Let us become nobler

Sanskrit word 'Arya' or 'Aryam' stands for nobility. Let us implore everyone to become noble, the Arya or Aryam. Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Jews, communists or capitalists, rich or poor, clever or dumb, weak, meek or bully. Uncomfortable perhaps are they with other, threatening peace. Ray of hope for the world is ‘include-all’ ideas of ancient Indian wisdom popularly known as Hinduism. Only they knew how to celebrate individuality of each person. Aryas respect ideas of others, respect way of worship of others, help others and become a noble citizen of this wide and varied world. Idea behind this blog is to bring out those ideas and help each of us become better than what we are. 'N' in the 'Aryan', by the way, was a mistake made by colonial 'experts' who wanted to underplay and undermine the culture and religion of those who they clandestinely enslaved.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

12- Kailash, Kathmandu and Kashi – A Story of Shiva and Me.

(A decade ago after a trip to Tibet, Nepal and India, I wrote down my impressions. It was not meant to be a book, however after it was read by some, it was suggested that if it gets published, interested persons can use it. However I thought (and still think) that the narration was more of a personal quest into Bhagavan Shiva and that it may not interest a wider audience. Therefore instead of commercially publishing it, I thought of placing it on a website of Publishing house Harper Collins’s website known as Authonomy.com. It remained on their website as "Kailash, Kathmandu and Kashi – A Story of Shiva and Me", for people to review my narration for many years. However, last year, when Harper Collins shutdown Authonomy.com and I realized that some people still wanted to read my account, I decided to place all 26 chapters of that travelogue on this blog. Reader views and comments are welcome)

Chapter 12.  Town of Paryang, Ibex skulls, bones and horns.

On first August, our journey of 235 km was to take us from Saga to Paryang. Almost the entire drive was over a monotonously dry mud trail at a height of 15,000 feet. Paryang wore a look of deserted dusty small village when we reached there in the afternoon. Mud houses were well spread out with large open spaces in between them. Open spaces all around the village were sandy and curiously strewn with bones and skulls of small animals and birds such as goat, sheep and chicken. Houses and shops sported Ibex Skulls complete with horns on their doors as well as insides as decoration.  I would rate this village as one of the most primitive that we saw on this trail. Village did not have electricity but we did notice development and progress in terms of communication tower and related infrastructure.


From nowhere, an enterprising Tibetan lady came to the hotel and offered wireless telephone facility. She carried with her a wireless instrument so that one can call from own room. In our family, we have that unwritten law, whereby members invariably call on birthdays. But this time around, being away from home and being without a ‘roaming’ cell phone in this remote place, they can not reach us. Therefore it was incumbent on me to call everyone today when the possibility presented itself. I snapped up the opportunity and called mom to seek her blessings on my birthday. Also called our children (Daughter Unnati and Son Nipun) to give them update on the trip. How anxious were they to talk to me; not only for birthday but to find out how or health was and how were we coping with primitive surrounding and harsh nature. That we were enjoying and were hardly mindful of it, we sensed on clear telephone line, was a matter of great relief for them.


Group leader Gautam made my birthday evening memorable by lighting a campfire and arranging a small party. Wood is a scarce commodity hence the campfire was a rather precious gift. He told me that he was doing that for the first time. It probably occurred to him when he noticed some scrap of used wood in a nearby compound during our aimless walk around the village. He reached for the owner of the compound and made deal for the wood. Rest of the members of the group gave a helping hand in carrying it to the guest house. Wood was neatly arranged in the center of courtyard and lighted up just after dinner. Everyone participated in dancing around the fire and singing. Someone gave me a nice deep red flower and everyone sang ‘happy birthday’ in chorus. I thanked everybody and especially to Gautam for making it a memorable day for me.


After all songs, dance and food, everyone retired to bed. At little past mid night I woke up and went out of our room. When I looked up the clear sky, I was startled to see millions of stars; I can swear that never ever had I seen so many stars, so bright. I could vividly see a narrow continuous band of tightly packed millions of stars all across the sky, perhaps, my first ever view of Milky Way! Due to lack of electricity, and lack of population for hundreds of miles around us, there was almost ‘zero-light pollution’ This made for low surface brightness and an ideal place to see the night sky from. It is impossible to see the Milky Way from urban centers as they always have high degree of ‘light pollution’. I called Poonam to also view what I was seeing. Milky Way is supposed to be 2600 light years away and contains about 200 billion stars. From this night onwards, it became our daily habit to see night sky until we left heights of Tibet. It was always a wonderful spectacle.


Sick pilgrim in the adjoining room showed some signs of improvement. Today he did not throw up. It was decided that somehow or the other we should help the couple perform pilgrimage, if not up to Mount Kailash, at least up until Manasarovar before sending them back. From Manasarovar they can also have the Darshan of Mount Kailash and thus they could be said to have accomplished the pilgrimage to both places.


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