Sunday, May 18, 2014

Dreamers beware!

When we were kids, mom and dad took us to holidays in the hills every year. I remember all of us, kids and adults, looking out of the car windows at the green hills and choosing the spot where we would like to build a house. I would spend the rest of the road trip daydreaming about life in the mountains. Being a sickly child whose asthma would flare in the heat and dust of Delhi every summer, my mountain dreams were filled with a deep yearning.

Almost 40 years later of dreaming those dreams, I am living in one such spot. Not as pristine or isolated as I had imagined as a child, but very close. I have a river in my backyard that provides background music to every thought, and huge snow-clad mountains that look down upon us mostly benignly, and clean air that allows my lungs to breathe freely.

It is indeed a blessing to have your dreams come true. But no blessing should be taken for granted, and gratitude can't be paid just in thoughts.

I pay my gratitude in many ways: By living fully in my new home, taking the good and the bad with equal grace, not locking myself in my ivory tower like I see many city folks who have moved here do. By becoming friends with villagers, entering their hearts as freely as I enter their homes, not restricting myself to a friend circle of westerners and ex-city dwellers. By changing myself and adapting my habits to my new environment, appreciating the good that its harshness has brought to my life, without forever begrudging the lack the comfort I was used to. By travelling in and around the district, breathing in the beauty and contributing to its economy. By understanding the cycle of village life and respecting it despite all its problems obvious to my mind conditioned by years of independent thinking. And by using my life experiences and knowledge to influence changes gently without debunking this way of life or giving up on it.

Having lived here for a year, I know that living my mountain dream is not as simple as making enough money to retire early, building a pretty house at a pretty spot, and living an insulated life inside it with all the creature comforts I am used to. It is about reinventing myself and what I do with my time, rethinking what defines my identity, challenging my old ideas about time and money and values, and extending myself to others in ways I have never done before.

It is hard work. And it is beautiful! 


  1. Now, let me also share something...yeah all about dreams!!! I was 12 year old boy, when i touched a small camera (Agfa /Black&White). From that day onward I started to dream to have one and taking photos. Several times I reached near to that dream, but slipped from my hand for many reasons. But finally last December I got it; my first digital SLR...Yes, chasing a dream is the most beautiful experience in life... if you got some time pls check this site...

  2. I grew up as a kid lower middle class with a hole in my sneakers and an eternally angry mother. I always dreamt what it would feel like living in a beautiful and peaceful place. I finally found it, but it also came with a solitude.