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Love At First Sight

Bhutan is a constant state of meditation.

From the first site from the left window of the flight, it captured us. The plane takes a steady path over kempt paddy fields, bracketed in low-rising mountains, with a soothing sight of snow-kissed peaks afar, and ample sunlight from the blue skies, promising a naturally alluring experience to come all through. And then it drifts to take a soft left U-turn through an opening at the end of the mountain, slowly opening to the first sight of Paro airport. Mountains on either sides seem like arms wide open and the landing strip alike mum’s chest where the flight lands and Bhutan hugs you tight to welcome you home. It is the most satiating landing I’ve ever had. Albeit against the wind, it was smooth.

Nothing seems man-made, rather man living in the embrace of what nature has provided, the way it should be.Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 10.32.55

Less cars, good weather, beautiful and neat stream of, lazy but ample, water flows alongside. Villages close and afar, monasteries dotting the higher expands of the hills, kids and furry dogs playing nonchalantly, it all seems like a setup. We rolled on smoothly-paved roads to reach Paro city. Extremely small for what we thought and laid-back. Happiness seems to be sitting at ever corner but not wearing a smile though, it is in smallest of things, in the curls of street dogs, in their national dress, old-school signboards, and even in natural greens. It is soothing in its own way. Happiness is a manifestation of their way of living and upbringing – be content in what you have and not dying in rushing for achieving what you cant. Content, that’s what brings happiness, simple, isn’t it. And suddenly it hits that we’ve been missing the basics in the race to top the never-ending hierarchies of office, social repute, money, and materialistic acquirements. Something as simple as this – write your own orders at the restaurants, easy to comprehend and just plain logical too, minimising misunderstandings and thus quarrels.

Restaurants and shop don’t shove their brand-name in your face and attract you like a tourist on dope. You like it, let’s trade, else we are happy anyway. And why? Marketing principle may be. If you go to the customer you’ll have to bend backwards to please them, disrupting your own way to satisfaction and happiness in the process. You’ll make money but won’t sleep happy from that transaction.

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 11.56.24Enroute to Thimphu, not a bump on the roads. Very less cars for a national highway. No one honks, not a spot dirty, police is visible every two minutes, in cities or even on highways, or even in the barrens. Thimphu seems big and commercial, as compared, yet not in-your-face. Monks roam freely and are rather posh in their ways. They shop, eat, drink, laugh, assist tourists. Everyone speaks Hindi too, making it seem like an extension of home. Trading in Indian currency further doubles the impact. It’s different though. Everyone seems to be listening Indian songs, and watching Dance India Dance. Families eat out together, kids munch on a single momo for a while. Everything is simple, tasty, and value-for-money. People seem a tad soft and slow for our pace, a no is expected even before approaching them. And then it sets, are we rushing, are we killing ourselves in getting to hear and receive what suits us? Is this how it was to be? Maybe they are correct after all. No WiFi, no hot water, no butter on milk bread, no nothing. It this be the way it is. But we have the sun shining over us on this cold morning. And my sweetheart wrapped in my arms is a blessing.

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