Darjeeling is all about romance, isn’t it? Yes, the toy train, the tea gardens and of course the hills add to the romantic mood in the air. So let me tell you at the outset the impact that Darjeeling had on me and my mind. It made me feel romantic. Rather the very thought of visiting Darjeeling made me feel romantic. Plus Kangchenjunga had a pull on me too. So I went to Darjeeling with my sweet heart. We were longing for a romantic vacation for a very long time. We mulled over a few options and finally settled for Darjeeling.
When we arrived in Darjeeling, the pre-monsoon storms were dominating not just Darjeeling but the entire eastern Himalaya. A heavy mist was hanging over everything. Now we couldn’t have asked for more. Mist indeed adds mystery and of course the romance beneath its sheets. When mist wasn’t around there were thundershowers and high winds.
I love meditation. Meditation is an integral part of Buddhism. The north eastern Buddhist monasteries constantly attract me. So we made way for few of them even on this romantic trip. After all ours was not only the meeting of the bodies. Our souls met too. We first went to Sonada. This place is famous for the mummified statue of Vajradhara lama. I enjoyed walking hand in hand with my beloved in the large complex. We prostrated before every big and small shrine. We walked through the sacred grooves. Here I was reminded of Hinduism, which considers companionship as a door to the self-realization and not a hindrance to it.
We also visited the Tamang monastery in the middle of the Kurseong town. We were lucky to be there at the time of the morning prayers. Young monks some of them kids and some teenagers performed the everning prayers.
“Enough of monasteries. Don’t forget we have come here on a romantic trip. Let us get into the toy train.” Said my partner. The magical toy train does only four commutes in a day – two up and tow down. The old steam engines are now gone. Now the diesel engines pull the wagons. But believe me that doesn’t kill the romance. We sat holding each other’s hands in the train. I was feeling like kissing her. But I was in a public place. I had to exercise self restraint.
As the train spiraled up the hills we passed through the forests. Soon the forests were over and tea gardens were to be seen everywhere. I was able to spot a few monasteries as well. “ You keep on thinking only about spirituality all the time.” She said. I wished she could read what was on my mind a few minutes back. Darjeeling rekindled the spark in our relationship. Such was its impact on our relationship.