The Monk Who Led Me Through The Mist in Bhagsu

Tripoto
30th May 2014
Photo of The Monk Who Led Me Through The Mist in Bhagsu by Tapashi Devchoudhury
Photo of The Monk Who Led Me Through The Mist in Bhagsu by Tapashi Devchoudhury
Photo of The Monk Who Led Me Through The Mist in Bhagsu by Tapashi Devchoudhury
Photo of The Monk Who Led Me Through The Mist in Bhagsu by Tapashi Devchoudhury
Photo of The Monk Who Led Me Through The Mist in Bhagsu by Tapashi Devchoudhury

It was a long and sweaty wait at the Inter-State Bus Terminus at Kashmere Gate, Old Delhi, and a treacherous bus ride up the mighty Himalayas, but when  I stepped down at Dharamsala, I knew it was all worth it.

It was raining and I took an auto to McLeodganj. I’m from the hills, and the hills have always been home to me. But the rain-washed mountains with the colourful player flags in the mist looked more like a little piece of heaven!

From McLeod to Bhagsu is a two kilometre walk uphill and unfolds the mystical heaven nestled in the Himalayas. Tibetan monks in their crimson robes walked the hills, as did the lovely hill people… and a woman with rainbow coloured hair (saw her every time I was there!). And the best part was, everyone had a smile on their face. Everyone was happy. It was magical!

I took up a place in Bhagsu, and later, took a walk down to McLeod to see the town. And like always, got lost! Apparently, I had taken a wrong turn and walked further down than I had to… After a while, I knew I was lost. But I was just so busy being mesmerised, I didn’t have the time to be worried. And then, through the mist came this Lama who looked like he could be as old as the mountains. I asked him the way. He didn’t speak a word, just wrinkled up a smile and turned around. I followed him until I reached the crossing and let him know that I could find my way from there. He smiled and disappeared in the mist again.

I was walking through these narrow alleys with queer little things on display – from silky colourful thankgkas, big and small singing bowls to crystal pendants shining in the mild sun, when I heard the inner voice  (the one inside my tummy), and landed right at the doorstep of Oogo’s. I don’t know if Sicilians really cook their chicken breast that way, but if they don’t, they could use a tip or two!

A little walk downhill took me to the Namgyal Monastery. It was filled with gazillion crimson robed monks humming their prayers. I sat in the open praying area set up there in the clouds for hours listening to the low bass notes of their prayers reverberating in the mountains.

The next day, I climbed for about an hour along the mountain behind my hotel. The path was broader at the beginning, there were more people and a few cafés. As I climbed higher, the tricky mountain path got narrower and more difficult to climb. It felt like an achievement to have reached Shiva Café at the top. And I rewarded myself with a full cup of masala chai and a plate of maggi, and then some.

I have a million memories from that place. And a few souvenirs. My favourite among them being a painting that I bought from the painter himself, and which still adorns a wall in my hall.

Even now, every time I think of that place, it looks like a slice of heaven in my mind.

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Photo of Mukti Masih
Mukti Masih
The para about the monk gave me goosebumps :) very well written
Sun 06 08 14, 05:32 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·