We stopped a little before kibber, the village looked so brilliant from here. White rectangular building with doors and windows outlined by black, it looked like sister village of Kye. There were I guess a total of twenty buildings, housing a total of 147 people. This was very surprising. A group of 147 people were living in this remote location where food water or any resource for that matter was so difficult to get. A whole village built around not a natural or man-made resource but just religion and faith. I wondered what life was like growing up with the same set of 147 people with no outside connectivity in the company of monks who denounced everything worldly.
I was determined to stay in one of the white buildings.
we drove straight to the end of the village and started looking backwards for a place to stay. One of the white buildings in the corner was converted to a home stay, Bingo, and it costed just 500 rupees a night, but it was too well done inside. It didnt have the actual feel of the village building, just looked like one. I went further down the village and started talking to the locals. One of them showed me a place she was trying to make into a home stay, guided by the star at the end of the village. The place was old, original furniture maintained. It had a chillin room as i understand, in the middle of which fire could be lit. We would have got local food prepared by the same lady. the toilet was a hole in the floor and water had to carried in a bucket from the hand-pump outside the house. I remembered i needed to take a warm shower, that wasnt possible there. Finally we moved to the guest house at the door of the village.
We had a good meal that night, whole some, and I ate a lot. I remembered how most of the village youth was engaged in unloading food items from a truck which delivered to the village while we were looking for the guest house. I kind of felt i was eating into their share. I had read somewhere, when we travel, to the places we travel, we are a guest, its not made for our comfort, its made for the comfort of the people who live there.
Someone from Germany was already staying in the guesthouse. We shared green tea and smokes with him, he was a theater artist and a composer, and was trying to compose a Hindi song. He didnt speak Hindi. However, he had written down a few lines with the help of the guesthouse owner. He had been staying there for long. We sat outside chilling with him looking at the stars. There were so many of them in the sky. I had seen them before in Kasol, but this time they were closer and more, many more. I could see many layers of stars, some close, some far, one behind the other. That was an experience i had never had before. Delhi does not have stars.
I was off the grid, but truth be told I had everything in my mind that night. like the many stars. Somethings that were so close; somethings i had lost; somethings i was looking for; somethings i already had; all lay out like a galaxy of stars in front of me. I missed her.
I caught the rising sun from on top of a hill. It rose right in front of me. there were few birds and they flow at the shoulder level with you. It felt free. there was nothing to make noise, only the wind. The wind stopped for a few seconds every now and then. It was pin drop silence then, that was kind of scary. Rishi got up, he was ready to leave. I got myself a nice warm water bath again and some egg and green tea breakfast. The German guy was also packed, he was starting his Mud-kheerganga trek today.
It looked like it was time to go.