Travel diaries: Falling In Love With Buddhism


Before I head on to my much interesting story, let me get in clear with some context . It was back in the rural village of Chozo, Khecheopalri, Sikkim, on March 23rd,2016. And it was the day of one of the most pristine ceremonies of the Buddhist people, Bomchu. The ceremony is about sharing and celebrating the books and the knowledge of Lord Buddha’s teachings. Buddhist monks, carry those books on their head, take a walk in the streets and us, the commoners are meant to take blessings from them. But something pretty unique happened that day, which makes this story very special.

A monastery in Chozo

The Planning

On March 22nd, me and my family, and my fellow hitch hiker friends Georgy Andreev and Svenja Anina Ohlen ( from Russia and Germany respectively ) were told about the ceremony and to take the Monks blessings by our local host Latup. We were a bit shocked, as we’re Hindu, and they both are Christian, and we all thought we might somehow offend their culture. But to our much surprise, our host told us not to worry and to be ready for tomorrow.

Me and Georgy

The Harmony

So on the next morning we dressed up, took our camera and headed on to our nearest monastery. We had never seen a Buddhist ceremony in our lives, and our host repeatedly telling us how even touching those books is considered lucky made us even more excited. We reached the monastery, only to be realized that we were the only non-local people standing there. We became extremely uncomfortable, as we were too scared not to do anything that offends the locals and the enlightened Monks. An elderly Monk saw us, and quickly understood what we felt inside. He called us, and along with other monks, handed over one of their pious books to each one of us and asked nicely to crowd in the crowd of the monks and bless every people we meet in the road!

That elderly Monk, who has recently died. RIP.
Me, after getting the book in hand, smiling wide ♥️

The enlightened monks

Being Part of the Pristine Ceremony

We not only touched those sacred books, but literally carried them on our heads, blessing others. The tourists, jaw dropped, stopped by us to witness this wonderful harmony, clicking pictures and videos all along. We went on blessing every locals and tourists on the streets, and the welcoming gesture of the locals made things beyond beautiful for us. They were simply overjoyed, and were all gathered to see a Russian dude, a German girl and a Hindu Brahmin family to carry their sacred books along with the enlightened Monks. The monks loved their reaction too, as we marched on and on, and with every step we reached closer to Buddha.

Me and our host, Latup


We live in a world, where being selfish is called being practical, and being unkind is street smart. The Monks, or the villagers could’ve easily shooed us away, carrying on with their thousand years old nominal legacy. But when I look back, I realize that by welcoming us with such an wondrous gesture, they did actually carried the legacy of Lord Buddha’s teachings, spreading child like happiness for a day all over Chozo 🙂♥️

Georgy, Svenja, my family and me together
That monastery

Baby 😍

Villagers along with Latup

The walk in the street

Trekker’s Tells: Sharing Space With Wild Animals


Before I present my much interesting story to you, let me get in clear with some context. I was 16, and it was my very first trekking experience without my family. I just finished my annual middle school test, and headed to a rural town in Odisha named Nilagiri with my friends at the “Sonarpur Arohi” ( “সোনারপুর আরোহী”, my hometown trekker’s club, which has produced many legendary adventurers like Satyarup Siddhanta, who climbed the highest Peak of each continent ) for my mountaineering course.

The Planning

It took a overnight journey for our group of 11 (7 teenagers and 4 trekking teachers) from Kolkata to reach there. I was young, my blood was boiling and I couldn’t wait more to become a mountaineer. Our teachers made our plan clear to us. We had to camp our tents at a village near the forest mountain, learn the techniques of trekking and climb the highest Peak of Nilagiri on the penultimate of the 5 days we had.

Feeling Cozy in Nature

Two days gone by pretty quickly, and now we were absolutely dipped into the nature. We had no phone connections over there. Our loud, city voices had sunk low. We learned the art of bird watching, stargazing and basic survival techniques in the wild. Our mornings were greeted with chirping birds and the stars and faint drizzling sound of the waterfalls guided us to sleep at night. There was no connection to the outside world, and we finally knew the true meaning of happiness.

