An evening walk with Amala
Many years ago, on chilly winter evenings, mother and I would often set out for a walk after having tea. We would often go for short walks by the dusty road towards a beautiful Buddhist monastery situated on the hill in the vicinity of our home. On our way, we would hear the deep & enlightening sound of conch shell being blown at the monastery. The air in the countryside would be filled with purifying aroma of herbs being burnt for the Gods at the monastery. We would come across farmers returning to their homes with their oxen from the day’s work. The visibly tired but merry farmers would hum melodious tunes as they went by. We would come across smiling shepherds mending their flocks of sheep for the day. The flocks of sheep would bleat at the top of their voices adding variety to the evening melody. The eagerly rushing flocks would cause a storm of dust by the road forcing us to cover our nose with sleeves. We would exchange a kind word or two with the hurrying shepherds. The road used to be very busy in the evening.
By the time the sun starts to set behind the towering mountains, mother and I would be at the monastery. We would walk around the huge Buddhist prayer wheels while silently chanting some prayers. The sight of the setting sun would fill my heart with joy. The sky would be filled with colorful clouds shaped in the form of different animals and flowers. Looking from atop the hill, we would see hundreds of lights being lit in the villages on the opposite side of the valley as the darkness began to fall in the air. Cold, wintry wind would brush past our faces making our skin experience goose bumps. Mother would signal me to return home. On our way back, she would sing some wordless songs. I would joke saying that she has a beautiful voice to become a singer.
Having born and brought up in a beautiful country side, I have since very young learned to appreciate the simplicity and happiness in living a life in the countryside. The memories of the evening walks now appear to me like a meditative experience: extremely blissful and addictively pleasurable to recollect. It is some of the best memories of my times with beloved mother. While I wait to get back to join my mother for one more evening walk by the dusty road, I have to, for a time being, be contended walking in the park near my hostel in Goa. Mean while, John Denver’s famous lines flood my mind at the moment-“well, a simple kind of life never did me no harm, raising me a family and working on the farm. My days are filled with an easy country charm; thank God I’m a country boy”.