Why do people climb mountains? Is it the ultimate test of physical ability? Is it the thrill of pitting oneself against nature? All I know is that people climb mountains and it changes their lives. Heinrich Harrer (author of Seven Years in Tibet) preferred the sub zero conditions of the Himalayas to a relatively cosy internment camp to wait out the second world war. So, is that the mountains’ lure; freedom?
After I made a short trip to Triund and Mcleodganj a friend of mine decided to discuss with me the idea of the energies of places. He tried to convince me that the energies we sense at various places were an accumulation of the energies of the people there.
“Think of these individual energies as drops of water with direction”, he said.
“Everyone is a drop of water and the direction they are flowing represents their energies. On our planet, these drops of water are in a constant mix with each other, interacting in the sea of life. Now let’s imagine that in an area a most of these drops have the same direction; something like an ocean current. When you travel, you are dropped into this local current. . It’s easy to be swept away. At least for a short time.” He made it seem as certain as a Physics lecture.
I think about what he says. It would explain why I feel spiritual places have a certain energy about them, or why I absolutely lose my mind in Bangalore traffic. This human-being-as-drop-of-water theory has deeper significance.
If I am a water droplet, my direction hasn’t been fully defined. I think about how I try to keep myself open to all sensations and realise that being a drop could spell disaster for me. It means I could get lost with the current for a while before I reassess reality. But this is both a boon and a bane. Yet, after all, isn’t that why I love travel? I love discovering all these new directions that wait to be explored.
Everyone has a different reason that they are in love with the mountains. I reflected on my own. A seven kilometer trek from McLeodganj, the beauty of Triund for me was gleaming in the sun, resting on the grass and being separated from the current. I started to move in my very own direction. My life had become so cluttered that I needed to climb a hill to disconnect myself from the world.
It is heart breaking to know that Mcleodganj is also called little Lhasa or Dhasa by the local Tibetan population. It says how much they miss their homeland. In this day and age people are still fighting to free. Will Tibet ever be returned to its people, or will the world continue to be blind to this gross human rights violation?
Tsuglagkhang or Tsuglag Khang, the Dalai Lama’s temple in Mcleodganj is one of the most important Buddhist locations in McLeodganj. Prayer wheels are kept in continuous motion by local visitors and tourists.[/caption]