|Air India from Singapore to New Delhi :)|
You know, when I told my family and friends that I'd be going to India, they would ask me these kind of question or tell me these kind of advice: "You want to go to India? With who? What? Alone? Oh, you have friends there, which friends? Must be careful ya, it is not safe there! It is dirty too! Never ever go to the quiet and isolated place, especially at night. Be safe as there were many rape cases happening before," and so on. The funniest thing was that they had never been to India before, but they gave me these sort of advice.
Unlike those who had been there before, they supported my decision. They trusted me that I would be able to keep myself safe as I was one of the gadabouts (frequent travelers) and most importantly, had friends who would accompany me around. They even recommended me the must-visit places in India and local food or snack to try.
Actually in the beginning, I was afraid that my parents would stop me from traveling there ha-ha.. I only told them less than a month before. Luckily they did not oppose my decision and instead, they let me go, and even prayed for my safety. Thank you Pa and Ma! Thank you too for my siblings and everyone's prayers and kind wishes. Without it, I wouldn't be able to come back home safely and sound here :)
|Quote by Dalai Lama - Brain and heart are our temple. The philosophy is kindness :)|
My hubby let me go as he knew I had a purpose to be there, which was to meet HH Dalai Lama. It's been my long time dream to meet him. However, even after reaching the place where he stayed, I was unable to meet him as he wasn't around. Even if I waited until he was there, he wouldn't go out too as the doctor advised him to get lots of rest after having a long journey elsewhere. It wasn't that bad though, because in return, I managed to have a glance with South Africa cricket players at McLeod Ganj as they were having dinner at the restaurant nearby from where we stayed. Haha... ;D
|Live with gratitude - by Heather Rosehill|
In this post, I would love to convey my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who had made my stay to India fruitful, safe, wonderful, and for your friendship, help, assistance, and hospitality that all of you had offered to me :)
|Tshering Yangki and Tashi Chenzom in their humble hostel room - treating me with Tibetan tea and delicious food :)|
First, for the kindhearted Bhutanese young ladies who were studying there - Tashi Chenzom and Tshering Yangki. Both of you had welcomed me into your humble hostel room for two nights and even more. Despite you need space and peaceful environment to prepare your exam, you still let me stay there :)
|Delicious Bhutanese dinner with Tibetan tea on my first day reaching Delhi. Thank you gals! :)|
All of you, including Beena Subba, had cooked delicious Bhutanese food for dinner. It'd been a while since I had it so it really made me feeling like going back to Bhutan. Thank you la, I was overwhelmed by your warm hospitality!!!
|Second dinner menu - delicious handmade Roti with potato curry and Paneer cheese with peas :)|
On second day, Tashi and Tshering made Indian Roti for me, handmade and from scratch. I appreciated your hard work and sincerity la!! It was delicious!!! :)
|They gave me plenty of space to sleep!!! ^^|
Four of us shared the connected two single beds, but three of you were squeezing at one bed and left me with big space to sleep alone. Hahaha... Was I that big that all of you were afraid to sleep with me?? :D
|My breakfast portion. Can you believe it??? :D|
Tashi, you fed me with lots of food even starting from the time I woke up from my sleep. Hahaha... Like magic, the bucket filled with fruits were there after I came back from washing. When I sat down and prepared my thing, you started offering me tea and made a cup right away. Five minutes later, you were asking me, "Mam, are you eating noodle? I will cook noodle for you, ok?" And the best thing was, I could not reject as you would start cooking it immediately. Hahaha... You were afraid that I wasn't full enough to start my day as I would visit many places in Delhi. You wanted to make sure I had enough. Thank you Tashi for your love, care and concern, I was really touched la!!!
|Kipchu and Yangzom - at University's gate :)|
Next, I would love to thank this beautiful young Nepal born lady, Tenzin Yangzom, who had helped me in getting my Nano Sim card (she even refused to receive the payment). She also helped me in getting the bus ticket to McLeod Ganj and asking about room at Majnu Ka Tilla (MT), the Tibetan colony area.
|Breakfast treat from Yangzom's parents. Thank you so much!!! :)|
She and her families were staying there only. We went to their house (without her, as she wasn't feeling well) two days before that, as their shop wasn't opened. Their parents were very kind and welcoming us. At my last day in Delhi, Kipchu and I were having breakfast at her parents' shop - see the above photo :) Her mom was the quiet type. She only offered her smile while preparing our tea and Roti. Only her dad was talking to us.
