Thursday, August 25

Dawn lit mountains of Tawang

Mystical and enchanting beauty of the Buddhist Gompas, apple gardens and the breathtaking views makes Tawang a haven for tourists in the north eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh

The breathtakingly beautiful Buddhist Gompas. The endlessly winding roads. The misty snow-caps. All packed in one picture-perfect landscape. To the knowledge of our readers, we are talking about Tawang, a city located at a height of 12,000 ft above sea level in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, and its one major attraction, the Golden Pagoda.

We started our journey from Tezpur, a pretty little town on the north bank of the Brahmaputra on Christmas Day. We were warned by the locals, before we started, about the heavy snowfall during the previous days and that we might have to return from Bomdila, halfway to Tawang. Snowfall closes almost all the road travel routes in Arunachal Pradesh. Bomdila is another hill station in AP where one comes across serene beauty and gardens laden with apples.

Our luck proved stronger and we had Mother Nature pushing us through the border of Bomdila and into the spectacular Tawang. The frozen lakes were wore an enigmatic look due to the dark shadows cast by the leaf-barren trees. The steep road was slushy with melted snow. The steep road was slushy with melted snow. The road through the beautiful Dirang valley that lead to Tawang offers magnificent views of rivers, hills and grassland merging into one. The hillside was covered with swards of flowers and fern.

The beauty actually made me wonder if we still need a trip to Switzerland.

Every nook and crevice had scenic appeal that waited to be captured in memorable photographs. One can see the beautiful crests and valleys, dangerously swaying bridges, ravines giving in to giggling rivers, an array of orchids dangling from snow covered trees and many more visual delights. Arunachal has over 600 species of orchids that include “Ladies Sleeper” variety, which are indigenous to the land and there is a prohibition on taking them outside the state.

By the time we reached our small but comfortable looking hotel in Tawang, the sky had started to overcast with dark clouds. During winters, the sun sets early, so it was already dark by 5:30 in the evening. We kept our luggage’s and met up in the lounge after some time and were really pleased to find an inviting fire to warm ourselves up after a long cold journey. Around the fire, we feasted on the local delicacies of the Monpa tribe, a major tribe group residing in the Tawang area amongst others. After chit-chatting for a while we were back to our rooms in the pleasing comfort of our room heaters, where I snuggled up in my bed to drift into a deep, deep slumber.

My first morning in the land of rising sun and I am awake bright and early. It’s wonderful to notice how the fatigue of city life vanishes so miraculously in the pure mountain air.

The itinerary for the day is already planned out and the first place to be visited is, without any doubt, the Gompa or Buddhist monastery in Tawang. It is reportedly the second largest in the world and is built in the style of a medieval fortress. The monastery is home to nearly five hundred Buddhist monks. And they are indeed very lucky monks. As far as scenic locations go, you don’t get much better than this. The complex is built on the edge of a steep ridge, overlooking the Tawang valley. Oh, and that   is surrounded by the Himalayas. As it has been mentioned earlier, you cannot find a better place than this - Recent restoration to the Gompa interior has created a small museum which is host to a number of relics and Buddhist items of interest.

After the tour of the whole Gompa complex, one can sit in its courtyard and bask in the winter sunshine. It is a welcome change and a truly relishing feel for each and every pore of our body.

As with most places, Tawang has its own historical importance attached to it which was told to us by the head monk of the Gompa and I am producing it verbatim.  The name Tawang is derived from the legend of Mera Lama, who set out in 1681 in search of a place to construct a monastery following the wish of Dalai Lama the 5th, his teacher. One day after his prayer for guidance, he found his horse standing at a spot on a hill-top quietly. Taking it as divine sign, he named the place as Ta = horse: Wang = chosen. The monastery was build with the help of the locals and even today they look after it with great respect.

And not to forget the Sela Top Pass, a pass adjacent to Tawang, which rises steeply and is full of snow for most of the year. The biting cold here made me crave for my warm car interiors, but being a city dweller I don’t get to experience such cold everyday and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

While touring other areas of Tawang, we came across many army camps. The reason being the place located in the highly sensitive border it shares with China and Tibet. The Indian Army has made their presence felt strongly in certain areas by restricting our movements for our own safety.

We were highly moved by the simplicity of the people of Tawang. The people of Monpa tribe are essentially a simple lot and despite the onslaught of modernity, they stick to their traditional way of life. They prefer a lifestyle that includes tending of yak and brewing their own local alcohol.

