Lord Shiva is a Hindu God who is known and worshiped for many things and in many forms, one of them being for his love and habit of consuming Ganja. He is known as the ultimate Yogi, and it is believed that the Yoga and Tantra tradition originated from him.
Parvati was his wife. So it makes sense that the cultural hub for cannabis enthusiasts and Shiv devotees is named Parvati Valley. The name of the valley is so strong in spirituality and magnificence in itself that it draws goosebumps on me whenever I think of it. You have to be there to understand and feel the magistical beauty behind this name.
Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh is known as the Stoner’s Paradise. This is so because each corner, each street, each building, each hut, each cafe, each mountain, each rainfall, each snowfall, each sunshine, screams Cannabis. You wouldn’t find any weed there, just charas. The local people of this valley consider weed as garbage and they argue that why smoke weed when you have hash, and the world’s best that is. And so, me and my two friends decided to go there and explore the beautiful valley and experience what’s its like to indulge in a banned substance without any fear whatsoever.
It all started when I was touring Kanha National Park in March with my cousins and family members. I am a regular Marijuana user and each night there, when everyone would go off to sleep, I would roll some joints, go out of my room, and smoke amongst the nature. I fell in love with Nature. Smoking cannabis alone amidst thick forests ignited a feeling inside which I had never felt before. This feeling was new to me and I definitely wanted to explore more of it. Then while I was there, a friend called me up and I told him that we just had to go to Kasol. Parvati Valley is made up of many small villages named Kasol, Malana, Tosh, Rasol, Chalal, Manikaran etc. The youth around me, through word of mouth and social media, had made famous the place Kasol, not Parvati Valley itself. So when I scoured the internet about the place, I came to know that Kasol is just the tip of the iceberg. Now I was determined to travel there.
Me and my two friends made a plan that we would travel there in October, when there are Puja Holidays going on here in Kolkata. But we were eager, we loved cannabis. We couldn’t wait seven months when we knew what it had stored for us. So again I took to the internet and searched for the best time to travel to Parvati Valley. The best time to travel there is June-July. This is the time when the parties happen. This is the time when the crowd pours in. There is a difference between tourists and travellers. Tourists are people who come and take a few snaps, stay the night in a beautiful hotel and then move on to the next location. Travellers are people who live in whatever accommodation they get, they eat whatever food they get, they want to explore the place and learn about its culture and heritage, they bring their guitars, their books, they look to stay in a place for as long as they feel like and they are in no rush whatsoever. And after they feel satiated, they move on to the next destination. The crowd I was talking about earlier consists of travellers and not tourists. These are the people who listen to Bob Marley and Psytrance. These are the people who worship Shiva, these are the people with dreadlocks or not, with peace and Om tattoos or not, with pierced ears, pierced lips or not. These are the people who dress differently. They wear baggy shirts with different psychedelic designs or with Shiv illustrations, comfortable pants, or not. Whatever their appearance may be, one thing is common. All of them admire and cherish backpacking, trekking, meeting people, having a good time. These are the people who are cannabis enthusiasts, they like to come solo or in a couple or in small groups, just to unearth the feelings they know are somewhere deep inside of them. They come to meet different people of different countries with similar mindsets, similar hobbies and similar love for Cannabis.
Unfortunately we were travelling to Parvati valley in July end, when most of the crowd goes back or forward to the next destination. But the people we met and the times we had had us believed that the concept of time doesn’t exist in this place. If July end was this eventful, I wonder what goes on here in June. I plan to find out next year.
Anyway, the best week of my life was going to begin from 21st of July and I was way too excited and nothing seemed to go wrong. I was very happy with my life and my CFA level 2 results were to come out on the 26th and I was pretty confident I would pass it. I was on a high even before the trip started. Only, the worst thing happened to me just 2 days before we were to catch our flight. My girlfriend said that it wasn’t working out anymore and she wanted ‘some time off’. She had been telling me for a few days before that she thinks that I don’t feel for her the same way as I used to before. She said that I don’t understand her well enough as all her other friends do. This might be true, but it wouldn’t had she let me into her life a little bit more. It wouldn’t be true had she given me priority where it was due. It wouldn’t be true if she shared about her personal life, about what was going on with her. She always used to tell me about how her day went. She’s juggling between her college and tuition and she used to complain to me that she couldn’t meet me because she doesn’t have time. She never had time for me. Whenever she had time, she could never give it to me. She always had to attend these family functions, on Sundays she had to stay home and on Saturdays she would make some plans which never involved me. So naturally I would ask her to carve out a little time for me each week. And she got annoyed whenever I brought up this topic. Eventually I stopped bringing this topic up. I let her do whatever she wanted, I stopped arguing with her, not because I didn’t care, but because I could see that she didn’t like when I talked about what I wanted. Maybe this was the reason she thought I was not into her anymore. We’d been dating for nine months, and 3 years ago we dated for two months. And in between, there was never another girl for whom I took a fancy to. For the whole of three years all I wanted was to get back with her again. How could I stop loving her. How could she say that I don’t feel the same for her. Even if she met me, she would always have these time constraints. ‘I have just an hour’, ‘Today I can give two hours’. It was all in front of me. I could see it crystal clear she isn’t the one. But still I held on, cause I was in love. It is not necessary that the person you fall in love with is the right one. If I was with the right person, I wouldn’t have suffered the way I did. They say that the right person would make you a better person, you would go to sleep feeling content that you’re doing something right because of which the sleep would be like a baby’s. I never felt that. I always had this insecurity that she would break it off with me because her actions did not support the words she said. I was holed up, constrained, and back against a corner because I was scared by the fact that if she broke it off with me, I would be alone and no one would now call me at 10.30 in the night, no one would bid me good night as sweetly as she did. I was weak and my guard was as down as it ever had been. I had given it my all to this person. I’m a one girl person. And I make sure that that one person is the center of my attention. I expected the same from her, and this is where I went wrong. I know this that even she loved me too. Even she waited three years to get back together. It was her that called me up each time, texted me each time, even she gave it as much she could. She never had ANY wrong intentions in her heart. Her heart is as pure as it can get. Her innocence is very hard to come by and her innocence and truthfulness became my weakest point. I melted so easily whenever she said sorry to me because she meant it EACH time. This was her first major relationship and she couldn’t handle her personal and college life. I don’t blame her for that. Even I learned a lot from my first relationship. I could see that she was making the same mistakes I made when I was in my first relationship. And thus I knew that even after all that she was doing, her love for me was the same as the night she gave me a surprise on my birthday, the night we shared our first kiss. I invested a lot in her. It was true love. It feels pretty bad when an investment goes bad. And when an investment goes bad, you need something to numb the pain. And I can’t thank her enough for asking some time off just before our trip to Parvati Valley. I could never have broken up with her. How can I break it off with someone I love? I don’t understand the concept. But if the other person does it, you just suck it up and take it and move on. And what better way to do it than getting busy doing something you would love to do for the rest of your life in a place you would love to live for the rest of your life. 18th July was the first day I didn’t expect any call or message from her. And surprisingly I was okay with it. Maybe because just that day, I’d asked my ex why she’d broken up with me all those years ago, because I never actually knew and I wanted to know where I went wrong with her and whether it was the same reason why it was all happening again, and she told me her reason and she also said that sometimes distance is all that is needed and that it would be alright. So feeling a bit hopeful, when I was asked for some time off, I told her she could have as much time as she needed.
I did not tell any of this to my two friends. I was pretty confident she would come around. I wanted her to. And so, with two days remaining for our trip to begin, I tried to focus on what’s to come and not what’s on the rear.
21st July. Our flight was from Kolkata to Delhi at 11 am. We had to go through the checkpoint in the airport and thus we had to throw away the precious kief that had been collected all these months at the bottom of the crusher. With heavy hearts, heavier mine, we boarded the plane and took off.
At Delhi, we took to Quora to find out about weed sellers in Delhi. We found one and we took around 20 grams of weed. We should’ve taken more because unknown to us at that point, we thought we would get quality weed in PV. I personally like to smoke weed rather than hash because I like the strong smell of weed rather than the sweet aroma of hash. Anyway, from Delhi, we had to board a bus that would take us upto Bhuntar, which is around 1 hour bus ride away from Kasol. The bus we boarded in Delhi was a Volvo and its fare was ₹1000 which was okay for a 12 hour long journey. The semi sleeper seats were quite comfortable and the bus provided free WiFi through which one could stream some pre loaded movies and shows. Apart from this, there was also a common TV inside the bus and at around 8 o clock, they played a movie for the whole bus. We were least interested in it. We were busy rolling joints for the upcoming stop for dinner. Just like us, there were two other guys in their second year of college who were going to Kasol. Even they were least interested in the movie and were busy rolling their own joints. We followed an untold policy : when the bus stop, you smoke pot. The first stop the bus made was around 9.30 pm for dinner. We got down, we smoked, we ate, we came back, we put on our headphones, leaned backed, and tripped. Next there was a stop at around 4 in the morning. The dhaba(a kind of restaurant) where the bus had stopped served us Omelette and Aloo Paratha. And then, the owner of the dhaba played the Bhole Nath Song. This was the first time we tasted a bit of Parvati Valley. Four in the morning. And the speakers blasted with ‘Bum Bum Bhole Bhole’. Oh how I forgot all about my life in Kolkata. Bhuntar was nearing.
The bus took another two hours to reach Bhuntar at around 6.30 in the morning. The driver was driving the bus as if he had been given controls to the ProgenT20 in GTA V. Making overtakes at will, the driver knew the roads inside out. And what’s more, not a single jerk was experienced while we were riding. The ride was as smooth as Kevin Hart’s impersonation of The Rock. There is also an airport at Bhuntar so instead of going to Delhi and taking a bus upto there, one could take a flight to Bhuntar, but it would be expensive because flights to Bhuntar are very rare. We and the other two guys got down and got up in a local bus that would take us upto Kasol. The same bus would drop you at Jari which comes before Kasol, and from there one could go to Malana. Or, you could cross Kasol and get down at Manikaran or further yet, Barsheni or Tosh.
