The Guruji is a gentle and hospitable man. I’m treated like a princess here at the ashram. The people who serve take very good care of me. I keep experiencing polar opposites here in India. It’s a delicate balance.
We finally reached the town of Malali. We are very close to the border of China and Pakistan. The ride to Malali was long and at times, stressful. The roads are so narrow that I closed my eyes praying to God to keep us safe. I get so scared going around the sharp corners of the mountains because you can’t see the oncoming traffic.
It’s beyond me how the people living in the mountains drive here every day. I think we have finally reached the top of the Himalayan Mountains. The clouds are touching the snowcaps. The air is very cold, crisp and fresh. Definitely, very different from New Delhi where the air is polluted and burns my throat.
There are apple blossom trees and the magnolias trees are in full bloom. It smells so sweet–just like the candles you buy in the United States at Bath and Body Works.
We stop to eat dinner and you would think we were in a restaurant in Aspen Colorado. As we begin to placing our order, Raj, my Guru’s brother, says, “We have these Hacha Noodles in India.” His wife Anju says, “Raj we are in India” We all had a good laugh.
We visited the Temple Hadimba, where I had another young person ask me to take a picture with them. The temple is magical. It looks and feels like we’re in the middle of a story book forest. The evergreen trees carry the rich fragrance of pine. It smells so good. It reminds me of Christmas time. The green colors here are like nothing I’ve never experienced before. There is every shade of green and three that stand out; a jade green, an army green, and a forest green so lush that the leaves look like velvet.
Time to head to the hotel to get some rest. It’s been one long day and we have to be ready to leave at 5:00 AM.
Driving straight up into the mountains, we pass a town with many hippies. One of them owns this fabulous restaurant that has tables that are low to the floor and pillows that you sit on, like in China and Japan. The young man who owns the establishment sits in back room and plays the bongo drums. He wears a grey wool hat with his long hair tucked inside. You can tell he was feeling no pain. I asked him about the giant black-light Buddha poster, and he smiled and said, “Yah mon, good for when doing acid.”
Everywhere I go, people share their personal details with me. I feel like have a sign on my forehead that says, ‘Spill your guts, it’s okay!’ The town was all Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley posters, shirts, hats, bongs and pipes. It looks like everyone is stoned.
After lunch we head to the Temple. I’m thankful only have a twenty minute drive. I hope that is not Indian time, because then it could be an hour or two.
Some of those mountain turns are so scary. A few times as we were rounding the corners of the mountain, we were suddenly face to face with a bus. I’m praying to make our destination in one piece not in pieces. And we make it. Thank you Lord!
This temple is amazing. It has a bridge you have to cross and underneath is a crystal clear river with several hot springs. You can see the stream rising up from the hot springs in the very cold Himalayan Mountain water.
The Seeks temple is beautiful. It feels very much like a castle. We have to remove our shoes at the door and walk barefoot though a maze of hallways that lead into an ornate temple of four Gurus singing chants. I’m not sure what to do, so I follow what the disciples are doing. If they stand, I stand. If they bow, I bow. Finally my friend Raj and Anju wave to me to accept the offering. I place one hand in the other in a cupped fashion and the Guru put the offering in my palm and I bowed my head.
Now, we make our way out of the temple driving nine hours through twists and turns and bumpy roads back to the Ashram in Hoshiar pur.