|Nature unleashes a more beautiful version every day|
|I have seen everything now|
|The car behind us is trying to pull our car in reverse|
This is a reason why small groups cannot make this trek. We needed the support from the rest of the cars. The one driver who was technically the best was in the last car so that he would stop for everyone and anyone who needed help.
|Lunch at a mud-house|
|Usha-ji, Gopikrishna-ji and Yoga, Pushpendrabhai at the back|
As we drove on to Nyalam, I felt pretty well-rested, I could stay awake, and I could now fully appreciate the beauty of the countryside. 3 days in a row now, Tibet has evolved into a more beautiful version each day. When the heart is happy, the world glows around you.
|Still on earth|
|Heaven on earth|
|Back through the gateway through which we entered the Tibetan plateau nine days ago|
As we approached Nyalam, I was struck by how large a town it is. It was a small remote town when I had come here twelve days ago. With the refined perspective from the Tibetan heartland, Nyalam appeared to be a metroplex. I still had quite a bit of medication inside me. Seema went off to walk by the river banks, I could not go with her, I would have slowed her down or even worse, come back after half the distance. Our room was right next to the multi-storeyed toilets, I cannot say things could be worse, I am not sure what could be worse. But someone had to sleep in that room, and Rajeev had decided that it was us. It appeared that some maintenance work had been done since we left this guesthouse ten days ago. The walls had been whitewashed, there was now crown moulding in the rooms, the linen had been washed, there were new blankets and comforters. The room actually looked quite decent if you forgot the restroom next door for a moment.
I dumped my backpacks on the bed, and spent my time loitering in the little compound and then tagged behind Swami Shivyogananda and Rajeev to drink tea, actual chai, at a little place across the street. I would have loved Texas-sized servings, but we were in Tibet. We were served tea in tiny cups meant for little girls' tea parties for which Rajeev ended up paying a fortune. I had barely had one cup when the car with the other Swamijis showed up, and it was time to go back to the guesthouse. The little bit of warm liquid did do wonders and I felt much better. My eyelids were burning a little and I thought I would drink the soup that should be coming soon, and sleep after the appreciation fest at 8.
|Appreciation fest, Nyalam|
Dinner was three hours away. After the tea and the soup, I had the strength to walk, and went to the local market with Seema, Swarn, Pratibha and Gaurav to buy anything at all for Anish and Ash from Tibet. Swarn has a 15-month old and there was plenty of cute stuff to be purchased for the baby. She is consumed now with the thought of her baby's first reaction when she sees her after such a long time. I bought a cap and a scarf for Ash, there is nothing for Anish - Nyalam is hardly the Galleria.
Swarn was in a great mood today, and so was her staff whom she asked to make chawal-ki-kheer, - rice pudding after the appreciation fest. The food tasted good, the labor of love from a happy team. I broke my rule of no-dessert since Kathmandu and tasted the kheer, my twin-separated-at-birth Seema's favorite as well but she was fasting, and instead munched on fruit that she had bought on her lone walk to the river.
Tomorrow, we leave for Kathmandu to the same hotel with the pre-sweetened yogurt. I would gladly trade in all my yuans for good old dahi-chawal, - steamed rice and plain yogurt, right now. Not sure if I have said this enough, I am hankering for plain yogurt.
Aum Namah Shivaaya!!