The local bus ride was fun. It was a typical Indian local bus with all its parts vibrating when the driver sped up over 20 and the loud sound it produced when revving up was deafening. We had this Bose portable speaker with us and we blasted it full sound to drain the bus’s noise. In the bus, there were many people other than locals who had come to visit PV. One such group sat beside and around us and they were enjoying the music we were playing – Psytrance. It was seven in the morning in a local bus on the way to a village not heard by major part of Indian crowd and Vini Vici was playing at full volume, and no one batted an eye. Instead, the people who were going to Kasol just like us, started rocking to the beats, just like us. Two minutes into the bus and this was the scene. We were to spend five nights there.
The local bus ride, though jerky and uncomfortable was an experience in itself. The roads were narrow, mountain wall on the right side and a fall straight to hell on the left, and the driver was driving as if there was no tomorrow. It was exhilarating.
We reached Kasol around 9 am. We bid farewell to the other two guys and went to find a place to stay. Kasol is small. You could walk from one end to the other in 20 minutes. There are numerous cafes in Kasol. There were shops which sold local clothes and gloves and other items of daily need. Not many people inhabit the area and the major source of income is tourism, which is prevalent because of the cannabis. Now, we were looking to score the moment we set down our foot there. The locals would see a backpack at your back, and they would ask you to buy hash from them because even they know what you want. But I would tell you to have patience. Do not buy hash from just anyone offering it to you. Not that it is dangerous to buy stuff from them, no one is going to report you to anyone. But because the quality of hash differs and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you would get ripped off. We did. More of it a bit later. Anyway, we looked for some hotels. The place is abound with hotels and guesthouses. Although lodging there is very cheap, I would suggest that you stay in the Kasol camp. It is cheap, the tents looked clean and equipped with all the essentials and the camp is situated right by the river and well maintained. Staying in the camp would give you the feel which you would not get staying in a hotel. I wanted to stay in the camp, so did my other two friends, but somehow we ended up staying in the best hotel Kasol had to offer. Alpine guest house is probably situated at the best location, right beside the Parvati River. It is not just a building with rooms to let, it has two to three small two storey houses with rooms whose doors open to the view of the Parvati river and the mountains beyond. The wind flow there is strong and magnificently fresh and in front of the houses is a dining area for all the guests staying there. The dining area is an open one, with just a roof to protect the diners from rain and sun rays. There is also a cute small table for two which is five to six paces away from the dining area and it descents two steps, closer to the river. When we entered the hotel premises, the cute table was occupied with a couple, the girl was rolling a joint.
One thing you should know about PV, there is no place, public or private, where you cannot smoke. Joint, Chillam, Pipe, Bong, Vape, whatever your preference might be, you just go at it. NO problem whatsoever.
People in PV do not like to speak and argue much. They just want peace and hence, they just do not fucking like to bargain. No point bargaining. Its already cheap and they do not entertain people who come and bargain for a price which is already low. You would get rooms there for as low as Rs. 300. But Alpine was a bit on the expensive side and the rooms started there for 1200 all the way up to 2000. I would recommend that if you do plan to stay in Alpine(I would still recommend Kasol Camp), go for the 1200 room because you just have to spend the night there. You haven’t gone there to enjoy hotels, you went there to enjoy nature. Its in the ground floor and provides the same view as the Rs 2000 room which is in the first floor. The only difference is room space and I don’t know, I didn’t see much difference.
After we checked into the hotel, my two friends got down to rest while I was rolling the last few joints of weed that still remained from the previous day. I rolled two, went down to the dining area, found an empty table, took the Bose with me and smoked, alone. The first smoke in The Stoner’s Paradise with Parvati flowing with full force right beside me. This was the first time in 3 days when I was alone and it was the perfect time for me to contemplate my personal life. This was the first time I realized that I felt alone without her. I wanted her to text me or call me. She didn’t.
Soon, both of them came down and we went to get something to eat and score some hash. The cafes in PV are very famous. The food here is exquisitely delicious. Go to any cafe, I’m hundred percent sure that the food would be amazing. You get myriad of cuisines ranging from Indian, Chinese, Italian, Israeli etc. The pizza here is especially an item to try. In all our five days in PV, we couldn’t find one place whose pizza wasn’t up to the mark and then some. Just a bit of advice, the place floods with Israelis, PV is also known as Mini Israel. So, the food here is made according to the tastes of foreigners and the normal Indian would find the dishes here sans the amount of spices they are used to, so you could tell the food preparer in advance that you want it made with the amount of spices an Indian would like.
We had researched about the good cafes in and around Kasol and there is a cafe called Shiv Shanti Cafe. We entered this cafe and we were mesmerized by the setting. There were no chairs, instead, floor mats and mattresses were spread across the floor and low height tables were put on each mattress. Along with the mattress, pillows and cushions and Massands (a type of cylindrical stuffed, hard pillow) were provided. We couldn’t see the walls. Because it was covered with semi transparent psychedelic pieces of cloth and shiv posters. There were also black lights which must turn on when the sun set. And as is obvious, there were speakers with loud base. Basically, the point was to let the customers come in, smoke and let them trip.
We asked the server to bring us the best dish they provided, he served us pizza. And man was it good. Our city pizza chains are nothing compared to what they serve. The lodging here might be cheap, but the food is fairly priced. And rightly so.
We also asked whether he could hook us with some hash. It was a stupid question. Everyone in PV could hook you up with hash. If you ask this, it would mean that you’re new there and they would try to rip you off by saying that the stuff they are providing is real Malana cream and charge you super extra. Keep one thing in mind, people there will try their best to shake off more money from you for stuff that costs way less. Before coming here, we’d asked and searched the internet about how could we score hash around here, and we were told that wherever you buy it from, the seller would make a joint as a sample and let you smoke it to see the quality of the stuff. But there was nothing of this sort. If you wanted a sample, they would give it you for around ₹300. One joint for ₹300! We still tried it, it was good, but it wasn’t Malana Cream. We wanted M fucking cream – The world’s best hash. Anyway, we asked him the price of the stuff and he quoted it at ₹2000 per Tola or T. One Tola actually is 11.66 grams. But in PV, one T equals to 10gms. We weren’t going to spend ₹2000 for hash that was not M Cream. Another thing to keep in mind : if the seller quotes a price, say ₹2000 and you’re hundred percent sure that the stuff isn’t M cream, you counter and you quote ₹1000 for example. What I mean is don’t be afraid to half the sellers quote. If you’re not a local there, there is a 99% chance you’ll be paying way too much. And if you’re a foreigner, there’s a 100% chance you’ll pay more. Another advice : do not buy stuff from cafes, buy from local village houses. The cafe owners go and buy from these houses and they re-sell to customers at exorbitant prices. So it’s cheaper to go straight to village houses and score from there. They wouldn’t quote you the price they quote to the cafe owners but you would save quite a lot if instead you’d bought from the cafes.
Malana Cream. There is not some special plant or some special recipe from which M cream is made. The plants are the same. The difference lies in HOW the stuff is rubbed. The real M cream has no chemicals in it. It is pure THC. Rubbing one Tola of MC takes time. The villagers put the extracted oil from the plant and they put it on bare bodies of children and let it dry off. And then they start rubbing it after taking it off the bodies of children. This is the reason why it is said that you aren’t supposed to touch the children in the Malana Village. I would say more about Malana towards the end.
Here is how you can differentiate between MC and normal hash that has chemicals in it. When you break MC, the inside would be pure brown, it would stick to your hands and the aroma will be super strong and extremely sweet. But when you break hash that has chemicals in it, it wouldn’t be as brown and the aroma would be quite less. The biggest and most prominent way to differentiate between M Cream and normal hash is that the normal hash wouldn’t stick to your hands. It becomes hard when you leave it open. Whereas MC does not fucking get hard. It’s a cream. It sticks and you have to rub it off hard to take it off your skin and still some would remain and eventually you would have to wash it or lick it off (like I do) by your teeth cause it won’t come off by the pressure of your tongue alone.
After getting out of Shiv Shanti, I called one of my friends and asked him from where to score some quality hash. He directed us towards an Oh Magic View guest house and cafe (Oh Magic View Facebook) . This cafe can be reached after crossing the bridge from New Kasol and on the way to Chalal. The bridge is suspended over the Parvati river and can only be walked upon. Don’t be frightened by the swaying of the bridge, it is very safe but it would be prudent if you do not stay on the bridge for photographs, as there has been accidents there before. You could take as many photographs as you can once you cross the bridge and are safely on the other side.
After walking for 5 minutes on the other side of the bridge, we saw a sign for Oh Magic View. We had to climb some stairs to reach there.
Notice the Om sign on the top right of the notice board. You would have to get used to the various mentions to the Hindu Gods especially Shiva.
When we reached Oh Magic, the view and scene there was glorious. There was a hippie crowd already there smoking chillum. The crowd included Indians and foreigners all gathered around a table and smoking and passing the chillum after they had their turn. There were big ass speakers and Bob Marley was setting the tone of the evening. And because Oh Magic is sort of up in the mountains, and because it was an open area with no windows, you could see the mountains and the sky in all its vastness. The weather was perfect. Not chilly, and definitely not warm. And people were indulging and just having some quality time. And amongst the crowd was also the cafe owner, Raju Da, for whom all this was a daily affair. We straight up asked him for hash, and he straight up asked us to follow him to a room where all his stuff was stashed. He showed us his hash, we couldn’t know whether it was MC or not because we hadn’t seen it before, but the stuff was definitely much better than what we got in Shiv Shanti. He quoted us ₹3000. We got it down to ₹2500. Yes we got ripped off there, and we would realize it later. The stuff wasn’t bad, but we could’ve easily gotten it for ₹1500. Anyway, we spent around 3-4 hours there, smoking and eating and I could tell you with authority that if you come here once, you would come here again. This place was mesmerizing. And all this when it was striking 4 in the afternoon. Just imagine what would be the scene here at nights, June nights.
