Travel Diaries

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-Travel Diaries-

Random Conversations With People

It was during 2011 summer my family decided to explore the secrets of the land of serenity and a place which offers tranquility and vivid images of God’s own house – Ladakh. I was always a wanderer. Going places, meeting people made me feel alive. Little did I know that this journey would change my perception towards life.

Ladakh is a scintillating place for someone who has lived in the shadows of a metropolitan. A place with mighty and salient mountains that urges you to be in awe of its magnificence. While steering through one of the picturesque roads I asked our chauffeur, “How do u exist in such a bitterly cold temperature?” I was freezing to death even when it was summer and I had this thick woolen jacket on. “We are born this way sir.” He said. “We embrace cold as if it is a part of our existence. We go to battles every day. Win them. Show life that no matter how much hurdles are put in front of us we still have the guts to jump over them.” I felt weak. His words tingled in my ears.

“So what u do for a living? Drive everyday?” I enquired. “Yes sir, but not for whole year. Its during this season, because of u travelers, we get to drive. During winters it’s hard to leave from our homes. Snow flurries everywhere. And we have to sit besides campfire to keep ourselves warm.” I was listening carefully to each and every word of his. The way he spoke inspired me someway. I wondered did all people of this city speak this way. “ So we grow everything at this time of year and store it for the winters.” “What if in a particular season u don’t have enough vegetables to have? Does it happen?” I asked out of curiosity. “Then we eat Setu.” Before I could ask anything out of surprise, he said “Its what we call when u mix Rice in water. We have it during such conditions.” I was taken aback by his statements. Adrift in the stream of his words, the flimsy contraption of my perception lurched awfully, and I was exposed to the vagaries of my thoughts. All my life I had been so melodramatic and insensitive. Never cared about the society and even my near ones. And this man tells me his way of life, his pains and sorrows, and the way he emerges victorious.

“Do u have any children uncle?” suddenly my blunt questions were turning into queries of admiration. “Yes I have a son, 7 years old.” He said. I met him the next day. He was really a cute child. His cheeks as red as a ripe tomato, thanks to the icy conditions of the place, made him look all the more adorable. He wanted to become a doctor he said and help all the people of his town who have to face the adversities of winters. And I was very perplexed at this statement of his, a child less than half of my age was so determined to change things and make a contribution to his society. And here I was, someone who least cared about the things around me.

That day I fell on the broken pane of my own reflection, and realized that stumbles falls don’t matter. All u have to do is rise up, conquer your fears,move ahead in life and contribute something back.

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