From the Himalayas, with love

Dearest luv,

My love for railway stations predates Harry Potter, or well, maybe it doesn’t. Memory is fuzzy all of a sudden. But I do consider them as teleporters of sorts. Better ones than regular apparition models, because I don’t end my journey feels nauseated and I get to enjoy the en-route-view! For all my misanthropy, watching humans on railway stations is one of my favorite things to do while in a train. I see faces dressed in the excitement and anxiety about stepping out of their comfort zones and moving on to travel forth, same as me. Their shoulders are happily weighed down by their efforts to preserve their lifestyle even in a place far away from home. What else is the luggage we carry with ourselves, right

It’s the sheer number of humans who are so very much like me in their hopes and capacities, that fascinates me the most. Right now, this train I’m traveling in has over a hundred passengers who are off to the same direction for more or less the same reasons. It’s not just humbling to know that you’re not special, it’s also very comforting to be among true peers. Maybe after a lifetime of feeling weird and isolated from the herd, feeling non-special is also a warm experience.

And what is there to say about the view outside. It is everything we want it to be jaan, and more. You see, it’s more than lush green beauty. When I look outside I see equal amounts of brown plowed fields and a significant scattering of fast green shrubs and trees and hedges that separate fields. The horizon is bordered with thick trees of curly silhouettes. My point was, it’s not just the Nature that I see outside. It’s the harmonious symbiosis between man and nature that delights me. What I see before my eyes is Man and Nature working with and against each other; challenges the wind whispers in language that only farmers understand perhaps. On a very significant tangent, this realization crashes me with great force today. I am proud to be brown, for the soil that raised me is brown.

Several portions of land running parallel to our railway track are lined with faraway hills of varying heights. And on top edges of these hills are easily conspicuous worship places. Small as they are, the triangular flag waving gloriously above them is a certificate enough. Sights like these make me inwardly happy. Religion is sadly a polemical matter of discussion and debate these days, but the beauty of belief remains unparalleled. People of these mountain-temple villages believe in the god that resides up on their hills, they believe in making time for दर्शन (which has no equivalent in English). I don’t know or care much about the system of religion they subscribe to, or their practises and traditions, but their belief bedazzles me. More so, I know for a fact that they don’t look forward to having their beliefs validated by men and women of bigger names. I don’t aim for a urban v/s rural debate here, but I must point out how unbridled belief is a miracle in its own self. We must have something that we believe in so strongly that we would climb a hill to just see it. How sad must a life without belief be.

I now continue this letter after reaching my destination. Perhaps you expect me to describe in length how awesome this place is. But I must tell you that I am at a complete loss of words here. Been coming to this place for ten years now, but it leaves me humbly speechless every single time; just like when I see you, every single time.

It’s good to be home luv, it’s real good.

Always,
Prerna

PS: I chanced upon some wild elephants today. A small herd, deep into the forest. They’re supposed to be an omen of good luck 🙂

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