We climbed down and we sat by the river for half an hour with our headphones on, just soaking in the the view that was before us. All of us were pretty buzzed with the smoke sesh we just had. We wanted peace, so we found a spot right by the river and watched it just rushing down. If something were to be dropped in the river, you would see it shatter into a million pieces in seconds. The force of the river was extraordinarily strong and fierce. All my thoughts about my love life shattered into a million pieces and pretty soon I was left thoughtless. I’d forgotten that I was supposed to feel dejected, this feeling was so uplifting, I could spend all day there. Unfortunately, we were tourists, not travelers.
Next, we asked around for Evergreen cafe. Evergreen cafe is supposedly the best cafe in Kasol. It is located on the Manikaran road, a five minute walk from Kasol bus stand. In almost all the blogs that we’d checked, this cafe is mentioned everywhere. We were eager to see what the hype is all about. Well it is hyped because its not like all the other cafes there. This place had good interiors, proper waiters, good seating arrangement, amazing ambience, outdoor open space for candlelight dinner, indoor space for small and large groups. And yep, you could smoke anywhere. The music here was also different, they were playing ambient tracks in low volume when we visited them for dinner. This was the only cafe which we visited which was full of people. Other cafes were empty because of the off season. But here, it is always on season. The food on offer was of several cuisines and you would get tired reading off the whole menu. Just order anything, food in Parvati Valley wouldn’t let you down. Just always remember to tell them to make it a bit spicy otherwise it would come fika(less salt and spices). After eating, and shopping for chillum and some rolling papers (we were out), I came back to our hotel, while the other two went to play snooker.
There is something about night time. Why do we miss the ones we love at night? I kept waiting for my girl to contact me. In the end, when I couldn’t just stay without talking to her, I sent her a love sticker in Facebook messenger. She used to love to send these stickers to me. I hoped she would melt and come back, or at least reply. I was pretty confident she would. She didn’t. While my friends were out playing snooker, I rolled one joint of weed that was still kept in my bag from Delhi, went by the river and smoked up. I felt really unwell after that, and then I put myself to sleep.
23rd July. We woke up and got fresh. We had planned to visit the famous Gurudwara in Manikaran and then we were to go to Tosh. Manikaran is around 5 km from Kasol. You could take a taxi or get up in a local bus which comes all the way from Bhuntar. I would suggest to take a local bus, the taxi would charge you Rs 100 per head for a 5 km ride which would take 15 mins to cover. We got down at Manikaran and stepped downwards to enter the Gurudwara. None of us are big on religion or spiritual worship. No sooner did we we enter the Gurudwara than we left it. All three of us entered, saw each other’s faces and without communicating, it was decided that we didn’t want to stay there. Nevertheless, the hot spring inside the Gurudwara is a must visit. They say the water is holy and you would feel at peace once you take a bath in it. But because we already had plans to take a shower in the hot spring at Kheerganga, we decided to skip it.
We then waited for another bus that would take us up to Barsheni (last bus stop). We wanted to ride on top of the bus and so we asked the driver whether it was okay if we climbed up. He nodded and up we went with our rucksacks. As soon as we placed our rucksacks on the roof of the bus, a local guy asked us to come down because he said it would be really dangerous to ride up top because there were sharp turns ahead and if we were to dis-balance and fall down, we would fall off the mountain. Understanding this, we came down at once, leaving our rucksacks at the roof, untied.
The next two hours we were really tensed. What if the rucksack fell down? Each sharp turn the bus made, we looked sideways and back way to check whether our bags had fallen down. Nonetheless we joked about it and had a good laugh which kept the tension at bay. Thankfully when we got down at Barsheni, our bags were still there.
Now, from Barsheni, one could trek upto Tosh through the shortcut which went through the mountains or you could trek by road. Or instead, you could hire a taxi which would drop you at the starting point of Tosh. The Tosh village itself is not motorable. The taxi would just drop you till its starting point and then the village starts after you cross a small bridge. We were told by a traveler to take the shortcut through the mountains. We took it. The trek had been closed for the people who were not locals and it was closed by a gate, but we went around it anyway, cause what’s the fun travelling by road when you could climb the mountain.
This trek was much fun. We started climbing around two o clock and after about one hour of climbing, we came across a dead end! With heavy rucksacks on our backs, it would be stupid to go downhill again. We had been following a trail made by regular trekkers and it had come to a stop at a wall. Now the wall stretched either side for as long as the eyes could see and it wasn’t made on a flat land, it was on a mountain, so the height of the mountain and the wall kept rising the more forward our eyes wandered. We looked around for 15 minutes hoping we would spot some trail that would lead us forward but to no avail. The only option left for us was to climb over the 6 feet wall to the other side. We made this decision based on a cow that we could see on the other side and on the presumption that the cow was part of some livestock and that if we climbed the wall, surely we would meet some locals who would direct us in the right way.
Okay, one word of advice here : If you have brought too much luggage with you, or your rucksacks are too heavy for you to carry through a trek, there is always an option to leave most of your stuff and take only the essentials along. In Kasol, there is a shop just outside Alpine where you could leave your bag for Rs. 10 per day. You could also leave your bags at Barsheni in any of the Dhabas there. And don’t worry, people of PV might rip you off while selling hash, they would never steal.
As soon as we climbed to the other side, we found the trail again to our relief. We followed it and soon we could see what the wall was protecting. It was a Hydro Power Project Plant. Yes we trespassed. Within moments we were faced with another choice, there was a dirt road on which we could clearly see tire marks. We didn’t know whether to take a left or right. We opened google maps and to our horror, it showed us that after so much of trekking and confusion, we’d come just 1/8th of the way from Barsheni. We freaked out, it was already 4.30 and the sun there set at 7. We didn’t have water, nor torch, nor food. Another thing freaked us out was that according to the map, we neither had to take a left nor right, Tosh was showing straight up ahead. 7/8th more to go!!
Another word of advice : When you are in a mountain and especially on a trek, google maps would do shit for you. How could freaking google know where the trek trail to Tosh is and that too from a freaking power plant that is uninhabited.
After much freaking out, we found a person sitting at the far end of the power plant and he understood that we were lost. He pointed that we had to take a right from that dirt road. We took it and we saw the actual entrance of the plant after walking for a few minutes.
From there it was around another half an hour trek to the Tosh staring point. There were no more shortcuts. From the power plant gate, normal road to Tosh had to be followed. Once we were assured that we were now on the right path and that Tosh would take just another half hour to reach, we sat down on the ground and started to roll.
After smoking some joints, we didn’t feel like walking anymore. We decided to hail a cab upto Tosh. Luckily we found a cab coming down from Tosh, we flagged him and he dropped us up to the starting point.
There was a small connector bridge, crossing which the village of Tosh started. This side of the bridge had a parking space for the all the taxis and tourist vehicles. If you don’t wanna ride in taxis or local buses and if you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, Royal Enfields can be hired for Rs. 1000 per day. There were a lot of Royal Enfields in the parking area.
Tosh is the most beautiful village of PV, hands down. The village structure is somewhat like a tree with various branches. There is one narrow ‘main road’ which is walked upon by the people. The road never descents when you go straight, if you want to move further, the only way is up and there is no provision of any vehicle. You have to use your elevens. The main road had side paths emerging from it which led to different cafes and guesthouses. We wanted to stay at the very top of Tosh. So we had to climb for another half an hour with our heavy rucksacks, which we were cursing with each step we took upwards. Seriously, leave your excess luggage at Kasol if you really want to enjoy the way.
With great pain to our bodies and with greater determination to reach the top, we reached Hotel Hill Top. Its at the very top. It was just a building with 3 floors and each floor had rooms to let. At first, we didn’t just jump into our rooms even when we had been trekking for god knows how long and even when our bodies were totally tired and exhausted. We got into the cafe of the hotel. This cafe was larger than the rest of the cafes we’d gone to by then. One part of the cafe had an elevated stage on which mattresses and low height tables were provided along with mussunds and pillows. The other part had tables and chairs like normal restaurants. We obviously took to the mattresses. There we rolled some joints and listened to psytrance by connecting my phone to the amazing speakers they had. After spending a few hours there, we finally checked into our rooms. The room was the best room we could’ve get. The hotelier quoted us the room price at Rs. 700. Naturally, because I’m a marwari, I counter quoted him Rs. 500. Very calmly, he pointed his fingers towards hotels that we’d left behind and he told us to stay there where we would get rooms for 500. It didn’t matter to him one bit that it was the off season and there were few customers, he would take Rs. 700, that’s it, no matter whether the customer returns away. This was the moment I understood how things happen in PV.
The room was carpeted, had a comfortable bed, a fully functional HD TV and a sofa set. There was also a balcony which opened into heaven. The room was in the top floor and it was right on the edge of the mountain. We were staying at the top of the Hill Top Hotel which was situated at the top of the mountain right at the edge. When you opened the balcony door, layers of mountains would greet your eyes along with the water flowing from one of them with great force. The balcony was weirdly engineered. It was an extension of the room, and it protruded from the building, there was nothing below the the balcony, it wasn’t in the building plan. More over, there was just the front railing on the balcony, there were no side railings. You could fall off to death if you weren’t careful. The balcony floor was just large enough for three people to sleep in. We took the mattress from the bed, placed it on the balcony, took out the Bose, rolled some joints, smoked ’em, and then tripped while lying on the balcony on the edge with just the sky above and the mountains around.
I don’t think I’m articulate enough to explain what I was feeling while on that balcony. A lot of things had to fall in place, a lot of things had to happen for us to enjoy that particular moment. That feeling could not be recreated no matter how hard we tried. We had the hash, we were in the magical Tosh, we had the perfect music, we had the perfect room, the perfect surroundings, the perfect level of physical tiredness, and all of them fell in place together and that feeling was borne.
We spent some time there and then we came down to eat. We weren’t going to go to the hill top cafe again. There are many cafes in Tosh. There is one cafe called Pink Floyd Cafe. We couldn’t go there but as you can understand from the name, that place is a must visit. Anyway, there is another cafe, I forgot its name, right below the Pink Floyd Cafe and that is pretty good too.
Shiv|Mountain|Shanti|Snow|View|River – Connect any two words and put a ‘cafe’ at the end, there will be a same named cafe there in PV.