Call of the Wild

On the third night of the trip, as usual, we stargazed, ate our dinner, wrote our diary and slept happily in our respective tents, only to be awakened by our teachers few hours later. They told us to come out, as something special was going on. We crawled out of our tent, with our somnolent faces, wondering what can be more special than a midnight sleep. It was the night of the full moon, the forest was turned silver in moonlight, the sky was filled with stars and the sparkling river water awakened our senses. But then what we saw ( or heard?! ) was beyond anybody’s imagination. We could hear the trumpets of wild elephants, the growl of hyena, ( famously known as Hyena’s laugh ) and growls of wild wolves all at once. I still remember this moment vividly as I was shit scared with this version of wild welcome, my face became pale and was getting goosebumps like hell. Luckily for us, the growls and trumpets were over within some minutes. Never know what we could’ve faced if consequences happened, but that was truly the moment I was no more a mere mountaineer, but a full fledged trekker.


After all this experiences, it doesn’t take me to tell that we easily climbed the peak of Nilagiri. But there’s something you may wonder of. Why do I take such risks for nothing? I could’ve asked for a city day job, retire at 60 and die with diabetes.. maybe much better death than being bitten by a viper or a pack of wolves! Maybe you are right. But these are the days I live for. I may not be lucky the next time, I might well die a horrible death. But believe me, I’ll be smiling at that moment. Cause I lived my life before I died. 🙂❤️

Scary Adventures: The day I Almost Died


Before I present my much interesting story to you, let me get in clear with some context. I was, 18, just passed the high school, and came to travel with my parents to a rural village in Sikkim named Chozo, where the pristine lake of khecheopalri lies. So one day, I discovered in the morning that my parents will be heading in a nearby city with a car. Coming from a hectic Kolkata, the last thing I want to see is a city that too in a car. So I passed them off and went out to meet and greet with the locals and plan out the day.

The Planning

It was the day of 21st April,2018. Just past 9 o’clock, and I was literally bursting out with joy cause of the new gained freedom. I wanted to go somewhere completely alone. I chatted with the locals and asked about the hardest place there a man could trek on. They told me about a cave up the mountain. But not the route. They stopped describing the map midway in a place named ‘Ring’, and advised me to come back from there cause of wild boars and bears. But I had other plans.

The Stupid Idea

As I was described by the locals, I trekked and reached village ‘Ring’, where I met the villagers. They were very welcoming as they probably saw a outsider pretty long ago. They treated me with their traditional yak milk and bread. But my mind was on that cave. I asked them about the route. And guess what?! They told me exactly how to reach there! I got pretty excited, I forgot about all those dangers, put my foot forward and headed along like a noob.

Fortune Favored the Foolish

As I was heading, I gradually became aware about the wild boars with huge teeth front of them and those bears. There was nothing I could do if they attacked, but I kept my knife ready and made sound of plastic bottles all the way. But nature came with some surprise. There were a lot of leeches in that place, which had to be put away time to time or they sucks a lot of blood away. I kneeled down and untie my shoes to put away the leeches. While doing my right foot, I felt something cold on my left, which was behind my face. I turned around to see, and it was almost a 100 centimeters long, smooth, stout, cold the very famous “Pahari Bora Sap” or more famously known as the Chinese mountain pit viper ( or that’s what I was told by the villagers with the help of my very little description of that snake )

Those 6 Seconds

As soon as I felt that cold ass thing, I looked back. But God knows how, I didn’t freak out. I knew I was pretty close to death, and this might be the last and only opportunity I’ll get to save my life. I somehow held my nerves, and didn’t move a single bit. I stopped breathing, and blinking. I was sweating, and my sweat dropped into my eyelids. Now I could barely watch anything and my eyes became red and itchy. I was in a awkward pose, and my hands felt anesthetic. 4 seconds passed like that, to which I felt like an eternity. I still hadn’t done any movement yet. But at this moment I remember once telling myself to rub my eyes, maybe I’ll die but at least I’ll get rid of this itchiness. But somehow I gathered power to tell myself no. At this moment, the snake got over my foot, but it was still very close to me. After 5 more seconds of cautious waiting, I got up and ran downhill the fastest I could to that village.

The conclusion

As I came running downhill to village “ring”, with a shit scared look in my face and panting like an old dog, the villagers knew I had done something up there. They all took care of me, served me with water and fruits, healed my wounds, and gave me my favorite mint tea. As I told them what happened a while ago, they all freaked out and told me to thank the almighty for saving my life. Which I did. But I didn’t compromise with my desire to see that cave. I went on again the same day, this time with some local Buddhist monks, meditated and learned about Lord Buddha’s teachings from them, and came back safely. That was certainly the scariest moment of my life, yet an amazing day nonetheless!