8 January 2006
After our organic food-fest at Hunder, we paid a visit to a gompa (monastery) at this nearby village called Diskit. The highlight of this monastery is the carefully preserved fore-arm of some ancient Mongol invader who was slayed in that Gompa.
Joy spent half a video-tape filming that monastery. I think it's going to be the highlight of his documentary film. I bet he got every deity covered in every possible angle... he stopped short of thrusting the handycam on the monk's face, demanding a juicy interview. Oh, and I bet he's learning about the preserved arm from this blog.
We rode along to Panamik, which is the northernmost village in India. We went as far north as civilians are allowed to go in this beautiful country. Felt weird when we turned around to head back south. The Siachen glacier was less than 50 kms away. I wish I could go there one day to experience life on the world's highest battlefield. Anyway, I was reminded of Tom Hanks in the movie Forrest Gump... when he reaches the ocean, he turns around and runs to wherever his legs take him. So anyway, that's what we did- we turned around and started our journey back.
While we were there, we met a lot of local kids, waiting for their bus back home from school. There were a bunch of them climbing a tree and playing around... they posed happily for the camera. There was genuine happiness in their eyes. The kids didn't carry backpacks half their own weight, or attend maddening tution classes after school hours like their city-dwelling counterparts. They still played around, with all their innocence intact, growing up nice and slowly, enjoying life to the fullest when it's most fun. I compared that to my crazy school-life in Madras where childhood is ruined by pressure, expectations and maddening constraints imposed on the young minds. Why can't we just let the kids be kids?