Anyway, the setting was a bit different there. There was an indoor and outdoor setting. The indoor was the same as all the other cafes I’ve described earlier. The outdoor was basically a porch where tables and chairs were put along with music and star lights hanging on each table. All the tables were occupied with foreigners and all of them were having a smoke sesh. We started our own sesh. After smoking and eating Falafel and peanut butter pancake, we came back to Hill Top. One of my friends went back to the hotel to sleep, the other stayed with me to listen to some music. There was a provision of table and chairs right outside the hill top cafe. It was pretty chilly and the moon was shining right on top of us. We sat there and listened to some music and soon, the other friend went to the room too. I was alone again. I always tried to carve out some alone time for myself because I wanted to contemplate and salvage my feelings. On one hand, I was on the verge of a break up, and on the other hand I was having the time of my life. It was all very confusing. I tried to get lost in the music. It helped salvaging. While I was listening to music on the Bose, I couldn’t stand it anymore and shot my girl a text. I waited for her reply, it didn’t come. She was probably asleep, I told myself. A street dog came and lay right by my feet listening to the ambient music and soon he dozed off soundly. I got up and went to my room.
24th July. I woke up and I had a text waiting. She said that she would talk to me when I came back. I said fine with a heavy heart. We were to trek to Kheerganga. Kheerganga is a 13 km trek from Barsheni. I was dreading it not because I was scared by the 6 hour trek, but because I was feeling extremely weak, which was because of all the hash we were smoking and the junk food we were having. My body couldn’t take it. I would like to mention it to you, that I didn’t fall ill because hash was bad for my body. It was because we mix tobacco with the hash. Hash is not harmful, tobacco is, you can research it. I have absolutely no idea why cannabis is banned and not tobacco or alcohol. Cannabis has literally zero reported deaths and zero cases of Over Dosing. And more over, the hash is from PV. Pure stuff. I would outrage on this topic on another blog.
Anyway, We would have to go back to Barsheni and then trek from there. We took a cab this time and went till Barsheni. I wasn’t feeling very well, so I had a head massage done after which I was feeling a little better. Learning from our previous mistake, this time we took all that was necessary from our rucksacks, bare minimums, and put it in a smaller bag. We kept our rucksacks in a cafe called Bhoj Cafe in Barsheni main road. He would charge us Rs 200 per day for all the three rucksacks. Pretty fair deal I would say. Next we took a cab which would drop us at the starting point of the trek. It wasn’t necessary at all to book a cab. Turns out, there’s a staircase sort of right ahead of Barsheni in front of the dam which would take us straight to the starting point.
We started to climb at around 1 o clock when there was full sun blowing right on top of our heads. I fell seriously ill after climbing just one kilometer. I couldn’t climb anymore. We were sitting inside a shaded tent to decide what to do next, and I suggested to the other two that they should continue with the climb while I would stay at a hotel that was just right there after a five minute climb and I argued that Kheerganga shouldn’t be missed after coming all the way from Kolkata. Being the considerate friends that they are, they said that we’ll all be going to KG together or not at all. After much discussion we decided that we would check into that hotel and I would rest for a few hours and if I felt alright, only then would we continue our climb. We all agreed and checked into the new hotel that was actually a two storeyed residence with rooms to let.
After selling into the room, I fell right asleep but in between I could still hear both of them rolling and smoking and listening to the Bose. After I woke up, one of my friends ordered me a Ginger Lemon Honey which is a drink that you must have if you’re giving your lungs a test. Every cafe, every stall made this particular drink because everyone would drink it because of the amount of smoke they inhaled each day. It acts as an intoxicant. After drinking that, I came out of the room and the scene was fucking beautiful outside. The sun was just beginning to set and there was a mini open hall in front of our room which had a table and chairs around it. On the table were many varieties of rolling papers set, the ball of hash was lying on one side, and there were two glasses of empty ginger lemon honey. The Bose was on full blast and there was a joint in one of my friend’s hand and he was smoking that shit out, non stop. The resident’s many children were playing on the courtyard on the floor below us. Now I won’t exaggerate here. This hotel was on a bit of a height and we were the only customers there and it was the only hotel in that area. Snow View Hotel. Sitting on the table and looking straight ahead and around, you could just see mountains colored orange by the light strokes of sun rays that broke free from the clouds. It was beautiful. The atmosphere that was set, we could live like that forever. I was suddenly feeling a lot better. We then decided to visit the cafe that was just below us, on the way to the the trek of Kheerganga, Mountain Shiv Cafe, or was it Shiv Mountain? Something like that. And let me tell you before hand, the best experience we had was in this cafe. If you ever do plan to visit PV and go on the trek of Kheerganga, visit and spend time in this cafe :
When we entered it, there was no one around, and music was playing through an unattended phone which was hanging by the AUX cable. When we checked the phone, its battery was low so we quickly connected our power bank to it so that the music doesn’t stop playing. After we sat down to crush our stuff and roll our joints, one of the co owners, who goes by the name of Lambu (he was a tall person, and hence the name) entered the cafe and asked us whether we wanted to smoke a chillum, to which we said yes, but we conveyed to him that we had left our chillums back in Barsheni to which he smiled, went in the kitchen and brought his own wooden chillum. We showed him the stuff we’d gotten from Oh Magic, and he said, still smiling, that it wasn’t the original MC and we could’ve gotten the same stuff for Rs. 1500. Feeling cheated, we smoked the chillum and then Lambu started telling us stories about Parvati Valley. He told us that even Manali at some point of time was just like PV. But because of the boom in tourism, the real Manali had been lost and the people of PV didn’t want their home to become like that. He said that because of the amount of popularity PV had gained in the last few years, he was scared that it would turn into another Manali, packed with tourists and hotels and garbage and slowly, the open hash that is prevalent here, would disappear. And it is actually happening. There has been a movie made named ‘M Cream’ which released on 22nd July. Although, the movie makers targeted only the stoners of the country, still the place is now known to many people and they would soon flock it and very little of the crowd would respect the culture there. So I would suggest that if you’re liking what you read here, go and visit PV before it turns into a common tourist spot and ruins everything.
We were chatting and smoking chillum when two people entered the cafe. A very cute Indian couple who later turned out to be the cafe owners. The girl was more bubbly and cute than she was beautiful. She saw us, didn’t speak a word, came and sat right beside us. Then she started showing us these pictures of her and her boyfriend of a trip they’d made to Manali. She was wearing a cute blue one piece and her head was covered with a cute beanie cap, which made her look so freaking cute, she could give competition to Pikachu. She opened her coat, got comfortable and started showing us these cute pieces of handmade jewelry that she’d bought from Manali. Inadvertently, she gave a piece of jewelry to my friend, so that he could give it to his girlfriend. She asked me whether I had a girlfriend, I didn’t reply. She understood from my silence that it would be nice to change the subject and then she started talking about hash. All this while the boyfriend was just sitting and admiring her. The boyfriend was a proper hippie. Long hair tied in a ponytail, wearing a sleeveless shirt with psychedelic illustration and pierced ears and lips. He took out his stash of hash and started making a bowl for the chillum. He then passed around the chillum like he knew us for ages. While the chillum was being passed around, he was looking here and there for an empty plastic bottle. He found one, made a hole in it mid way, took out a downstem and stuck it in the hole. Next, he was packing a bowl for the bong he’d made in 10 seconds. The couple then shared stories and we had a great time listening to them. They told us that once in their cafe, a Korean guy had come and he’d smoked a lot and drank a lot and that he went ‘psycho’ and then ran away from the cafe. He said the guy was never found. The local hippies in PV refer to any guy who does weird shit as going ‘psycho’. It’s like its permanently fit in their vocabulary, they wouldn’t say that the person was high or drunk, they’d just say he went ‘psycho’.
All this while, the music was playing and we were going into the trippy zone. Soon the atmosphere changed when the friends of the cafe owners joined us. They’d just come from a drinking session and were ready for the smoke sesh. The volume of the music increased, and sometime in the middle, they played a local shiv song, which was sung by a local band, and it was so FUCKING good, we just got lost in it. Each and every single person knew the lyrics of the song and it was so melodic. We even asked the song and the band name, but as stupid as we are, we didn’t write it down anywhere and we missed it when we wanted to hear it again the next day when we’d left the place. Trust me, I searched the internet for more than 5-6 hours after coming back to Kolkata but to no avail. I tried every key word possible. But if someone plays me that song again, I’m sure I would recognize it at once.
Anyway, soon we were hungry and my friends wanted beer. I’m not big on beer when I smoke, cause I think that beer would mar the high that hash gets you. Nonetheless, we asked the owner for beer, he didn’t have any. So he asked one of his drunk friends to get it for us and in spite of the state he was in, he obliged at once and got us beer within 10 minutes. We’d asked for some normal food, rice and pulse. They were more than happy to make it and then hilarity ensued when they started making it. Nobody was in a state to make food for us, and the comedy that followed when they made serious attempts to even walk in a straight line was hilarious. One hour passed and we were in the belief that food was being prepared, it wasn’t. Soon the boyfriend realized it and then he himself got up to make food for us. And when he brought it, we just devoured it. We were having rice and pulse after such a long time and it was made to perfection. The other guys had their dinner as well.
While we were still there my friend told me that it would be fun to tell all these stories to our girlfriends back home. That’s when I told him that it wasn’t probably gonna happen because we’d broken up, sort of, yet, hopefully. That’s when both of my friends looked at me in disbelief. They always used to say jokingly that my girlfriend was jaali (defective) but they never meant it. According to them, she was the best girlfriend I could ever ask for, and they kind of shouted at me for letting it all come to this point. I told them that I never wanted to break it off with her, she did. That’s when they didn’t say another word. He handed me a bottle of beer. No, actually I kinda snatched one bottle from him cause they weren’t giving it to me because I’d denied earlier, because I didn’t want to mar the hash high. Mocking me for denying earlier and then taking their portion, we laughed the sadness off.
