… I still remember the excitement and flutters I experienced while waiting for the vacations as a child growing up in Abu Dhabi. Vacations meant traveling to India, and India for me meant, hills! Our beautiful ancestral village in Himachal Pradesh…
That was when my love affair with the mountains really started! The whole day I would be lost in between the hills, playing by the river, exploring the caves, just watching the ants, grasshoppers, or the spiders industriously building their webs.
I would usually bring a few specimen home for later study! My mother would often check my pockets for frogs, sometimes birds or any interesting creepy crawly that I could get my hands on! She never discouraged or reprimanded me for being my naughty self! Being my first guru, she taught me how amazingly Beautiful this nature was. It’s funny, sometimes while people around would be busy discussing important worldly matters, both of us would be busier watching a sparrow feeding its little ones or collecting wild berries nearby.
With the passage of time, I found my love and reverence towards the mountains growing. I would travel to far and inaccessible reaches, wondering what I’m looking for. May be, it was a search for a meaning to my existence. The mountain breeze gently healing the soul, giving deep answers and creating new questions! The glacial waters in the vast expanse of Nature with miles and miles of solitude seemed to be quenching lifetimes of thirst.
In the mountains, far away from civilization and worldly comforts, every step you climb is like stepping into the unknown and the unforeseen. And yet a deep sense of trust and acceptance prevails. The mighty mother Nature seems to embrace you into her arms, as an eager mother awaits her child.
Years later, when I met my spiritual Master HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, at our Art of Living Bangalore Ashram for the first time I knew what I was looking for. I can never forget HIS gaze and the intensity of love I was welcomed with. As an eager mother awaits her child, HE said, “Welcome Home!” ….and I knew at that moment… I’m home…..!