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In Search of Nirvana

The Last Shangri La

BHUTAN | Wednesday, 27 May 2015 | Views [730] | Scholarship Entry

While traversing along the steep and curved highway through the Himalayan valley anyone would be stirred by its solemn and divine beauty. The ancient pathway from Paro to Thimphu, two major cities of Bhutan, is reminiscent of antique journeys taken by monks and Tibetan travelers. The whirling resonance of the mighty Wang Chu River and the chirping of wild birds behind the pine and oak forests add a special serenity. Dawa, my experienced Bhutanese-Tibetan driver and friend covered this challenging route in only three hours. However, that did not resist him from giving a lift to little Chimi, a little girl waiting with her mother along the roadside for a transport to the school. Giving students a ride to their school is customary for any Bhutanese driver. I reached my hotel but the word “hotel” is not pertinent to express the beauty of this quaint villa situated in the lap of a cloud covered mountain and beside the Stream of the Wang Chu. The scenic beauty of terrace firming along the mountain floor, the humble cottages of farmers, an ancient gumpha and the lush greenery and the mountain inflorescence gave me a new life. Thimphu, a small city situated in the Himalayan valley adds the warmth of human lives amidst the tranquil but imperious natural beauty. The clean city streets and the bazaar beside the Wang Chu River are the perfect places to explore the Bhutanese people and their rich culture. The bazaar is quite amusing and full of colorful commodities. It has two parts –one is for regular products and one is for the handicrafts. All the marvels of Himalayas from the inaccessible parts of Bhutan are gathered here for a charming bargain. The glittering hand-woven silk shawls, incense, lacquer wares, jeweleries and metal works are there to please the artistic taste of the customers. Tshomo, a young woman had come here to sell sachets of rhododendron tea. Tshomo says, “We mix tea leaves with the extracts from rhododendron flowers. Come, you can drink it with me. You will feel refreshed.”In a cloudy, drizzling afternoon, nothing could appease my nomadic mind than having a chat with this pretty woman over a cup of fragrant rhododendron tea. Bidding farewell to her charming company, I sat at the city square to enjoy the evening bustle of this peaceful city. Looking at the happy crowd, I was reminiscing the moments I spent with these charming people. They are the true worshipers of mother nature whose message to the world is; Love the nature and stay happy.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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