The day after I came back from Spiti and Kinnaur, I craved so much for junk food and chocolates. Without paying much attention to my grocery list, I had ended up buying expensive chocolates and biscuits to gorge on. But, as soon as I had enjoyed a chocolate and seen how much I had spent, immediately a thought occurred in my mind- that the children in Spiti have perhaps never even seen or eaten such expensive chocolates. And then, when I flushed the toilet after a use, I couldn’t help but wonder how great an idea indeed the dry toilets of Spiti were. Our meals of exotic vegetables and meat seemed too luxurious against the simple dinner the Spitians enjoyed. The next day, it rained very heavily; my phone died and I got worried that I had not been able to contact my sister to let her know where I would be meeting her. In search of help, I approached a WH Smith counter guy who simply refused to lend me his phone, even to make a quick call.I don’t blame him for his behaviour, but then I couldn’t help but compare him to the locals at Spiti.
I love places that change me, that make me reflect, think and make me a better person. That, for me is the best thing about being in places. Spiti has been one such place. It has taught me to remain humble and modest, and not to forget compassion, no matter how harsh the world seems. Everything around you is never perfect and if we start to crib, it will never end. I guess that is the means to our daily dose of unhappiness. Instead, what if we focussed on the happiness of the self? And may be that comes from simply keeping things simple. Not fussing over things that are beyond your self-control, trying to do good so that the good comes back to you too? Truly, happiness begins with you.
Spiti appeared like an ideal world, another reason to prove why Buddhism is much simpler, clearer and and an easier doctrine to follow- a better way of Life. Back to my world here, I do get distracted often, but I am practising to remind myself to remain calm, compassionate and kind, every time I can. I am learning to focus on the self now. The trip certainly gave me a self-check and reminder to compassion, humility and humanity.
There’s a lot of shit happening in the world right now, but that doesn’t mean we stop caring and being kind. Remaining clam and humble is not a forte for everyone, but we can try not to make things worse for someone else.
I also cannot help thinking if there could be a way to help the locals there. Perhaps I could get people to collect dry grains and packet food that is not used at homes, books and stationery for children, clothes, etc. and get it sent there? Would it help them, or would it hurt their sentiments? Is it a good idea, or should I leave them how they are, for they are content? Would that ruin their society and culture, and boost modernity? Do they need such a kind of help? I wonder…
Nevertheless, I do wish and will remember to help the people there in some way or the other in the future, and I pray that they will not give into over commercialisation, modernity and fall prey to tourism.
P.S.: My Spiti-Kinnaur adventure diary
Part 1: Chandratal, you beauty!
Part 4: Spiti Valley: My Tryst with Time
Part 6: Kinnaur: A peek into the Valley