(The blog will be updated daily, until and unless am out visiting some new places in and around Mcleodganj)
The green pointy leaves of Chir Pine formed a nice contrast against bluish mountain ranges, which were guarded by snow covered peaks from behind.
It was the morning of 14th February, 2013, when magnificence of those mountains said a snowy hello to me. I asked temple’s priest about this particular mountain range, and there started my love affair with Dhauladhar mountain range.
Within 20 days, I was in Dhauldhar express, standing at compartment’s door. It sped towards Pathankot through darkness filled plains of Punjab, while I stood there wondering about Mcleodganj, a place I had no idea about till a few weeks before.
That’s how I reached Mcleodganj for the first time, in the first week of March 2013. And I sat in front of the same snow covered peaks providing a perfect backdrop to my breakfast at Lhamo’s Croissant; I spent many of my mornings there having warm chocolate croissants with a glass of cold milk, which I still do, even when those same peaks are devoid of any snow.
However, during my first trip to Mcleodganj, I couldn’t experience much, even though I felt that I did. It was a dismal affair, now when I look back at it, infact both of my 2013’s Mcleodganj trips aren’t much to talk about.
During those trips, my life in Mcleodganj remained confined to the touristy things, and the cafes that internet guides mentioned; when those guides said Pizza of Namgyal was good, I believed it was, when it said, the best cakes are found in the famous restaurants, I believed they were. When they said, the region is bustling with just Tibetan culture, I assumed it was. Though, I did meet a few travellers here, made some friends, added them on facebook and that’s it. That’s what Mcleodganj was for me, until I arrived here in February 2014.
It was Jay, who called me one day back in January, he was going for ‘Introduction to Buddhism’ course in Tushita. We planned to spend some days chilling in Mcleodganj, once he’d be done with his course at the end of February.
That was the trip, which made me explore further parts of Mcleodganj, ones that stay hidden at random cafés’ corners, in homes that have been rented for months, in hidden spots where tourists seldom visit, in Butoh school, or meditating at the edge of some random hill. The people, and ideas they carry within, the part of Mcleodganj that’s much more than what meets one’s eye.
Moreover, once Jay came out of Tushita, he introduced me to his friends. specially Chavvi and Olivia. I spent many afternoons with them after that, mostly with Olivia, in moonpeak espresso’s courtyard, or looking at the snow capped mountains from Carpe Diem. It was then, when I was slowly introduced to that part of Mcleodganj; those people, and their dreams.
The wanderers, musicians, dancers, writers, hippies, lovers, storytellers etc.; those people, brave enough to live…