Not so far away from Kathmandu, on an aerial distance of merely 30 km to the north, lies a series of valleys that hold secrets to our hiccups and hitches of the modern civilization. The secrets that we have turned our backs on – in a constant struggle to enliven the firths of our lives in the city – may just remind us to reconsider widths and lengths of our lives. We try to achieve more, wish more, demand more… living less, caring less, being less. What for? Answers, I do not know. I never promised I knew. But there are experiences, places, and events that sign us towards them. One of those places is Gatlang – an ordinary Tamang village in Langtang.
This journey is a spontaneous sprint to get away from the programmed life of the city. A mere 130 km bus drive from Kathmandu to Syabrubesi is a time wrap. You get on a bus surrounded by amenities of a modern life, and an hour later, you are surrounded by high hills, rivers, trails, deep gorges, and monasteries. There are no signs of mindless beings, no pollution, no crammed crowd. It is plain magic!
After a day bus drive through nature’s wonders, I am set at Syabrubesi, and honestly, it does not fail to surprise me. The roaring of Bhote Kosi River, smoke escaping the crafted walls of the monastery, the soaring mountains, and countless stars in a clear sky – all ensure that I am safely home. It is a choice I made, and I regret none, not a bit. In a moment, under a moon lit night, I am flooded with emotions unwarranted – excitement, fear, sheer joy, appreciation, reverence, and confusion. Bliss! I try to subside myself.
It is 6:00 am in the morning and I am up and throwing the last of the things into my backpack. What goes? What stays? Undecided. Tough call. A quick breakfast, and I am out for the climb. The motion and emotions are running thick, and I am busting at the lines of creativity to nail down the perfect images to bring back home. I am glad to be here, but the permanent tribe is never far in my thoughts. Emotions classified, hunger fed, lit candles in the monastery, and all set. The only thing left to do is start climbing.
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