Friday, April 6, 2012

The Boy that Stepped out of Heaven and Into My Sight

Exploring the Dal Lake (Holy lake), I hitched a motor bike ride up to the top of the mountain with a guy who happened to be  one the security guards for his holiness, the Dalai Lama. We talk about his upcoming schedule and I contemplate rearranging my trip to see DL, but it does not seem practical for me.  This man, Vijay, is a very nice family man with two kids-one boy and girl.  We share a Chai at the Lake and then go up to the top where we share some more Chai.  The view is incredible and the sun is setting just as we are speaking.  He invites me over to his home for the lunch the next day and we exchange information-a sweet man.
We part ways because I want to do some exploring around.  Watching the sunset, I realize that I need to be making a move back down the hill otherwise I would be stuck up there in darkness(plenty of riksha’s and taxis, but never an option for me even when it gets dark). 

As I stand there in the middle of the street, a young boy approaches me and asks, “Can I help you?” He has a baby face with a sweet smile and looks to be early twenties.  I ask if he can drive me down to Dal lake and he agrees, but first he asks me if I would like to see his family home, which is nearby.  A few minutes later, I hop off the bike and step into his picturesque home sitting right on the mountain cliff. From a distance, on their large, white balcony that wraps around the house, I see his father stand with a cane looking so happy to see me. Looking at me like, he had been waiting for my arrival for days.  His mother is working in the grass feeding the cows.  She comes upstairs with the jolliest face ever.  Her cheeks are like out of a character in a short story rosy red  and she is dressed in traditional way that looks Rajasthani or as I like to call it "The Aladdin look."

Out comes his brother’s wife with her face first exposed-fair, flawless skin with big, dark eyes and looking like Princess Jasmine from Aladdin.   After our meeting, she then covers her face with a red scarf and comes out with a tray serving me Chai and then brings another tray serving all kinds of sweets.  She holds onto the tray while I am eating.  I just sit there feeling like I entered into a heavenly home. Andy, Angelin and their two young boys, Mama, Papa, Sanjay, and their cow-all living together like the brady bunch. 

I meet his brother and he is just as kind as Sanjay.  Sanjay shows me their extra rooms and says I can stay as long as I would like.  Having my belongings in the other side of town, I have to go back for the night, but I come back tomorrow….

Fast forward:

Staying in Sanjay’s home is paradise.  We share dinner of Dal and rice and we then share Chai sitting around joking and laughing with the young boys.   Sleeping in his guest room was one of the most beautiful sleeps of my trip. I wake up and his mom is tending to the cow-picking the grass for the cow to eat.  I sit in the perfect place enjoying Chai and breakfast listening to Hindi love songs.

We plan to motorbike through Bhagsu, St. Johns Church, and visit his sister’s home in the village.  I am convinced that this home is one of God’s own creations.  We motor bike to the St. Johns church, then to Bhagsu to do a mini trek to the waterfall.  There are stairs wrapped around the waterfall with a large body of water leading up to the top. 

At the waterfall, I meet some nice Sieks ask me if I would like a drink.  I say, “No thank you.” They ask if I would like some whiskey and I laugh, “No, Thank you.”  My Punjabi friend  is there with his daughter and son and law who just got married.  His daughter is getting a foot massage and sitting and cracking up at our conversation.  The Sieks are always so pleasant and funny to be around.  It is always interesting that people think American and they think alcohol.  This has happened many times where people automatically assume that I want to drink-newsflash I do not want to drink and do not care about drinking.

I explore through the local villages seeing the ladies carry cement on their heads with a smile like sunshine.  One would never think they were carrying huge pots of cement on their head with those smiles, but again village women happy with their domestic tasks-beauty of India. 

Leaving the falls, we motor bike ride up another hill to do paragliding.  I wanted my Indian friend to face his fear and live a little.  It turns out two people can not go into one paraglide so our idea of going together failed.  I have already done paragliding a couple times so I was not crushed. 

Off we go to his sisters home in the AMAZING villages of Himachal Pradesh.  I know I always say villages are amazing, beautiful ,blah, blah, blah, la, la, la, but the villages of Himachal Pradesh are HEAVENLY.  Biking up the hill through streams of rocks and waterfalls, the greenest grass, and picturesque homes that looks like “Little house on the prairie.” His sister is working in the fields when we arrive.  She speaks a little English and I try and communicate with the little Hindi that I know.  Her husband is at work-he works in the kitchen for the International School.  Her house is very small and village like, but warm and sweet.  She picks up a very old, ripped up picture frame with her boys when they were younger.  She is so proud picking up this old picture frame sitting on top of her bed.  I feel like her heart is sitting right on my lap.  It is hard to fathom how happy people can be with such simplicity when I grew up in a country with such materialism driving happiness. We leave this magical village area and bike through some other villages.  It is so magical-really it is quite a place. 

When we ride the bike I see him look over at the view beside him and smile.  He has such a pure soul and innocence that is so beautiful to witness-an enlightened soul not by the formal definition, but meeting spiritual fulfillments of compassion, patience, and selfless behavior. 

When we arrive home, we all sit together on the floor in the kitchen.  Andy is  sitting and being his wise self as his beautiful wife is putting her heart into making chapattis.  Sanjay’s jolly mother is attending to his father.  Sanjay aks me to stay Again, they want me to stay a few days longer-as the Indians say, "Not possible. Not an easy departure from this amazing family.  I tell Sanjay, I will be back and I will one fine day....

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