More than circumstances and hard times, it is travel that makes a person comprehend the true meaning of life. It was December 2004 when I started trekking in the Himalayas and I instantly fell in love with pure minimalistic beauty of nature. I walked the verdant landscapes, met honest villagers, played with their kids, survived with the most basic facilities and breathed life on the summits. Ever since then my mind became clear, I started my profession in writing and turned into a vegan.
It is time for me to return something back to these mountains and the people who live there and preserve it. The idea has constantly occupied my mind from months but it is now time to leap forward in order to bring out the goodness in people and spread smiles in the far lands of Indian Himalayas.
Being Santa Claus
The people living in the remote villages of Himalayas barely have any contact with the outer world. They still get astonished after seeing their picture in a camera, the kids jump for chocolates, they run after car and greet you with most genuine smiles. The women work hard in fields and in managing household work. Even though these people have limited access to resources, they are still more satisfied with their life if compared with that of a city-dweller.
The motto of our journey is to carry gifts from people living in the city and deliver it randomly to women, men and kids living in the remote villages. It isn’t necessary for you to know a person just to make them happy and happiness starts from giving without expecting anything in return. We will ask school students to gift sketch pens, toys, craft books, etc. For women we will accept sarees, shoes, shawls, solar lights, etc. and for men we will accept shoes, gloves, used mobiles, jackets, etc.
It might sound stupid to gift something to someone whom you have never met, but you must not stop yourself from doing so. We will be the social media for people living in isolated spheres of our country and this will be our attempt to connect you with them. The only difference is that you will be poking them with gifts.
1. Assembling a team of 5 persons who are willing to take a break of 1 month from their office.
Sandeep Bisht: The Planner
Sagar Sharma: The Manager
Mohan Rao: The Organizer
Qadeer Ahmed: The Speaker
Ankitt Bhatt: The Videographer
2. Arranging a comfortable and spacious Tempo Traveller with an experienced and reliable driver.
3. Roping in Sponsors for our journey like Ambi Pur, Force (for Tempo Traveller), Bharat Petroleum & MORE.
4. Promoting about this journey on social media platforms and encouraging people to buy gifts for women, men and kids.
Day 1 & Day 2
With all the essentials and gifts packed inside the tempo traveller, we will begin our journey from Delhi– Dehradun – Mori – Netwar – Dhaula. Beyond Mori the region is actually the border between Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. This region is inhabited by original Himalayan tribes and Jaunsari people. Their culture is very unique and intriguing as well. In this region people worship Duryodhana, because he defeated an asur and saved the locals.
Day 3 to Day 5
We will ask our driver to meet us at Sangla on Day 10. On these particular days we will walk to villages of Sewa, Jiskun & Jhaka. The smiles will start spreading from Day 3 onwards. Playing cricket with the kids will definitely be on our – to do list. We will start distributing gifts on these days. Overnight in a local villagers house would just add up to experience.
Day 6 to Day 10
In order make the most of our journey, we will trek to Sangla from Jhaka village via Rupin Pass.The journey is difficult and 4 days long from Jhaka to Sangla but the scenic beauty is magnificent and awe-inspiring.
Day 11 & Day 12
After reaching Sangla we will drive to Chitkul, one of the last villages of India in Himachal Pradesh. After distributing gifts to children we will drive back to Reckong Peo to visit monasteries and spend some quality time with monks.
Day 12 to Day 22
For the next days we will hit the road and visit every single monastery in Lahaul Spiti valley. We will be visiting the region of Sumdo, Dhankar, Kaza and Tabo. Crossing the KunzumPass, sitting idle for hours on the banks of Chandra Tal and visiting monasteries like Ki-Gompa are the list of things that will not only bless us spiritually but transform us into a better human being. The moon like landscape of Lahaul Spiti Valley is unlike anything else in India. This Himalayan desert is mainly inhabited by Buddhists who live a peaceful life. I am pretty sure that after receiving gifts given by students of Delhi, the Buddhist kids will also give something in return. Be it a thankful note captured in the video or a small yet pure thing as a Buddhist prayer flag.
Day 22 to Day 28
Our focus during these days will specifically be on BRO. While driving on the mountains you must have seen interesting and funny sign marks about driving safe. It is one of the key highlights of BRO (Border Roads Organization). But maintaining such roads even in the harshest weather conditions is one heck of a job. Landslides washes away the highways every now and then but BRO workers repair them, ensuring that the journey of travellers be safe and hassle free. Our one month long journey is entirely about the mountains and thus it will be insignificant if we don’t thank BRO workers, the way we should. We will distribute them the essentials on the corner of the highway over the cup of strong tea while gazing at the mountains. We will also dedicate two days working with them while repairing the highway or paving the road.
Day 28 to Day 30
After exploring the Lahaul Spiti Valley and meeting with the BRO workers we will drive to Manali and celebrate the success of our journey.
After reaching back to Delhi we will create a short documentary about our journey. The documentary will capture the emotions of the people while receiving gifts and what they had to say to the person whose gift was delivered to them. They will be sharing their names and a little bit about their life. The documentary will also capture how this one month long road trip transformed us for good.
This post was written for Ambi Pur Car – “The Perfect Road Trip” Contest on Indiblogger.
Ambi Pur Car: facebook.com/AmbiPurIndia