In July,2013 after working a year with Eco Tourism & Conservation Society of Sikkim (ECOSS) I decided to quit work due to mental health issues, some events had triggered paramount fear, an unexplainable terror, always felt creepy dark souls hovering around me & suffered from insomnia.Considering our family history with mental illness I consulted same Psychiatrist in Gangtok, who treated my mom. He recommended medication & personal care.
At that point my professional life had also come to a standstill. I felt undervalued in my organisation & tasks given were not challenging. The decision to quit felt right thing to do but I was clueless about the future with only gut feelings that I had to figure out & pursue goals I was passionate about.
I retuned home with two suitcase, bedding and a gas stove.I cut off myself from social network, friends and spent a month in rigorous praying.I am not a religious person but prayer helped me navigate during those difficult mental phase. I used to burn sage, switch off the light & sit in my room chanting mantras for an hour. It was not easy for me as every time I closed my eyes I felt extreme fear & sometimes at night I heard crawling sounds on the rooftop. We had already failed in coping with my mother’s mental illness so, I had to fight it for my family, by myself. During those time I read holy scripts from Buddhism, visited monastery, met with some Lamas ” Spiritual teacher’ and continued praying which eventually helped me.
By then August monsoon had already set in with heavy downpour causing frequent landslide & roadblocks. But I decided to travel Nepal which had been on my wish list since school days. I had some savings and my best friend was there in Kathmandu. I started on my solo journey with red backpack & payers bead, from Kalimpong I took a jeep to Kakarvita, there spent two/three hour had a lunch in small hotel. I was anxious, excited & felt very independent. In the evening around 5pm I got in the bus for Kathmandu which was a two seater bus not that comfortable to sleep fully but lucky to have a window side. On my left side there was a guy who might have been in early 30’s but I avoided any communication both for safety reasons & to be able to enjoy my privacy. Around 9.30 pm there was a stop for dinner in a small roadside dhaba which served small fresh fish from Koshi river with flattened rice, chicken curry and rice. Then the overnight journey reassumed with bumpy roads.
In an early morning beautiful landscape stretched before me with few houses on
the hilltop, paddy fields, boys playing football, steep turns and river running along the road.I got an adrenaline rush that my dream finally materialised.
Coincidentally my Nepal visit was at the same time when our Prime Minister Modiji was scheduled to visit. In 2014 I had an opportunity of meeting him ( handshake ) in Sikkim, though I am not a fan of him but I must say meeting personalities from esteemed position is quite intimidating. Hence,Nepal government geared up security & tightened traffic movement & many public were upset about it.
It took me few days to settle in after which I did all things touristy.I consider myself lucky/privileged that I was able to visit these heritage sites before the devastating earthquake of 2015.Currenlty, most of the sites has been destroyed & some are still under renovation.I was simply awestruck by the architectural beauty, intricate designs for me such heritage sites are gateway to understand history & appreciate life.I conclude this blog post with much love for Nepal.