Then out of nowhere, I received a text from her which said that she loved me and she missed me. I was waiting for it for so long. All my sadness evaporated in an instant. This is the power which she had over me. She could make or break my mood by just a small text. I texted her back that I missed her too and then she said she just wanted me to come back. Then I texted her asking that whether she was alright, I didn’t get a reply. Then I left her a text saying that I love her and I wanted her back. Then, nothing. She was probably asleep, I told myself.
Me and one of my friends went out to the open mini hall outside our room, took the Bose, and talked about how fortunate we were to have stayed here when we had no plans of doing so. After a short while, I came back to my room to sleep.
25th July. I woke up hoping to see a text from her. I got excited when I saw multiple whatsapp messages from multiple chats, I was hoping and pretty confident that one of them must be hers. I opened my whatsapp full of positivity and enthusiasm. No text. Disheartened, I packed my bags, we were to complete our trek to Kheerganga. 12 kms to go.
We started at around 10 am in the morning. Full of vigour after a good night’s sleep, we made a plan to reach at the top by 4 in the afternoon. The trek to Kheerganga is pretty easy at the beginning. There is regular upward slopes and downward slopes and straight paths. We were told that there is a village after 2 kms from our hotel, and we decided to make our first stop there. And as we had exhausted our 10 gms of hash the previous night, we had to score some more, but this time, we would be cautious and we were not going to be ripped off. Along with us, there were three dogs who started following us from the hotel we were staying in. We didn’t mind them and we fed them biscuits regularly. They had developed a strong liking to us.
When we reached the village, we bought some good old Parle-G biscuits for the dogs and some Maaza bottles for ourselves. Then we asked around for people who would sell us hash. We found one seller who was selling us hash balls, 8 gms for Rs. 1500. We told ourselves that we wouldn’t just buy from the first seller we met and then started our trek again. After walking for around 15 minutes, with the dogs following us, we went to a village house and asked for hash. The guy took us outside his home and showed us his stuff. It was pretty good, but still it wasn’t Malana Cream. He told us that if we wanted good stuff, we should’ve come in October cause that’s when the crops are harvested. Anyway, the stuff was better than what we’d gotten in Oh Magic and he quoted us Rs 1500 and we got it down to 1400. After buying the stuff, we started trekking again. With just our small bags to carry, we did not find the trek to be tiring at all. But we were completing the easy part then. The main part was yet to come.
After finishing another 4 km, there came a small bridge, crossing which the real uphill trek would begin. But before the bridge, it was a large flat land with many cafes to feed the trekkers. Although it was off season, there were many trekkers there, both foreigners and Indians. People were sitting in different groups on the grass and indulging in hash while the cafe owners brought them food, music was playing from different parts of the flat land and it was a very happy atmosphere. We didn’t stop because we’d just taken rest 1 km back. We crossed the small bridge and we could see the proper uphill trek starting from there. After crossing the bridge, there is just uphill trek for all of the remaining 6 kilometers. Its gonna be exhausting, trust me.
One of my friends had fallen behind, so we were waiting for him on the bridge and that’s when I took this video :
While we were waiting, I saw this couple, both had backpacks, and were holding each other’s hands and were just going to start the uphill trek to Kheerganga. I got nostalgic. I imagined coming to PV with the one person with whom I’d like to spend my life with. What could be better, I asked myself. I reached out into my pocket, took out my phone, still no message from her. I swallowed my ego and texted her again asking her to reply. She did reply and asked me she had nothing to say. I was shocked. Then she said that love and compatibility were not the same thing and that she would talk to me when I returned. I was dumbstrucked. Just 16 hours ago she was missing me. And now she was saying something totally different. She had no right to play with my feelings. She shouldn’t have given me hope when she had no intention to melt. Angry this time, I replaced the phone in my pocket and focused on the hash I was going to smoke and forget all about it.
The other friend joined us and we took off together to complete the next 6 km stretch. We climbed for 15 minutes and came to an opening which was a large flat land and other people were taking a break. It was here that me met Matan and Shivam. Both of them were solo travellers, and while Matan was from Israel, Shivam was from Agra. Matan was 20 years of age and Shivam was 19. Shivam didn’t even have facial hair, he was so young and still he had come all the way from Agra, to solo travel PV. Like us, even he was in love with Cannabis. Both of them had met on the way to Kheerganga and had decided to trek and stay together there, and would make further plans when the time came – they were travelers. We went and started a chat with them. In the mean time, we showed each other the stuff we had with us, and they said that our stuff was far better than what they had got and for a good price too. Feeling content, we rolled two joints, one from their stuff, one from our stuff, and we smoked and had a good chat with Matan, who was asking us questions about India, and we were asking questions about Israel. Matan was also a cannabis enthusiast and he liked to roll, so after he rolled both the joints, and we smoked them, he said ‘chalna chahiye ab’ (we should start to move now) and we realized that yeah, this stop was longer than we had planned. So, I woke up the dog who had slept while we were smoking, the same dog that had been following us since Snow View Hotel, and we started to get a move on. This dog was the only dog that still followed us, while the other two had wandered off somewhere.
On the way, we met many other people, one group amongst them were Punjabis in their late thirties. They were sitting on the rocks to rest and my friends stopped with them to chat while I moved along. 30 seconds later, I heard my friend shout out my name and he bellowed that the Punjabi guys had weed with them. I ran back as fast as I could. Though the weed that they had was of pretty low quality, it was still something. Matan asked the guys to roll for them. (I don’t know what fun he was experiencing by rolling the joints, he seemed pretty happy to do it). We smoked that one joint and chatted. One of the Punjabi guys was quite fascinated by the way Matan was talking, maybe his accent intrigued him, and he invited Matan to a wedding of one of his family members and Matan accepted the invitation with grace. They exchanged numbers and soon we started off to trek all together after that.
We came across another cafe on the way, but this time we didn’t stop, I just bought a few more packets of Parle-G for Louie (Matan gave him a name) and moved along.
The way to Kheerganga is so picturesque, you would want to click a photo every ten seconds or so. Weigh in the hash and the music and the company, you’d feel so ecstatic and happy to have come on this journey. We couldn’t get enough of the beauty surrounding us. The mountains, the narrow trek path, the tall trees, the cool weather, and waterfalls in regular intervals would make the trek so complete, you wouldn’t want anything else in your life. You would like to come and just settle here. No amount of money would matter to you at that point of time, you’d just want to live with the nature. You’d fall in love. I did. I forgot all about my girlfriend. This was the first time in the entire journey I realized that there is more to life than a girl’s feelings for you. If she took me for granted, if she couldn’t see the love I had for her, its her loss, at the end of the day, she lost something she loved, I lost something which was never mine. I didn’t feel any regret to have loved her, slowly I told myself that its okay, I shouldn’t be worried about a girl leaving me. There are many other things to think about. There are so many important things out there to worry about – Nature, economy, politics, livelihood, state of the country, and here I was whining over a college girl. I admit that personal life is as important as other things and a partner would make everything a lot easier, but if that partner needed convincing to stay with me, if she didn’t want to stay with me, its absolutely, perfectly, without any doubt al-fucking-right. No problem. I’d find someone for me. And if not, I would always have me.
After another two hours of trekking, we reached Kheerganga. One sad thing happened, just 20 minutes before we reached KG, Louie disappeared on us. He ran straight into the forest and never came back. I looked for him for 10 minutes, called out loud, even whistled loudly, he didn’t come. We moved on.
KG is like a huge slope of green land on top of a mountain. It is the Indian version of where the hobbits live. Just instead of their homes being underground, in KG there are just huts and tents, as far as the eyes could see. When you enter the KG opening, there is a main path through which everyone travels upwards and on either side of the path, there are huts and tents abound. And unlike Tosh, KG is flat green land just sloping upwards. Tosh was based on an uneven land and it was very edgy where the brick hotels were made. In KG all the huts are made of wood or mud. It is on such a height without any means of transport that you wouldn’t get much facilities there. Everything there had been transported on human back or horse back. On the extreme end of the flat land, at the very top, is where the famous Hot Spring is located.
Us and Shivam and Matan decided to stay at the very top near the Hot Spring, like everyone else wanted to. KG is around one kilometer in length and we climbed all the way to the top. On the way you could see various cafes who also had small rooms to let with bare minimum facilities. We reached the very top and instead of looking for a place to stay we decided it would be better if we just sat on the green pasture near the hot spring, took out the Bose and smoked while looking at the most beautiful scene I’d ever seen in my life. From the very top, the whole KG valley looked like a camp amongst tall mountains surrounding it from distance.
Shivam and Matan said their farewells and went to look for a place to stay while we sat at the top, taking out our means of tranquility. We started rolling while the soft rays of sun fell on our face without its warm effect. It was such an alluring atmosphere. The weather was cool while the yellowish soft sun rays bathed us in little warmth.
Look at the girl in the top right corner of the photo. She was sitting there, alone, with nothing with her, just consuming the spectacle that was before her. The green pasture of land that you can see just top right of her is where we sat down to roll. We took out the Bose and for the first time in the trip, we listened to Hindi Songs. I’m not much of a Bollywood guy, in fact, I do not associate to Bollywood in any way, but I had these songs from non Bollywood guys and it was the perfect thing we needed. We rolled one and smoked while listening to this
By the time we smoked, Shivam and Matan had found a place to stay and were coming up to take a bath in the Hot Spring. The Hot Spring can be bathed in from 6 am in the morning to 8 pm in the night. And it was just striking four, so we had enough time to come back later to take a dip.
Shivam was not big on going for a bath, so he came and sat with us to smoke while Matan took a bath in the pool.
But because there was a ladies’ pool right behind the men’s pool and we were sitting in direct view of the women’s pool, we were asked by a local guy to shift to the other side of the men’s pool. Although the women’s pool is covered, we got up at once and obliged.
So instead of taking a right from the stairs, we took a left and sat on the ground. There, one of my over enthusiast friends suggested that we would have five sets of two joints each. I nodded instantaneously, while Shivam looked at us in shock but his actions suggested he was down for it. So was my other friend. We got to business. The Bose was full volume, and we didn’t speak a word. We just rolled and smoked. Rolled and smoked. The guys around us seemed to enjoy our music too and pretty soon the area was covered by people sitting around. Just our music could be heard. People came out from the pool, dried their bodies off, and sat in the vicinity of us. Matan had found some other Israelis and was sitting right behind. This was a smoke sesh I think I’d never forget.
