To begin with
This is the beginning of a beginning. This is to set the context and put the ball in motion. This is a promise to undertake a new journey. This is a promise to continue with this journey. A journey with you…
My ancestors lived in a remote valley of northern Himalaya. Their tough shoulders bore the burden of centuries old Indo-Tibetan trade. Government of India identifies the people of our valley as ‘Bhotia’. They call us Bhotia because one Mr Atkinson called us so, in the famed Himalayan Gazetteer. The label is now permanently stuck on us, thanks to the lethargy of the government and some socio-economic compulsions. Inhabitants of Darma, Byans, Chaudans, Niti and Mana valley also have been bestowed with the same label.
Our ancestral Indo-tibetan trade abruptly ended in 1962 due to the Indo-china war. Luckily, many young people of our community were educated, including my father and uncle. The community had feared this closure of the ancient trade ever since the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet in 1950.
Due to these events, my father took up a job with a public sector enterprise which took us to different towns and cities of India. Like most of the children of our generation, I too nurtured the dream of becoming an engineer or a doctor. The tenth class marks decided my fate and I became an engineer. The dullness of the profession forced me to take charge and alter my destiny. So I studied design. That was followed by jobs, businesses, marriage, kids… life kept moving ahead at a steady pace.
Thankfully, the pace was not fast enough. I had time to open the window and feel the outside world. The wind that blew had many questions for me. Initially I avoided the queries but when I eventually decided to answer them, I realized that they were pretty complicated. The realization ended up changing the very course of my journey. My outlook towards life started to change. Those change led to many decisions – some easy, some tough.
The journey continues…
Many of my friends asked me as to why I do not document this travelogue. Many a times, I too felt that I should start writing about my experiences, dreams, thoughts, opinions… I knew that doing so will make me aware of my own mental state – current as well past. It will help me articulate my understanding and clearly see the directions in which I am heading. But sadly, procrastination is an old friend of mine.
Looking back, I think that procrastination actually ended up working in my favour. In the past few years I got numerous opportunities to meet a diverse set of people. I got opportunities to dive in and explore the depths of different ideologies. I got opportunities to experience various flavours of life. And all these experiences enabled me to widen my own horizon and nurture my expression. The scope of life increased tremendously. The journey became even more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Now, neither I nor my expressions are personal anymore. Every thought, every decision is enriched by experiences and thoughts of many others. Whatever I write, or am going to write, is not my story alone. It is also the story of all those, whose life and writings have influenced me. In spite of all the theoretical understanding , I may still, sometimes, end up saying things in a rather nasty tone. Unfortunately it is an old ailment which will take its own sweet time to go so please bear with me on that account.
On that note – LET US BEGIN!