Himachal Pradesh, India, Travel Poems
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Eight years in Naggar

I wrote this poem on the first day of my arrival at a place called naggar in Himachal one early summer in 2007. I had bought my first bike. When the evening fell that day; no where to sleep. I arrived here in the night. One thing that my memory reminds me of this place, or of all those places that are, nestling somewhere in the mountains is the fragrance, from the Himalayan woods. I wrote this poem on that short bike trip that back home became big affair. I will keep it here for you, as it was the first time.

Bird song

Bulbs look like stars here
In nagger, at night
I, silence and zephyr
Hide amidst countable locals
And a few wood houses
only one restaurant here, a shop
More Russians
Acknowledging this village
acknowledging its culture
one of their Roreichs,
that he earned a home

My friend’s home is this
His memories of school are here
Should I call this, sereneness?
Or shall I name this a dalliance?
Stars above and stars down
Mastiffs bark and nightingales sound

A treaty with goddess has been done
Krishna mandir, a German café
Jana and malana
I am not in heaven
I am among celestials
Clouds so near, white
A sight
I cannot catch them
I cannot fly
Bigger than my vision
These mountains and terrain

Walks among devdar, kayal, rai and alpine
No need of wine
Intoxicated is air
these mountains rare

I flied without wings
I dreamt without sleeps
of days like these
Sipping tea on the edge of a hill
Hot Maggie, from stove
People are generous here,
They still ask for the bill
I rode up and higher
I lived in the apple orchids
bathed in the waterfall
clapped to the Vishnu pond
and lost my way before Nashala

I saw little girls so shiny and white like a ripe peach
I saw skinny people trudging upwards and downwards;
I went into a monastery
I talked to little lamas
They talked about the difference between

It was a memory
devbhoomi, I went through
This journey, I grew

a monsoon night away, in the jungle.

a monsoon night away, in the jungle.

As beautiful as a Bird Song, Naggar became popular in mid 1950s as the home of the legendary russian painter Nicholas Roerich. He lived here for several years, died here too. His art gallery attracts a lot of russian and french travelers throughout the year. It was in 2013, six years later that i happened to visit the gallery.

Over all these years i have many memories when valley on the other side of beas made me feel home. Every single time. I have made more than a few journeys on bike. And a few times my second home.


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