It takes a Village…

Little Buda peeped from behind a broken wall, eyes alight with curiosity. When I looked up, he retreated behind the wall. After a few minutes of this game, I beckoned him to me. I was sitting on the roof of our homestay in Sikkim and sketching the vast and endless mountains visible from my perch. As he approached me I asked him if he would like to draw something. He nodded shyly and became excited when I gave him a sketch pad and pen. We both sat quietly, each lost in a private world, drawing and colouring. Later, he was called down by someone, who I presumed might be his mother. 

It was as we were leaving, that I found out that Buda’s mother had abandoned him and he was being brought up by the entire village. They made sure that he ate, went to school and had a home to come back to…

In our parting photograph with the family that we were staying with, Buda was on the hip of our hostess, smiling into the camera with glee 😊

Any woman can have a mother’s heart, you don’t have to be one to embrace another with that kind of love…
#sikkimdiaries

India…. My storybook.Β 

From the most basic of kitchens come the most delicious of meals! 

On a recent visit to a small village in East Sikkim called Budan, we had a homestay at the simple abode of one of the villagers. Our presence was celebrated as a big occasion for the whole village and a lot of respect was accorded to us. From the traditional welcome, to the performance of local dances, we enjoyed everything. 

Absolute silence and abundant natural beauty just added to the whole experience. 

In such situations, when city people visit Eco villages and homestays,  the whole village rallies around the family that is the host, providing manpower and help when needed. The status of the family is also elevated. 

The more I travel into the interiors of my country the more clearly I recognise the beauty of the human spirit, it’s desire to please and give respect to other beings. They come from a place of dignity. It is a beautiful and symbiotic relationship…. 

The diversity of India never ceases to amaze. Every corner has stories, told and untold. I am blessed to have the opportunity to read these, one page at a time. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

That Awesome Feeling πŸ˜Š

He is the last thing I see before I leave home and the first when I return. In the interim, I am given to believe that he puts his head on my slippers and waits and woe to that person who tries to move the slippers for sweeping the floor or mopping it!
Yesterday, when I got home, no yelps of joy greeted me, absolutely no response to my whistles… Where was he? I wondered. The help informed me that he was out on his evening stroll because it had just stopped raining. 
Gosh! How I missed his warm, tail-wagging welcome, his routine of carrying my sandals half way and dropping them unceremoniously, his guiding me to his treat jar because he had waited so patiently and not broken anything the entire day! And also because humans tend to forget directions.. πŸ™„
Little things are such big things in the daily living of life… This I learn from Bob, my black pug. No routine is boring if you invest yourself in it fully. 
When we go for our morning walk, I give his leash to the bhaiya asking him to take Bob back inside, but when I return, this is how I find him… Waiting patiently, in no hurry, eyes peeled on the road down which I had gone. And when he sees me return, his eyes sparkle, he gets new life, as do I…… 😊