I am on my way back home to Dehradun, a city with a simple yet slow life. I have been living in the same place since I opened my eyes. Life is great here minus the crowd and traffic, that has grown by leaps and bounds. For people who are into mall and pub culture, it’s a great place, to begin with. But for a few people like me, who crave peace, solitude and good company.
You’ll be disappointed as the place is similar to any other town or city. The four wheels of the bus are moving. And the canopies formed by the trees are welcoming the vehicle, allowing it to pass beneath its shade. And I feel like writing something meaningful, something worthy of keeping as a souvenir from the mountains. So here are the 10 Life lessons I am taking back from the mountains. My roots, my spiritual place.
1. Life is meant to Live:
As we mature, we realise a good part of our life has either been wasted or have been used to secure a better tomorrow. Like we put a tiny sum of our earnings in provident funds or insurance, so we don’t have to face any trouble in the coming years. But as soon as the grey start showing in your hairs, and the question of marriage and starting a family lingers in the four walls of your space.
You start questioning yourself, “Whether I have lived enough or not?” Lived for ourselves, for creating moments that we dreamt of, doing things we love. In short, living a life that feels good to us. And not for the sake of impressing others or because it’s something we are supposed to do, as we grow older.
That is when life becomes complex because we were not living but were surviving or merely existing. Here in the hills, I was living those few days that I spent here, enjoying every bit of it. I felt happy, the emotional and mental baggage had gone, for a while.
2. Complain less and Start doing:
When things don’t work in our favour, we start complaining. For broken promises, for failed relationships, for jobs that we are trapped in, on government and every minuscule thing. Why do we do so? It’s human nature right! Because ranting about something takes off the load from our chest.
On the contrary, Himalayan highlanders have taught me how to be headstrong. Keep your problems to yourself, eat your miseries or try to resolve them on your own. Complaining won’t solve the problems, so start working on them. Even if it seems difficult. See how far you can go, rather than cursing your fate and wasting your time.
3. Beauty lies in Simplicity:
Too much of sparkle and glitter in a dress can make it appear gaudy. Similarly, too much of glitz and glam, pomp and show can make your life dull. In a world full of utter chaos, nonstop chitter-chatter, and noise of glasses clinging like opinions. You won’t find yourself and will neither understand the meaning of life.
Learn to cherish the small things, that make our life beautiful. Like the people we see each day crossing roads, the tiny flower that blooms while fighting the cold, and valuing people with different personalities. This is what I have learned from the hillfolk.
4. Be curious like a Child:
There’s a famous quote that says, “Curiosity leads to discovery” and that is absolutely true. A curious person learns a lot in life because he is constantly wondering. Questioning himself and sometimes he gets the answers by himself, while the other times, he learns it from others.
However, the best is to explore and come up with your own answers. Test yourself. People here are curious and childlike. Pahadi kids are great explorers. They know each and every trail that leads to the vantage point, offering a gorgeous panorama of the mightiest peak.
They are inquisitive and meander in the forests, where they learn a lot about plants and their medicinal properties. My short visit to the hills taught me a lot more than, what I learned from any of the books. Each time I visit here, I get to know about a new plant and it’s Ayurvedic properties. Be curious like a child and you’ll get to know a lot of things in life.
5. Smile is a Powerful tool, Smile often:
Smile is the most lethal weapon known to mankind. It can make the strongest enemy powerless in front of everyone. People of hills wear a smile on their face and carry on their daily activities, with great energy and determination. No matter how worse their day went but it never discourages them to smile.
Their smile carries a thousand stories, ready to unfold. It conceals many hurdles, that they have crossed on their own. Yet they don’t sulk and succumb to the pressure. But fight back with a smile, decorating on their rosy rhododendron blush faces.
Here’s a story I brought from the hills: Little Himalayan Girl with a Gold nose ring- Stories from the mountains
6. Stay united, Help everyone:
When we were kids my father told us the importance of unity. How one finger can be tilted and bend but when five fingers join together. They make a fist. It even makes the little finger powerful when united. But when we grow up, we learn not many people believe in this concept. As they are too busy building their own castles.
During my stay in the hills. I was surprised to see how united people are here. They are always ready to help each other in daily chores, for bringing fodder for the cattle, for bringing water from the source and for lending a helping hand to host a successful wedding.
They don’t make excuses or think twice before helping anybody. That’s why they are happy living in such harsh conditions with people, who make it enjoyable.
7. Celebrate with your Tribe:
You’ve got only one life to live, make the most out of it. Instead of hoarding money and possessions. Make sure you collect moments by spending your time with your loved ones. Throw a feast, dance and enjoy before it gets dark. Celebrate life with your tribe.
Sing songs of joy and forget about the worries of life. Immerse yourself in that moment, because tomorrow will bring new challenges in the hills. So celebrate often. How? By living small moments like a millennium.
8. Stay Humble and Grounded:
Being polite and soft-spoken won’t cost you a penny. Stay humble and grounded. It will make you a better person. It is a rule of Himalayan people if you are their guest. They will treat you like a family member. Will usher love like you are a part of the hills.
But to allow that love and kindness to seep into your soul. You must keep aside your ego because where there is ego, there is no love. If you wish to bond with the locals and learn more about them. Fold your hands, say Namaste and offer pleasantries. Sit with them and join them for supper. They will love it and you will learn a lot about life from them.
9. Express Gratitude to mother Earth:
Mother Earth has blessed us with so many free gifts. From the air we inhale, the water we drink, the beauty we see around to the scrumptious food we have on our platter. We must acknowledge her by keeping our surroundings clean and by praying for her well-being.
The inhabitants of Himalayas, celebrate eco-friendly festivals to thank nature for bestowing us with so many gifts. There are festivals like Phool Dei which welcomes Spring and harvesting festivals like Harela and Bissu, that expresses gratitude to mother Earth.
When I was in Silkani cocooned in Tehri Garhwal, the sunshine yellow flowers of Fyoli were beaming with pride on the patch of greens, which was the first sign that spring is coming. Children were happy, as that they will rejoice its oncoming by celebrating Phool Dei festival. There was a big smile decorating on their face like glitters on a craft paper.
10. Don’t forget your Roots:
You belong to the hills, don’t forget them. Your ancestors have tilled the mountain soil to feed your grandfather, your father, and your brother and sisters. The blood that runs in your veins carries the warmth of the sun, that glistens over the mountain tops, and the coldness of the snow-laden peaks, which sings the song of ecstasy.
Don’t disregard your mountain roots, your culture, and your people. Respect everybody and take back love from everyone. It is your duty to learn about your roots. So you can impart knowledge to the coming generations.
Let thy spirit be high in love! Namaste