After completing all the sets within an hour, we agreed that it would be intelligent if we had found a place to stay. But I was not in the mood to get up, I was in the zone. So then one of my friends got up and went to find a hut or a tent.
He came back after 20 mins. When he came back, we smoked a few more joints and decided to go to our rooms to take some rest before going for a bath in the Hot Spring.
Just below the Hot Spring is a place called Dharamshala where my friend had booked a room. He’d booked the room for Rs. 800. And he was proudly saying that the guy had quoted 1000 at first, but he got it down to 800.
When Shivam heard it, he chuckled. They had got a room for Rs. 400 and the room had all the basic facilities : Bed, lights and charging points. See, in KG, there is no provision of electricity from the government. The huts there rely on the solar panels which they buy themselves and carry it all the way from Barsheni.
But the room our friend had got us, it just had a bed for two and a mattress at the bottom for the third person to sleep. No lights, no charging points. For Rs. 800. We cursed him. A lot.
Anyway, we slept for around half an hour and then got up to have something to eat. Two minute descent to where we were staying, is a cafe called Gold Rush. It is the best cafe there, hands down. It has an indoor as well as an outdoor. The outdoor is what made it special. The food is the same in all the cafes, it is mouth watering and extremely tasty. So you can’t really differentiate on the basis of food. But the setting there was superb. The outdoor area was very large, probably the largest in KG, it was right on the edge of an extended part of the mountain and at the far end of the open area, just on the edge, there were hanging chairs. The chairs were hanging from the bamboo sticks that was installed there and although there was a provision to cover the roof of the outdoor area with plastic, it was not there. So you could dine and smoke and chill right under the sky.
When we entered the outdoor area, there was not a single Indian sitting on any of the tables. All the tables were occupied by Israelis. Everyone was having a good time. On one table, there was a group of three people, one of them was playing a guitar, while the other two were listening. There was another group with a guitarist. Soon, the two guitarists met and they played together, softly. On another table, a single man was sitting and reading a book, a joint in his hand. Another group had taken to the hanging chairs and were just sitting and swinging and curling the rope of the chair and then when the chair would curl no more, the person would let go and the chair would uncurl with great speed and the person was full of smiles and laughter. One other group was smoking a chillum. In the background, the cafe owner had put on soft Israeli Music. All in all, it was the first time when I’d come to see what actual travelers looked like. In all the tables, one thing was common : Ginger Lemon Honey drink.
After filling our stomachs up, we started back upstairs, but just 10 meters from gold rush, there is as shop where you would get all the things that you need. From soap to shampoo to any other grooming product, rolling papers, roaches, candles, towels, band aids, chocolates, packed food items like chips, biscuits and numerous other things. The shop had racks on racks of inventory. Whatever brand you may prefer on any of the things I mentioned above, the shop had them. He fucking had them all. But everything there is around three times costlier than what you’d get back in Barsheni, so I’d recommend that you made a list of whatever items you may need and get it before hand. The guy behind the counter was a cool and calm guy. He didn’t speak a word, just muttered out the price when we asked about them and got back to his mobile. He didn’t give a rat’s ass if we bought anything from him or not, if we stole anything from him or not. He was cool behind his counter. Fuck the world kinda attitude. We replenished our rolling papers and bought shampoo and conditioner and towels and candles from the shop and moved along.
The main thing what we’d come to KG for, the hot water spring awaited us. We took our towels and spare clothes from our wooden room, and headed up to take a dip. Before entering the pool, we had to take a bath outside. Water on the outside came from the pool inside through some sort of hole. We stripped down to our boxers, took the shampoo and conditioner and took a bath. The water was freaking hot. I din’t know that water could be this hot without it turning into steam. But because it was chilly there, we soon got accustomed to the hot water.
After the bath we got down into the pool. Steam was rising from all parts of the pool. It was so hot, it took me two to three minutes to fully sit on the stairs of the pool with my legs submerged in water. The moment I submerged my leg though, the relaxation that spread through my body had no limit. It was like all my physical tiredness just evaporated with the steam, all my ailments melted away by the hot water, it seemed as if my soul had been purified. There was no thought running through my brain. I couldn’t remember when I was at this much peace.
We met a South Indian guy inside the pool. He was telling us about his adventures in PV. He had been in KG for two months and when we asked him when did he plan to move, he said he couldn’t tell because he didn’t know it himself. He told us about his trek to Pin Parvati which was on a greater height than KG and about the parties that go on in PV in June. He told us that some of the parties you need an invitation to in your mail, and he said that these are the parties that people die for. He also told us to like some of the pages in Facebook but it turned out that we already had those pages liked. Here are some of them :
At 8 o clock, we took our bodies out of the pool and after getting clothed we went to Gold Rush to smoke and eat. When we entered the cafe, Shivam was already sitting on the hanging chair by himself. We sat beside him and started talking about PV and life in general. He revealed that he was 19, just out of High School, and he wanted to take a solo trip to find himself. When I asked about where his phone was, because all the while we were with him, he never took it out, he replied that it must be somewhere in his bag, switched off. When we asked him how does he contact his home, he said he’d told his parents not to disturb him while he was here. He explained that every day, he switched on his phone, talked to his parents for a few minutes and then switched it off again. I was awestruck. This guy was younger than us, and he already had himself figured out. He didn’t want any bullshit. He was a pretty smart fellow, so naturally I asked whether he had a girlfriend, to which he chuckled. He said he didn’t want any distractions in his life. He just needed his cannabis and he focused on his future. When we asked about how long was he planning to stay here and where he plans to go next, he said he didn’t have any plans, he’d stay for as long he likes and would go where his heart takes him. He didn’t even need music. When I asked about it, he replied, why would he need music, when he had Nature. The way he said it, with a small smile on his face and looking into the mountains, I recognized that this guy was set for life. He didn’t speak much, just spoke whenever it was necessary, all the other times he was busy taking in as much of his surroundings as he could..
Sometimes you meet people with such different set of ideologies and such different perspective to life that you understand that there’s much more to world than what meets your eye. To inspect and discover that perspective, you need to take out time and travel, meet new people, hear their stories. You’d be surprised to hear such different and such fascinating stories, that you realize that the life you’re living is just one in 6 billion. So many people, so many stories. From each, you could learn something new that would propel you to betterment. This 19 year old guy from Agra had a deep impact on me.
We talked for about an hour and the cigarettes finished. No cigarette means no tobacco means no rolling. So while my friend and Shivam went to get more cigarettes, I just sat with my other friend on the hanging chair. I was taking in as much as I could from what I’d just heard. Within minutes of my change of perspective, I could now see things which I’d never seen before. I looked at mountains different, I looked at nighttime different, I looked at silence different, I looked at life different. I realized what are the things that brings me down, and I decided that I would do away with them. I would never do away with Cannabis, the one thing which had brought this sudden change in me. Guys, cannabis is NOT bad. A LOT of people smoke weed, get over it. There’s a famous saying that cannabis paves the way for ‘higher thinking’, although many people think that higher means the high that you get after smoking weed, actually higher means ‘thoughts’ of superior quality.
They came back with the cigarettes and we saw that it was getting pretty late out there and we decided to continue the sesh in our room. In KG, its pretty much lights out by 10. So, we packed our things and started to move out. We crossed the shop with all the inventory, the guy still cool behind the counter immersed in his mobile. We asked Shivam to join us in the sesh in our room and he nodded. We came back, got settled in the mattress that was on the floor because one of my friends wanted to sleep. We lit the two candles to light up the room, now we needed to light the joints. I don’t remember the number of joints we smoked. No music, just the sound of inhale and exhale, and moments of laughter, brought down by the sleepy friend. The room turned into a hotbox and the sweet smell of hash smoke perfumed it. Our eyes turned red and our bodies asked us for sleep. Me and Shivam wanted to smoke more, but my other non sleepy friend said he wouldn’t smoke more and then even we thought it unwise to smoke this much in one day. Shivam asked me to come outside for a cigarette. The moment we stepped out, it was so cold that I had to return to the room to take my jacket and put on a pair of slippers. It was one in the morning and the night time and the creaking of the various insects around the wooden hut perfectly summed up the beauty of KG. My other non sleepy friend came out to smoke with us when his phone rang and he went away from us to talk to his girlfriend. I smiled, I was out.
There was a dog sitting right outside of our room and he was looking to get in, closer to the warmth of the candles. We didn’t want the dog to come in, cause we were..scared. Yes. Scared of a poor dog who just needed warmth. Soon, Shivam bid us goodbye and he went back to his own hut down below. We strategically closed the door of our rooms to not let the dog come in. 5 minutes later, there was a knock on the door. We inquired who it was, but received no reply. There was another knock and then another. We asked who it was, no reply. Then there was a knock on the window and Shivam’s face appeared. Breathing a sigh of relief, we asked whether he had lost his way, but he said he just needed a bottle of water. I opened the door, and as soon as I opened it, the dog came rushing in and went straight under the bed. The sleepy friend got a bit mad. He cursed me for not handing the bottle of water through the window and he cursed the poor dog. Then we reminded him, laughing, that it was him that spent Rs 800 on this room in the first place, so he had no right to shout at us. This made him more mad while the three of us were laughing. Anyway, Shivam said another goodbye and he went out of the room after several unsuccessful attempts of trying to get the dog out. The door was now open and we were all sitting in confusion as to what to do next while the dog was harmlessly sleeping under the bed. The sleepy friend denied right out that he wouldn’t sleep there and that he just had to sleep. It was hilarious. He was telling us for the past 3 hours that he needed to sleep and when we actually came to sleep, the dog scene happened. The frustration and anger on his face showed and me and the other friend could not hold back our laughter. This made him mad and he stormed off the room claiming to find another room in KG at 2 in the morning. My other friend argued that he would in no case go out of the room at two in the morning in pitch blackness. He said that the dog just needed warmth because of which he came in. He also pointed out to the cute snores of the dog and suggested that we keep the door open and sleep in with the dog inside. The non sleepy friend made more sense, he always did, so I agreed. The other friend was still out and after around half an hour, he came back, with the owner of the hut. The face of the owner was red with anger and within 3 seconds he got the dog out. Feeling content, the sleepy friend finally slept.