Other attractions of the town included a Handicrafts Centre, which was started to promote the small-scale industries for local handicrafts. The centre houses an exclusive and ethnic array of woollen carpets and shawls, amongst other things. People may also purchase rather inexpensive but good chubbas and shoes.

The rivers Tawang-Chu and Namjang-Chu are ideal for river-rafting activities, but as our luck would have it both the places were frozen solid as they remain so during the whole winter season. Tourists can also avail the fun and adventure of rock-climbing, paragliding, skating and other winter sport activities in the area at an extremely affordable rate.

Our two-day trip passed in a blur and before we knew it was time to pack for our return journey. Though I am not sure I would miss sub-zero temperature, but if given a chance I am sure I would swap the nerve-racking and chaotic city life to this easy and silent life. Any time.

Wednesday, August 24


Love is one helluva confusing thing… Am yet not sure of it…I know it’s too early too decide on that…I have learnt a lot but still am not able to decide on a certain fact that who is it that I should really trust. Parents – when they have made a lot of wrong choices for me or me who has wronged but it is still me who is to blame… it is me who is to blame for a certain happenings in my life. I don’t believe in platonic love. Every where it is either physical or some other reason.

There are no more tears – they have dried up. One is never alone but there so many insecurities that one can’t deal with. But why are they there?? There has to be an answer to all of it. I am in love but with whom or what? Am happy and sad at the same time but there is no apparent reason for it.

I am scared but I do not acknowledge that fact. Is it the mere insecurities or is it the way I have been brought up. Is it the learnings that I had? Where I am lost? Still stuck in so many questions. I am stuck with so many questions, but is there someone to answer them?

Can someone really bear the others tantrums for life just because they love that person? Someone said that I am not fit for marriage. Is it really a fact? If it is true then why am I left at the threshold?

Nameless Thoughts

Almost the whole of August passed by without me doing anything very creative despite the fact that I had been confined to bed most of the times with my fractured leg. Nothing came out of my head in the duration. Probably that’s what it is called being hurt in head…

Kidding ya

So, am just feeling good to put down these nameless and wordless thoughts on a blank page of Microsoft Word, which might later get published on my blog. Have we not lost touch to the world of writing diaries and hiding it from our Moms as they would think it to be the only way to understand their kids or whatever the reason. Now we can lock our laptops and even can keep our diaries, which are on various formats of Microsoft Office and other places, encrypted to avoid their detection.

Life has started to make sense and not make sense at the same time. With the healing leg, there might be another bunch of surprises for my people back at home. No am not getting married or anything – mine will be a good surprise.

I really don’t have anything as such to write with the pitter patter of thoughts knocking my head off. I am probably in shut down mode write now – saving all the data for may be future use. Maybe I am saving my data for future references too… good bye for now folks…

Wednesday, August 10


Rajesh walked out of the door and left behind Mina to cry her eyes out alone.

They were breaking up their 8 year long relationship. Was it her fault alone that lead to this end? She spread her hands to reach out to him but to no avail. He was nowhere in the hearing distance to listen to her cries when she yelled out his name. She felt her words hung up in the air. The looks around tell her that she spoke but there's no reply to any word she uttered.

Was she losing touch with reality? What’s right and what’s wrong is not conceivable. She just hoped for happiness and not this feel of pain pushing her to numbness forever. There are no colors left in life. The surroundings are all dark and something just pierced deep into her heart. She walked upon a broken pane barefoot and now she bleeds.

What went wrong? She bared her soul to him. She bared her heart. He saw her beautiful smile, her tinkling laughter and her warm sunshine, and then he stole it all away. Where was she standing? She had tried to say goodbye to his memories but they grow up on her. They entangle her more and more as she struggles to get out of them.

Why is heart so ruthless to fall wherever it sees even an ounce of affection mistaking it to be love and ending in so much of pain? Why it has to fight with the head and win over it with some stupid puppy dog eyed expressions? The pink heart shaped glasses make everything appear so lovey-dovey and end everything in red.

She had learnt now to keep her heart chained and never love anyone nor feel loved. But she will walk back someday to just see what went wrong and where. Will this journey end? Now, she walks barefoot in the dark to find answers to her quest. Will the dark ever let her reach them?