25th June 2011, Saturday, 10:45 at night
India, day 2, a small village near Manali, called Vashist
I just woke up recently. I feel much better now. I’m still a bit dizzy, but I don’t know if it’s caused by the exhaustion and overloading yesterday, the insufficient eating or the altitude. I’m sitting on the top of the guest house again, ordered another banana porridge because it was very good yesterday, but this time I ordered masala chai with it, which, if I’m right, is spiced black tea with butter [Edit: with milk].
This time, at night, the village is even more calm and peaceful than at daytime. The roaring of the rapids of the nearby river completely fills the valley, disturbed only now and then by the horns of the cars traveling the road on the other side of the valley. Now I feel I could just be here for long time, it’s so peaceful and nice here. I’m roughly at 2080 meters [6820 feet] altitude. Towering above both sides of the valley are the peaks of the Himalayas, submerging in the clouds.
A gray cat is rubbing against my legs while I’m writing and sipping my tea. Masala chai is indeed spiced black tea, its smell and taste reminds me a bit to mulled wine.
I’m listening to the roaring of the river, and I feel like I’m home – not at this place, but in the traveling, in the adventure, in the mountains dressed in clouds, in the sound of the rapids. I’m glad that finally, after 25 years I started walking on a road where I found myself. I was always just talking and writing about this, that I’m an adventurer, that the distance calls me. But this now is reality. This is really India, these are really the peaks and slopes of the Himalayas, this is really the rapid Beas river deep down in the valley, this is real travel, real adventure. Real FREEDOM! I want to describe it with a hundred and thousand words how wonderful this is. But it is simply impossible to describe this with words. This simply must be felt, lived, one who only reads about it and watches photos will never grasp it even slightly. I remember, before I started the journey, I was reading about India on the Internet, and somebody wrote this: “You can take a man out of India, but you can’t take India out of a man.” Now, and only now, I understand that.
- my private journal
As I was sitting there, wiring my journal, enjoying the banana porridge and the masala chai, and watching what I could still see of the mountains… it was all so strange, so special. It was the very first time in my life, that I felt like I’m doing what I really want to do. And it was only the second day of my 50 days in India. Even now, as I think back, a strange feeling overcomes me… oh, how much I would give now, if I could sit there on that roof again, even if for just a few minutes…
I realized, that when I boarded the airplane in Hungary, something ended. My life as I did know it, ended that day. Then the struggle through the first day in India, all the hardship and suffering was nothing, but the pain of being born again, the pain of taking the first breath. And while I sat on that roof, I was watching the world around me with the eyes of a newborn. A new life started, and everything was new, strange, interesting. Everything changed, once and for all.
It’s probably midnight already. It’s only me on the roof, and four men looking like locals, who just finished dinner. The sky couldn’t be seen all day from the clouds which are probably only a few hundred meters above our head, and silent, calm rain started to fall a while ago. I sat for a while cross-legged on a part of the roof where there is no cover above it, and just enjoyed the rain. And now it’s time to sleep once again, so that tomorrow I can start exploring this place refreshed. I hope I will wake up before sunrise.
- my private journal