The trip to Pokhri was both planned and unplanned. Planned as in I had been longing for a getaway for several months now, not the kind where I will be flitting between tourist spots among throngs of people, but one where there will be less of humans and more of the other elements of nature. A place where I will not be weighed down by the obligations of familiarity and relationships. I wasn’t sure what I wanted from my trip, but I knew what I didn’t categorically want.
When I reached out to Kiran making enquiries about her homestay called 𝗕𝗶𝗿𝗱𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗴 & 𝗕𝗲𝘆𝗼𝗻𝗱 somewhere in the hills, about which I had read in her fb posts, she was slightly skeptical, asking if I was certain that I wanted to spend two weeks in a ‘rather remote rural place and the quietness of a tiny village.’ She wanted to ascertain my objective and get me oriented to what the place could offer me.
The words she texted me were like divine ordain. ‘‘This has been designed just for you. Pack your bags, girl,’ I said. The very thought of landing in a place as described by Kiran, far from the madding crowd, filled me with feverish enthusiasm in the days that followed. The only thing I wanted to take with me were my warm clothes, my body and my spirit. The tormenting mind could stay behind and cook its own porridge.
It would be a long journey to 𝗕𝗶𝗿𝗱𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗴 & 𝗕𝗲𝘆𝗼𝗻𝗱, I reckoned, although none of what happened during the journey was remotely anticipated. I had flights to take at unearthly hours, transfers, a long drive, but nothing seemed so gargantuan to me. I would take it minute by minute, pace by pace and reach the place that I knew was waiting for me.
Upon reaching, I was surprised at the speed with which the distress of the journey dissipated, and I began to feel as if I had just been air-dropped into the cozy pinewood cottage that overlooked the snowcapped Himalayas. My blind date with the hills began on the morning of 10th, when I opened my eyes to stunning sights, of which I have only read, outside the large French window in my room.
I knew it was the beginning of a fairly-tale. A fairy-tale in which there are no witches and wicked stepmothers, but only the love of the common people in immeasurable volumes. A fairy-tale in which the loudest noise I would hear will be of birdsongs through the day. A fairy-tale in which the ochre of the desert that had settled in my eyes will be replaced by endless green vistas.
Suffice it to say that I didn’t find this haven. It found me. For the past one week, this has been home. It will be so for another week.