Impulsively set out for a month-long workcation in a tiny town in the foothills of the Himalayas. Each time I visit Uttarakhand or Dev-Bhoomi, the Land of the Gods as it is called, these sacred mountains are beginning to feel more and more like home.
‘Where is the Ganga?’ I remember asking like an inquisitive tourist the first time I was here on a pilgrimage. I was humbled when the cab driver slowed down for a moment and pointed to the silver-green waters of the mighty river, a glimpse of which could be seen beyond the trees flanking the road.
‘There flows our Gangaji.’ He made a small veneration in the direction.
I was reminded of a video clip of Tamil farmers prostrating themselves in front of the Kaveri as it flowed into the riverbed that was dry and scorched from the summer, coming in at first as a small stream, almost a rivulet before it widened and flowed steadily towards the parched fields awaiting it.
Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri; the seven holy rivers that flow across the holy land of India and are invoked by millions every morning. Makes one feel blessed and grateful to belong to this ancient civilisation which honours the earth and everything on it including rivers, mountains and trees as manifestations of the Divine. Traditions that were set up several millennia ago and followed to this very day.
“Many roads can take you there, many different ways
One direction takes you years, another takes you days”
George Harrison, Dehra Dun
Paul was my favourite Beatle growing up, but over the years I have come to love George as much. It has become a tradition to play this song soon after I get down at Jolly Grant Airport.
In the hotel lift, I was startled for a moment to see a hand in the mirror in front of me before realising that it was an optical illusion. It got spookier when I stepped out and Hotel California began to play in the background. Reminded that tomorrow is the Druid festival of Samhain.
Going on another social media/news detox while I am here to make the most of this silence in the air – before one knows, it flows into the mind like Gangaji, in a small stream at first and then pervades the entire being.
Just one of the many mysteries of the Himalayas.