Monday, June 24, 2013

Lessons from nature

This is a Guest Post by one of my best Blogger friends named Mithe. We are friends since long long time and   I am actually very lucky to meet her in real life as well. She is one hell of a writer and my all time favorite as well. It's a pity that she has stopped writing due to certain reasons and one of which is time constraint. But the worst thing ever is that she thinks herself to be not a good writer. I request all my readers to go through her musical travelogue below as well as her abandoned blog and instill some good sense in her. I want her to come back and I need all of yours support. Please hop on to her blog and read her. I am sure you would love to discover the gem in her. 

She blogs here at Resonant Words.

The water lulled me to sleep…..

I was out of the house for the first time, sleeping in an alien place, without beds or sleeping bags: my first ever full day ‘away from home’. ‘Lulled to sleep’ does not sound appropriate here, does it? But it turned out to be the most peaceful sleep I ever had followed by a memorable experience that will last a lifetime.

We were in Himachal Pradesh, a small hilly state nestled within the Himalayas of North India: Manikaran-a unique destination as it housed both a Sikh (Gurudwara) and Hindu (Mandir) place of worship on the same premises. We were warned to wake up early and be ready before the morning prayers. Exhaustion from trekking for an entire day combined with our late arrival ensured that it was three o’ clock in the morning before we were able to retire for the night. Not trusting myself to sleep and wake up on time, I told my friends to shake me awake in the morning. But then….

The water lulled me to sleep…..

Five-thirty in the morning and I was awake, having slept for just around two hours. I tiptoed out to the balcony, the sound of water magnified at least three times outside the cosy room. Just like at night, I could not help being overwhelmed by the roaring of the mighty river Beas rushing to join its source downhill. Strangely enough, the sound was not jarring but pleasant to the ears…. it felt like music of Gods enveloping us with their protection and warmth.

Billowing wisps of smoke from the hot spring and incandescent lamps along the center that marked a wooden bridge towards the main building in this hour of dawn added to the surreal atmosphere of the place. In spite of the booming sound of water, the place was so tranquil and exuded such peaceful vibes! Soon I heard some of my friends getting up, jolting me out of my reverie. We were all ready for the morning prayers within the hour.

The main complex was magnificent with ample seating space for around five hundred people at one time. Prayers continued throughout the day with bhajan, kirtan(religious music) and path (religious reading from the holy scripture). “Paayoji maine raam rattan dhan paayo….”- here again, I noted the amalgam of two religions with the unique and soothing combination of bhajan notes and kirtan . After the prayers, we all proceeded onto the first floor for langar (community vegetarian meals in Gurudwaras available for everyone) which was to be our breakfast.

The room itself was hewn out of rock; a panoramic view of the river- bridge and surrounding mountains greeted us as we sat on a carpet-mat across a big window ledge. The walls were covered with paintings and murals depicting the ancient lore as per the Hindu and Sikh scriptures. As we ate our breakfast, I asked myself the same question for the thousandth time-‘Why is it that food always tastes so much different and nicer if it is part of the langar?’ Langar generally consists of a normal vegetarian Indian mealrice or roti (similar to pita) with dal(lentil), dahi (yogurt) and kheer or halwa (milk sweet dishes)followed by water from the sarovar (fresh water from pools present in all Gurudwaras believed to have curative properties). After finishing our meal, we split in groups to explore the area further.

Up here, the hours passed quickly. We had toured the hot cave, the sacred Shiv Mandir Complex and local shops within the hour. Handicrafts and vibrant colours of Himachal peeked at us from every nook and cranny-it was really difficult to decide gifts for everyone! Laden with packages, we walked back to our temporary accommodations.

Soon, it was the time to go…. but no one wanted to leave. As we rounded the bend walking towards our buses, I turned back for one last glimpse and realized I had tears in my eyes. Perhaps it was the serenity in the atmosphere or the tranquility of nature that moved me, who knows? All I know is that standing there as mute witnesses to the breathtaking beauty of nature, we all reflected on the innumerable things taken for granted in our everyday lives. Perhaps nature and environment are the most common?


But I hope we realize the importance of environment and work to preserve it rather than fighting on who contributes most towards the destruction... someday… soon.


This post is for my favourite blogger-Preetilata, my very own White Window…. I have known her since the time I began and now (I hate to admit it) I have stopped :( This is my first blog post in a very very long time, I cannot and will not say no to my Preeti Gal! Perhaps ‘nature’ is one thing that binds us together and that’s why I love Preeti’s writings too. Her blog is not a different world; I feel I get enveloped by a sense of ‘me’ when I visit this particular window. A part of me resides here and I wouldn't be surprised if it is my heart! I hope and pray that she goes from strength to strength :) {cue to bring out your own book soon}.

Lots and lots of love, Mithe


  1. Beautifully narrated her experience with nature and peace... creating a wonderful perspective on the place and environment. Whatever way, nature is bliss and there couldn't be a best teacher like it.

    I too wish Mithe continues writing... and both of your shares a similar feeling on writing.

  2. She does seem to have immense talent :-)

  3. Hello Mithe
    Your post took me back in time. I have been to Manikaran exactly this time last year and I loved each and every min there. Have u been to hot cave ? I didnt attend the prayers and all but every holy place has some serenity and you feel at home. I enjoyed the food there too. The hot springs are wonderful ! I clicked 100s of pics there. we did rafting in beas which was the biggest adventure in my
    life. Would love to see u blogging on ur blog !!
    The way u write - U SHUD NEVER Stop doing it.
    Keep them coming

    Love & Wishes

    1. Yes Afshan, I did. It is a geogaphical wonder..the boiling water just outside the cave is amazing too. :)

      Thank you from the heart.

  4. Enjoyed reading your experience, Mithe! True, nature and the environ around can have that effect on you... mesmerize you, enthrall you, overwhelm you...

  5. Thank you everyone! This is so overwhelming..

    Many many thanks Preetii gal. :)


plz.. open d white window :)