The Himalayan Days...
I was born and brought up in a far flung village in the eastern part of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. Growing up in a lovely village on the mountains, my subconscious mind is filled with sweet memories of my childhood days. One of the memories I still vividly remember is watching the sun set over giant mountains of the eastern Himalayas. I used to thoroughly enjoy the beauty of the dusk when the magnificent sun would sink behind the tall mountains. The sky would appear to me like a piece of painting: the thin whiff of clouds above the mountains would be colored in different shades due to scattering of sun light, a flock of sparrows would fly by above my head. On the mountain above, the monks at the monastery would blow conch shell while they burnt incense sticks to please the gods. The sweet aroma of the incense sticks would gradually fill the whole valley downhill. I grew up believing that nature is the greatest artist. Everything that is natural is so flawless and so full of beauty that no one can ever challenge nature’s creations.
Towards the western horizon there was the setting sun wishing me good bye for the day. Towards the eastern horizon there appeared the crescent shaped moon saying me hello for the night. I used to sit and wonder that it must be a bright sunny morning just behind those giant mountains. I used to patiently listen to the frogs croaking and insects chirping. I can still hear the melody behind my mind. I can still picture the memory when I close my eyes. And it brings such peace and tranquility in my heart.
After many years, destiny brings me to a beautiful coastal state called Goa. This former Portuguese colony provides me with scenic locations to indulge in my favorite hobby-to watch the sun set. This time it is a different experience. Here it is sun set over the vast ocean. Here it is not the melody of croaking frogs and chirping insects but it is about the joyous sound of sea waves splashing at the shore. Here it is not about the sweet aroma of incense sticks being burnt but it is about the aroma of the salty sea water. Well until I get back to my Himalayan mountain hamlet, let me be happy enjoying the sea, sand, sun, churches, cash chew, fish, coconut, carnivals and a lot more. Viva Goa. Viva Bhutan!! As the French would say, “le soleil brille aujourd’ hui “(the sun is shining today).