey as bitter as the pain of leaving your safe haven to the world where you ought to be. Homecoming is the sweetest of all, where the journey and the destination wage a war within your heart of who is better and worthwhile and you realize that both are priceless. The constant eagerness to be home and the reminiscing of old memories all the while are what makes homecoming the experience it is.
I belong to a mystical place called Gangtok in Sikkim. Sikkim is the first Indian State to be named as fully organic, the state with 100% immunized children, the state that has managed tourism with utmost care, the litter free state, the green state and so on and so forth, there are a hundred accolades to this place and the more I say about Sikkim, the less it seems. I can give you numerous reasons to visit this place and numerous places that are worth a visit but it will never be enough. That’s the beauty of this place and the reason why homecoming, for me, is no less than a heavenly vacation and every journey I embark upon to visit this little heaven feels one of a kind due to the emotions attached. Whether it be the sight of the mountains, the serenity of the river flowing by, the first glance of the school that I went to or the streets that have changed so much yet feel the same, all spark a longing to be home evermore.
My homecomings mostly comprise of taking detours of the city I have known so well and revisiting each and every nook and corner which hold any minute bit of significant or insignificant memory for me. Each time I visit Gangtok, everything seems new but still exudes the same familiar feeling. The spots that haven't changed at all are the ones striding the tides of time and looking at them I understand the significance of tenacity in one's efforts and life.
The best way to experience this place is to look beyond the places that have been commercialized as tourist attractions, I would suggest you to see this place as a traveler. Get mesmerized by the majestic mountains and the varied flora found on them. The changing hues of the hills, the cold breeze flowing relentlessly, the breathtaking scenery, the fresh vegetables, the hospitality of the locals, the colourful cultural extravaganza, the steaming hot momos and thukpa all define the spirit of this place. Take a moment to stop by at a spot where you can witness the sunset and the subsequent lighting up of the entire city in glittery lights across the mountains. Stop at a stretch of maize terrace fields and marvel at various shades of green it can display. Experience the tranquility and connect with your soul at a Buddhist monastery, feel the wind along with the fluttering prayer flags and enjoy rotating the prayer wheels. Let the chants of Om Mani Padme Hum reverberate in your soul. Sit back and relax with a cup of organic Temi Tea and be delighted in the beauty of numerous varieties of rhododendrons and orchids.
Just pack your bags and visit my home for once and you will know, for I am sure you will carry back tons of memories and experiences that are akin to this place alone.