The month of June brings back memories of summer vacations and travels to lands far and fair. In June 2017, our family of 3 went to Sikkim with family friends and relatives. I took notes on my phone, posting them along with pictures on my Facebook page. I bring them out here to share impressions that stay forever.
Lachen Monastery, Sikkim
We were soaking in the blue skies, admiring the mountains, and the peace, letting our prayers flutter in the wind, along with the prayer flags.
We saw this cute boy looking at us, coy and cuddly. He may be intrigued by the city children dwellers. He posed and even came to close the heavy iron door as we left the Lachen monastery. Tiny tots like him walk to school on weekdays with siblings, trotting dangerously along the edge. It is scary but they look unperturbed, their cheeks of rose petals and cherry red, under the clear mountain sun.
It is all cute and nice, until you reach a check post and see a notice board with pictures of lost children. These areas have the least crime rate, high female ratio, and honor for women but nature can be cruel. Many children have fallen down the rocky roads or washed away by the mighty Teesta. Wild animals may prowl.
The pain of parents who lose their children to unknown horrors is unfathomable. The bravery of parents allowing their children freedom to discover nature and friendships, make memories along treacherous paths, is admirable.
A sad and sobering thought and you feel all the more humbled when you see the difficult life and habitation of the hill people. We are so puny in front of nature. Yet, human resilience learns to live in extreme environments, close to the bosom of nature, as children of the mountains, rivers, and forests.