Uncrushed Leaves – Kasol (Waking up to the Real World)

It was not just the ride but sheer change across the board that was more than a pleasant surprise for me. From Delhi to Bhuntar is a shift of realms so to speak; and this realization struck me as a reality at the chai shop in Bhunter shortly after I alighted from the bus.

Welcome Morning!  Never enjoyed the morning Tea as much.
Welcome Morning!
Never enjoyed the morning Tea as much.

As the old man with the typical wrinkles of Himachali mountain folk was telling me how to get to Kasol in his voice – the most calm and centered voice I had heard in a while – I was subconsciously comparing my surroundings to a chai shop at the New Delhi ISBT.

Chaos was lost to Calmness
Chaos was lost to Calmness

And they were not of the same world at all. Bhuntar was still a town, but it was quiet in the morning, cold in weather and warm in the heart. This bus stand has seen many travelers go by for many bygone eras. My presence here in April is just another speck in the sands of time but nevertheless it was important for the speck to be here.

Every speck was pristine, mere a touch may make it go, This thought made me breathe slow, but with eyes full of glow.
Every speck was pristine,
mere a touch may make it go,
This thought made me breathe slow,
but with eyes full of glow.

From here, another local bus took us to Kasol. My first impression here was that of a touristy little town, with resorts on the outskirts and little cafes (like Free Tibet) with exceptional vegan grub on the inside. It’s pretty tiny, but a vast vast Himalayan landscape branches out from here, waiting to be explored.

"The Closer you get to me, The further you are from place you call home. But closer to yourself, your home & Me," said the Peaks
“The Closer you get to me,
The further you are from place you call home.
But closer to yourself, your home & Me,” said the Peaks

Our journey continues……. By “UcL Wanderers”

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UnCrushed Leaves – Kasol (The journey, The reward)

Unknowingly we sat around thinking about places that we can visit and bring together an experience that shall be fitting to “UnCrushed Leaves”; we came across through some travelogues about a silent town hidden in mountains. In the picturesque terrain of Himachal, the northern state of India, lies a little hamlet – Kasol.

If Meandering roads were thrill,  What of, Meandering roads under the hill.
If Meandering roads were thrill,
What of, Meandering roads under the hill.

As the bus jumps along the breaking road, it jolts me awake and I look out. The valley has turned narrower. The river is more petite and more excited. The trees are getting taller and deeper green. The sights of Parvati (valley) have lifted the tiredness of the overnight bus from Delhi and everyone’s wide awake. For once, I’m glad to be up in the morning.

Through the land, I flow. Follow me to where I go.
Through the land, I flow.
Follow me to where I go.

There’s a mist clinging on to the folds of the Parvati (river) as if trying to veil her beauty.
But I can hear her sing.
The joy in that gushing voice belies obscurity. The path draws closer to the waters; the sunbeams shoot through the clouds, part the veil and lay their golden fingers upon her. I witness this mesmerized, musing at this communion of water and fire, in such peace, in such allure. Or maybe I’m in a sleep deprived delirium!

Still at times I may look; In no case, am so; It is just the moments rest, Before I turn and go.
Still at times I may look;
In no case, am so;
It is just the moments rest,
Before I turn and go.

 

Onwards we go! The yellow interiors of our lovingly named ‘Hadimba Coach’ (local bus) are joyously colorful, as are the people occupying its seats. Us the out-of-towners with our backpacks and city airs, the somber migrant workers who man the guesthouses and kitchens wrapped in woolens, the jovial elderly on their daily socialization ride, the office-working/teaching women ready to share an early morning smile. Looking out of the window of our bus, we are spell bound.

The Morning Rays have kissed me, Now its time to wake up, Smiled the mountain to the loving Sun.
The Morning Rays have kissed me,
Now its time to wake up,
Smiled the mountain to the loving Sun.

To be continued…

By “UCL Wanderers”