26th July. This day we were finally going to Malana. One word of advice : If you plan to visit PV, finish Malana on the first day instead of going to Kasol. There’s two reasons to do so. The first reason is that the trek to Malana, although just 2 kms, would break the shit out of you, so you should do it when all your energy is intact. You definitely should not do it on the same day you came down from KG. Trekking down 13 kms and then trekking to Malana on the same day is extremely tiresome. And doing it while you have your rucksacks with you is just plain stupidity.
Or, what you could do is, come to Kasol, spend time there and next you visit Malana after keeping your rucksacks in Kasol for Rs 10 per day. You could collect your bags when you came from Malana. Each village in PV is around 20 kms from each other, so it would take you around an hour or two from one village to the next, minus the trek, if any.
The second reason is that if you finish Malana first, you could score from there, and what better place to score Malana Cream from if not Malana itself.
We started off for our trek downwards from KG. At Gold Rush we met Shivam and Matan and said our goodbyes. Unfortunately, we forgot to ask for their contact numbers. We didn’t even click a photo together. Anyway, way down is a very easy trek. It would take you maximum of three hours if stop for the minimum times. We clicked some photos this time on the way down. We came across some interesting things written on the boulders.
The tourists there don’t think before plucking apples from trees, so a local must have written it out of mere frustration. Locals don’t want their homes to be breeding ground of people who don’t respect nature, so they try to convey their feelings through such writings. Rightly so, I feel for them.
This one. This boulder is situated in such a way that the trekkers cannot miss it. The writer must have felt so violated and helpless when he looked at his vicinity, people with their phones and fancy devices just polluting away his home, he took out his frustration the only way he could. You could see so many plastic bottles and packets of empty food that has been thrown on the way to KG, its just sad.
We reached to the bottom in around 4 hours. We went to the Bhoj Cafe to retrieve our rucksacks. The owner of the cafe was a young man and he showed us to the place where the bags had been kept. We retrieved it and started arranging the stuff we had carried to KG into our rucksacks. Because our phones had been switched off due to the lack of electricity in our room, we put our phones on charge. We inquired about the bus to Jari and were told that it would leave after one hour.
It was in Bhoj Cafe that we met Sonal(Name changed), Nepalese version of Emma Watson. 21 years of age, just graduated from SRCC, that’s right – SRCC. For those who don’t know, SRCC is the ranked one college in India for commerce students, and you’d have to be descendants of Chuck Norris or Rajnikanth to get in this college. Anyway, she was travelling solo for the first time and let me tell you that I’d never met a more independent, brave, vibrant woman in all my life. She told us that she would travel for six more months before settling into a job. Even she’d come down from KG the same day and she was going back to Bhuntar to catch a bus back to Delhi. We sat and talked about PV and the things we saw and did. In the mean time, we rolled and smoked another three joints. She had this beautiful Nepalese accent and I couldn’t get enough of it. Not just another pretty face, she was much more than it. She was so happy to have met so many people and she went on and on about solo travelling and she said she would come back again in August. I listened to her with great admiration. The perfect blend of beauty and brains. And whats more, she loved hash, she listened to Pink Floyd and Psytrance and EMINEM. A complete package. Here’s one thing you didn’t know about me – I’m a Stan. So when a person says that they listen to Em, I go Berserk.
SRCC, Hash, Pink Floyd, Eminem, solo traveller, soft spoken, friendly, beautiful, brave, independent – How many of these variables have you found in one person? I instantly liked her.
We then got up from Bhoj and made our way to the bus. We settled our bags on the bus racks and sat together. There were other travelers on the bus and we sat beside them, and they had their own portable speaker with them and some psy was playing. I asked the guy beside me to increase the volume, he smiled and increased the volume. Inadvertently our heads started rocking to the beats, so did Sonal’s. I said her that we would be coming to Delhi the day after tomorrow and that she just had to meet us again to which she agreed and gave us her number. The bus ride was fun, she kept telling us about this and that and we listened with great enthusiasm. But soon, Jari had come and it was time for us to get down while the bus would go forward towards Bhuntar. We said our goodbyes and she said that it was really nice to meet us all, we felt the same.
At Jari, there was a fixed time when the bus for Malana came – 5 o clock, and if we missed that bus, we would have to take a taxi up to there which would charge us Rs. 900. We’d reached Jari by 4:15 and had a lot of spare time. We went to a nearbuy shop and bought some cigarettes and chips. The shopkeeper saw rucksacks on our backs and rightly guessed where we were headed. He warned us about Malana and said that we shouldn’t touch anything there, specially the children, and if we were going to buy hash from there, we had to be careful because when we would leave Malana, the police checkpost there would search us from top to bottom and if they found any hash on us, we would be fined heavily and if the quantity was more than 5-10 Tolas, we might even be jailed. Keeping this in mind, we came out of the shop and went into another who served the famous Thukpas and Momos of Himachal Pradesh. We had thukpa, which is like noodles served with hot soup. It was delicious. Just as we finished the dish, the bus to Malana came to a stop in the bus stand. We got up and all of us sat in different seats this time. We all wanted to enjoy the bus ride alone, with headhpones on our ears. With us taking up three empty window seats in three corners, the best bus ride of my life started. Just a quick tip : If you’re planning to go to Malana, take up the seat on the left.
From Jari, the bus would take around one and a half hours to drop you at a point just 10 minutes before the Malana trek started. Now, Malana is said to have its own governance, it does not follow the constitution of India, or what we heard. They are said to be the descendants of Alexander The Great, and so, just before the road to Malana starts, there is this checkpost which is guarded by the Police and security guards 24/7. The daily 5 pm bus to Malana reaches the checkpost at around 5.15 and from there, it takes another hour to reach the drop point. As soon as the bus enters the checkpost, you could see sign boards giving information and directions for the travelers that come to Malana. These sign boards are present throughout the way. I couldn’t get a clear picture as the bus kept moving. If you go by a cab, you could stop the car and see it. The road is so clean and so without potholes, so smooth, that you would forget that you’re in India. The bus driver was driving the bus just like the volvo driver was driving us from Delhi to Bhuntar. He had the roads learnt by heart. The bus was mainly filled by the locals of Malana and there were also one or two travelers. As soon as you enter the checkpost, you would see a power plant building on the left hand side and some sort of a huge pipe that came from above the mountains and went straight into the building.
On the left side of the road you could see the mountain on the other side of the river and on the right there was the mountain wall. It would feel so refreshing when the cool breeze massaged your face, all your tension would blow away with the wind. It had been a long time and I had not missed my girlfriend because I just hadn’t thought about her, maybe because I was scared that if my thoughts turned to her, I would feel low, rejected. But when I was alone in that bus listening to Coldplay, my mind was practically just free flowing with numerous thoughts. She featured in most of them. But this time, I didn’t feel any remorse, I didn’t feel like I had lost something. Instead I’d found myself. I was already healing.
We got down at the last stop of the bus which was 10 minutes before the point where the trek to Malana started. When we reached the spot, we saw a board which marked the entrance to the trek. But at first look, there was nothing beyond the board. It was just empty space. The board was right on the edge of the left side of the road. But when we moved closer to it, we saw that there was a staircase that led down. From where we were standing, we could see the Malana village which was on the mountain opposite to us and it was on a height much greater to where we were at. We just looked at the mighty Malana, the destination was in sight. But we had to trek all the way up to it, and with the heavy rucksacks, we were dreading it. We shouldn’t have done KG and Malana in quick succession. It would drain the life out of us. But Malana was the reason we’d come all the way from Kolkata and we’d saved the best for the last, there was no chance in hell we were going to skip it. Even after our sleepy friend’s repeated complains and whining that he wouldn’t be able to make it, we started off without him. He came running right behind us.
Just then, my mom’s number flashed on my phone. She excitedly asked about my result. Then I remembered, my CFA result! I had completely forgotten about it. I checked the time, it was 6.30 pm, right when my result was to come out. My mom had been waiting for the whole day, and she called the moment the clock struck 6.30. I realized there’s no love greater than a mother’s. Feeling extremely loved and blessed, I told her I’d call her back in two minutes. I checked my mail and it came up empty. The mail hadn’t been delivered yet. I called my mom back and told her that as soon as it came, I would inform her, and I assured her that I was confident I would pass it. We moved along.
At first, we had to climb down the current mountain we were on, then cross a bridge to reach the mountain on the other side, and then climb up towards Malana. Just like KG, there is no provision of any car to reach Malana. This was the only way.
We reached the bridge in 10 minutes and stopped to capture the breathtaking view of the river flowing beneath us.
After crossing the bridge, the almost 90° uphill trek started. Its just two kilometers, and it would take just half an hour for the locals to reach at the top, it took us two hours. The big humongous steps didn’t seem to stop. Unlike the KG trek, where you would get periods of time where the slope lessened and the path continued straight or even downwards, in this trek, there was no such period.
With great self motivation, thinking of the M Cream, we kept moving.
After a gazillion hours, when we reached the village, our suffering was not over yet. We had to find a guesthouse to stay in.
Malana is on a mountain slope, just like KG, but the KG slope was a little less steeper than Malana. And even Malana is around a kilometer long.
We wanted to stay at the very top, so after completing the two hour two kilometer stretch, we had another kilometer to go. Fuck. My. Life.
We went and went. It got dark, it was 7.15 now. We got restless, we just wanted to rest our legs. Our calves were paining and the poor sleepy friend looked like he had just experienced a Dementor’s kiss. It was funny somehow, the look on his face, disgruntled.
But it was all going to be worth it. Just then, I received the mail. My CFA result. I got excited, but didn’t open the mail just yet. I wanted to rest and smoke pure MC while opening the mail. So I waited.
