I woke up and pinched myself to see if I was still in Uttarakhand with the others or in Mcleodganj. Now everything before this seemed like a dream..
The weather was sunny, in fact so sunny I was not used to it. Last time, it was raining hard and I remember walking for hours with my Umbrella. Well, the rainy season was over here..
The first thing I did before going to the temple was to stop at this Samosa shop. It was on the way to the temple and I remembered this pleasant young man I spoke to last year.
He was friendly, innocent and always had a big smile. I remembered him saying he was working in the same place for many years and he couldn’t think of leaving Dharamsala.
I walked in to the shop and there he was. Same as always, nothing changed. I ordered Channa Batura(delicious!) with Chai and started talking to him. I told him I recognized him from last year and we even spoke. His name was Vishal. He had so many customers visiting him he wouldn’t remember all of them. He had such a positive vibe I tell you.
He said he has been working here for 10 years in the same samosa shop and he was happy and content, he didn’t want anything else. I knew I would become a regular here during my stay. It was nice to chat with someone here. He seemed so removed away from all the vices, greed, selfishness that we see in our daily lives..
Saying goodbye I walked my way towards Dalai Lama temple. This was another place I felt myself home at. Walking inside itself filled me up with happiness. This temple had a backstory to it.
Last year when Pankaj and I were in Ladakh, we came to know Dalai Lama was speaking in Leh. We promptly attended it. That day changed my life..
It led me to making an impromptu trip to Mcleodganj, watching Dalai Lama speak again at this temple, meeting a dear friend Kumaran which led me to meet Dalai Lama in person. It was unbelievable..
Most of the tourists had gone. I took a quiet corner in front of the altar and sat for hours, in silence. Nothing bothered anymore, not the people coming in and going, nothing. Time went by and I didn’t notice it was late afternoon. That beautiful monastery does that to you.
As I got out of the main altar, I saw the young buddhist monk boys having their debating sessions. It was sheer delight to watch them! Their body language, gestures, clapping hard and swaying their bodies, making a point was a sight to watch! I sat there and enjoyed it all.
I got out and had a cappuccino at a cafe close to the Temple. I love the cafes here. Small, cosy and one could be by themselves with a book and have a fantastic view of the mountains.
I was feeling hungry so I walked into another favorite cafe of mine called The Crazy Crepe Cafe run by Buddhist Nuns. They ran a monastic school downstairs with the cafe upstairs. Taking a comfortable corner and ordering Miso soup and Kombucha Tea (must try) I was at peace reading a book.
They were closing up early by 7 pm as there were no customers except me. I started walking aimlessly and finally went to a small dhaba and had some rotis. It was almost 8.30 and Mcleodganj being a small place was closing up for the night. I didn’t want to go near the noisy Chowk with loud tourists and noisy music bars.
I went to my hotel and signed up for Triund trek for the next day. You would think after all we went through I would only rest up right? But how can one not explore the mountains in the wild again? 🙂