Like many young souls today I had been hooked to Nepali news channels. And similar to all inquisitive and hopeful minds, mine had adopted the daily routine of meticulously reading the newspaper headlines instead of skipping to the entertainment section which I had developed a habit of in the past few years. And why wouldn’t I be interested? The news of the number of gas cylinders which entered the borders became far more entertaining than anything else on the paper.
But some part of the country that was accessible kept soothing my mind in this moment of crisis. The idea further reinforced by the occasional uploads on social media by my friends kept encouraging me to go. Despite objections from my loved ones I decided to try the mountain trails. With the same kind of worry on my mind regarding the obstacles that may arise, I for once decided that I will not let the probable lack of fuel filled vehicles reach my destination nor the lack of food to survive on the way stop me.
So I headed for the Annapurna trail. As I had expected the unofficial blockade had hiked the prices of every possible thing that I would need on the road. And as expected the already minimal patience on the faces of the people I met on the road had become even more impatient.
As I left the chaos of the city, and climbed the stone paved road to Ghandruk village, my mind immediately succumbed to the absence of the noise of the city. The bright mixture of colors with the smokiness of the wind had changed into the greens of the foliage and the blues of the sky. I smiled because the excitement I felt form the beauty that surrounded me was enhanced by the realization that I wouldn’t have to worry about any sort of fuel on this road ahead. The village of Ghandruk astonished me. Immediately I realized how clean everything was. The next thing that I noticed was how peaceful everyone in the village looked. The background of the blissful Annapurna Himalayan range surely helped with their grins, but I found out it was the way they lived their simple lifestyles with such independence that boosted their confidence.
Then I realized almost all of the people who are not from my country must have an already comfortable lifestyle. So why were they all there? And almost everyone I met told me the same thing; that I am extremely lucky to have been born in this beautiful place among these beautiful people.