We lost our way to the top, so we asked a local to help us show the way. He very kindly asked us to follow him. It was very dark, but we could still tell the place was covered with cannabis plants, just by the smell it produced. All around, just cannabis. From each hut, each corner and nook, we could smell the sweetest smell of hash. I’d never smelled this kind before. From different parts of the village, psytrance could be heard.
Children were playing in a big open area of sorts, and the adults were smoking and watching them from their houses.
In Malana, probably every one smoked, or this is what I perceived. This was their major and probably only source of income. After all, Malana Fucking Cream is the best hash in the world. Google it.
The local showed us to the guest house. Behold awesomeness!! Made of only wood, the guesthouse was three storeyed, we entered it, and an Israeli was smoking a chillam with the owner of the guesthouse. We asked the owner to show us rooms, he took us to the first level of the house. There was a small wooden portable ladder, which had like 8 steps and it went up through a square hole on the roof of the ground level of the house. The owner said that we shouldn’t expect much, and the food that they would provide was home like, we wouldn’t get what we were used to in the whole trip. We got happy, for lack of a better word. We hadn’t had proper homemade food in quite some time, and we were longing for it. Actually, the owner lived there himself, he just added 2 extra small floors and made 2 small rooms in each floor to let. But, the floors didn’t just have these two small rooms. The best part of the guesthouse was that instead of filling the floor area with rooms, the owner had laid out carpet and mattresses in the entire floor and each mattress had pillows and thick blankets. Everything was so spic and span, you would think that the owner had a squad of staff that would take care of the cleanliness, but there wasn’t any. Everything was taken care of by the owner. The floor had one common music system. It had 8 speakers and two bases. He let out each mattress for Rs 100 each and the small room cost Rs 500. We took the room to keep our stuff. We got settled in.
I got restless, didn’t wait for the joint, but just went ahead and clicked on the mail.
‘Dear Candidate, we regret to inform you…. ‘
Life works mysteriously. When it showers on you, it pours, when it fucks you, it squirts, non stop.
Life had fucked me both personally and professionally in a span of one week. Before this week, everything was okay. Everything was going as planned. I had a girlfriend, I had planned to go out of Kolkata to get an internship and then while interning I’d prepare for MBA.
I was pretty confident that my girl would come back, I was pretty confident that I would pass, my confidence got struck in the face, hard.
I looked at that first line for like 2 minutes straight. It might not sound like much. 120 seconds is a lot of time. My friends were watching me. I put in all the effort I had left after climbing three kilometers, mustered all the energy I could muster and tried.. not to cry.
My friends were more confident than me that I would pass. The sleepy friend had already told me that I would give them a party at Hard Rock in Delhi and he was so happy and so certain that the party was coming the next day. They looked at me in disbelief as I read that first line aloud. I needed some alone time. I told my friends I needed to get fresh. They understood I needed to be by myself and nodded. I went downstairs through the square hole, and called my mother. I told her the news. She didn’t believe me. She was like, if I later find out that you’re joking, you would have it from me. That’s when I repeated again, I didn’t want to repeat it so many times, but I did anyway, and this time, the voice got so low, my mom faced the reality this time. Instead of raising her voice to shout at me, she said that I always had the next year.
I went outside the guesthouse and into the common washroom, which was clean, not so surprisingly. I sat on the toilet seat and finally cried. Not because I had failed an exam, but because it was long time due. I was constantly trying to run away from my emotions and got involved in other things so that I didn’t get enough time to face them. But I knew I would have to wipe the slate clean to write fresh on it. Tears was what was needed.
After that I felt a lot better. I got out, went up and my friends were already working on getting just the right thing to uplift my mood, Malana Cream. Every guy had MC in Malana. The owner had it and when I went upstairs, my friend was bargaining with him. And just then, my sleepy friend appeared with a joint in his hand. He told me to just take a drag of it. I took it and man, THIS was the stuff we’d come from Kolkata for. Pure, unadulterated Malana Cream. The aroma was so sweet, I wondered why hasn’t anyone come up with an idea to launch a perfume series.
The owner had that joint rolled as a sample and we found out that it wasn’t Malana Cream but Malana Ice. When we asked him about the difference, he said that the smell and high and the form is absolutely, one hundred percent same. What differs is the taste, Ice had a cool taste to the smoke, while Cream didn’t. But Cream is a bit more expensive than Ice.
After bargaining, we got 1 Tola MI for Rs. 2500 which he originally quoted for 3000. A pretty sweet deal. You could get MC for 3500(Original Quote). After the owner weighed and sold us the hash, he continued smoking chillum while we sat in a different corner of the floor, just in front of the common speakers. We connected our phone to it and got to rolling. After the first two joints, which was nothing like we’d ever smoked, the owner got us food. Rice and Dal. We jumped on it and the food was over within minutes. After a long time we were having normal Indian food. After another Ginger Lemon Honey which my sleepy friend had ordered, we got down to rolling again.
Smoking this hash started a chain reaction of higher thinking.
After failing, I realized plans don’t always work. One of their side effects is the plan not panning out. It was okay. I kept telling myself. It was okay. No big deal, always have the next year. This result isn’t gonna control my life, it wouldn’t shatter my confidence. If nothing more, it was important that I failed. No man can be successful without failing. Failure teaches them lessons which no University could instill in you. Life lessons. Fuck me all at once, so that I don’t get fucked over when it actually mattered. I’m just 21. Had my whole life ahead of me. And this was the place, malana, where I was reborn. It paved the way for my change of perspective. Each day in PV taught me something new, so it was just poetic that the biggest blow and the biggest lesson I would learn came at Malana, our last day in PV. I was already recovering from the blow.
Just then I got a text from my ex girlfriend. She was asking about my result. I replied that I didn’t clear it. She then called me. I didn’t pick it up. I was still angry. I didn’t want to talk to her. I didn’t want to deal with more than I could handle in one day. I didn’t want to listen to her voice. I would be listening to her voice after 8 days and I didn’t want it. I let the phone ring. Why is it always her who decides when she wanted to talk. She’d told me time and again that she’d talk to me ‘when I came back’. Then why was she calling me. I didn’t understand. So when she texted me again that it would be alright, I asked her. To which she replied that she was sorry she disturbed me. Then I felt that I was being harsh and I had no right to treat her that way. I still loved her no matter what I said and I wasn’t gonna ignore her. I knew exactly how it felt to be ignored. Then I texted her asking that is it a game to her that one day she’s missing me, next day she doesn’t think love and compatibility are the same thing. She said she was actually missing me and she tried real hard to make it work but when she couldn’t anymore, she gave up. It made sense, I agreed. But then, there was it again, ‘let’s not fight here, I’ll talk to you when you came back’. Why? Relationships consist of two people, you can’t have it your way all the time. It was the third time she was saying this to me. We were talking, it was finally leading to a solution, she was opening up, I was opening up. I got frustrated. With everything. Then, I’d had it enough. I connected my phone to the speaker, without replying to her. After one more joint, I went to bed.
This time, for three hours straight, I listened to Eminem on my headphones. I was listening to him after a long time and he was all I wanted. The pain in his voice, the emotions which he rapped with, helped me get consolidated. I didn’t even realize when I fell asleep. For some reason, this sleep was the best in the last week. Maybe because of the hash, or maybe because there was nothing else for me to be scared about. I wasn’t worried about some fight I had with my girlfriend, I wasn’t worried about my result anymore. Basically, I had nothing to lose. I’d lost it all. So instead of worrying about it, I slept like a baby.
27th July. We had just half a day today. We were to catch our bus to Delhi at 7 in the evening. We woke up around 9 o clock and instantly went outside to see the view that was before us. I was feeling extremely fresh after that good sleep.
Because we’d reached Malana at the night the previous day, we hadn’t seen how beautiful the village was. So when we came out of our room and looked through the windows, the sight was breathtaking. Now, the guesthouse had the walls covered with windows, and the view which each window had to offer us was nothing like we’d seen before. The guesthouse is at the top of Malana, and Malana is at a good height above the sea level. When we looked out the window, we could see clouds, beneath us. The village looked like it was up in heaven. When we looked at the windows, it was pure white from the clouds outside it. We couldn’t see the mountains around because of the dense white cloud around the guesthouse.
Now, here’s the same picture, clicked without flash :
This was the actual scene there. Here’s other photos of the guesthouse and pictures clicked though the window.
Also, it was raining. The first time in our journey, it rained, and it rained non stop. We had planned to go and check out Malana and other places nearbuy such as Magic Valley and hit some cafes, but because of the rain, we couldn’t go out. Instead we set up shop in the same spot we’d smoked last night. We smoked. A lot. It was the last day and nothing was going to stop us from entering The Zone. For people who’re wondering why haven’t I described what it felt after we smoked in the entire blog, please check out The Zone.
Soon it was time for us to pack and move out. We did so as quietfully as we could and did it with a very heavy heart, heavier mine. The trip to PV had come to an end, so had my previous life. We got out of the guesthouse and trekked our way back to the starting point. When we got out of the Malana Trek, we saw it from the starting point. It was standing strong, everything about it so full of confidence. They had their own thing going, they kept busy in themselves, cut out from the world, they would fuck anyone who messed with them. It gave me serious goosebumps.
After coming back from PV, all my tension, all my insecurities had gone away. I learned a lot there. I had realized that there’s no point depending on others for happiness. You gotta learn to love yourself, you gotta start to enjoy your own company. In the end, if there’s nobody standing by you, you’d still have yourself. And that’s what PV gave me. It gave me a taste of how it feels when everything goes against you, you still could recover, if you gave yourself a chance. There’s one thing about PV that struck me. If you’re celebrating, you need to come here, the happiness multiplies. And if you’re grieving, you need to come here, the pain divides.
About my ex, I hope she finds whatever is it she’s looking for. PV made me learn to live without her in my life. And it taught me that good.
Both my personal and professional life fucked up. I went in broken, I came out fixed. That’s the kind of power Parvati Valley has. You just have to let it do its work on you. Surrender to it and you wouldn’t be disappointed.
All of these 20,000 words could be substituted with one word to describe Parvati Valley – Serenity.
If you have any questions about PV or want something to say, please comment or contact me through the Contact Page.
Video : Smoke Sesh in Malana
Song in the video :