As we ate, Kipchu became the translator. Yangzom's dad told me to treat them as my own parents since I was Yangzom's friend and the next time when I visited Delhi again, they asked me to stay at their house so that I didn't have to book hotel room elsewhere. They refused my payment for the meal and even before I left, they gave a big packet of Khapse (Tibetan deep fried pastry) and a bag of Mathi (Indian salted savory snack) for me to bring back to Singapore. Yalama! I was so touched la with their hospitality and kindness. Please convey my heartfelt gratitude to your parents, Yangzom!!! And thank you for everything you had done for me! :) (PS: I loved their Khapse very much! I have been eating it with tea everyday! Thank you for the lovely presents! ^^)
|Our visit to Lotus Temple - New Delhi, India|
Due to exam period and my limited time, we only managed to visit tourist site once, together, which was to Lotus Temple, on my first day's arrival. Lotus Temple, also known as Bahai House of Worship, was a place for prayer and meditation for people from all religions and races.
|Tibetan Lunch at Tee Dee - Majnu Ka Tilla, Delhi|
Tashi and Tshering met up again once, for the last time, at Majnu Ka Tilla, for lunch on the last two days before I went back. Tashi had kindly brought my belonging from hostel to MT, knowing that I would not return back to hostel. We had Tibetan lunch at Tee Dee as Tashi was craving for steamed momo (dumpling), it's her favorite! ;)
|Tasting Lafing, not Laughing :)|
She also brought me to taste Lafing, the Tibetan cold and spicy mung bean noodles or rolls (similar with Liang Fen or Liang Pi in Chinese dish). No wonder it tasted so familiar, like I ever ate it before. I loved it lah. I ate it twice after that in other occasions hehehe... Thank you Tashi for introducing it to me! :)
|Thank you for your gifts ladies :)|
Four of them gave me the above gifts. Name same kadinche-la ladies!!! The Lord Buddha scroll was hung just outside my room now and the light had been installed to brighten it up. I felt safe now that Buddha was getting near to my heart and soul :) I had cooked and eaten some of the above snacks too. I appreciate it very much la!!! Well, keep in touch la. We may have chance to meet again one day. At the mean time, take care and wish you all the best for your study! Again, thank you very much for everything!!!
|Me and Kinley Wangchuk in front of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives - Dharamsala, India|
I would love to express my heartfelt gratitude to Kinley Wangchuk, Kipchu's childhood's friend, who had helped us a lot during our stay in McLeod Ganj. He was the one who looked for and booked our accommodation, informed us that Dalai Lama's teaching was cancelled, told us where to go around McLeod Ganj (Dalai Lama's Main Temple, Kalachakra Temple, Bhagsu waterfall, etc.) and Dharamsala (directions how to go to Gyuto Monastery - where the 17th Karmapa lived, and Norbulingka Institute), and also brought us to visit the small Tibetan museum just above the library in the photo above.
|Dinner at Kinley's humble place - Dharamsala, India|
He invited us for dinner at his place too, about 30-minute walk from McLeod Ganj's market :D He cooked simple but delicious vegetarian dishes, such as: mushroom curry, boiled eggs, cucumber, and red bean dhall. Thank you so much Kinley for your invitation and delicious dinner :)
|Bhutanese monks who were studying Tibetan languages at Dharamsala, India :)|
There were other three Bhutanese monks who studied Tibetan language and stayed nearby his place. Two of them were Dorji Khandu and Sonam. They stayed just next to Kinley's room. They were very friendly. Sonam offered us to cook ara with eggs. He said he could make a very nice ara egg concoction and I could trust his word. He indeed made a nice sweet one :) We had great laugh and talk while they were preparing their dinner. Nice meeting both of you la!!
|My travel companion - Kipchu :)|
And last but not least, my travel companion for the whole ten days in India, my beloved nuchu (younger brother), Kipchu :) He was the one who ensured my safety, fulfilled many of my dreams and wishes, carried my loads, prayer's companion, sometimes cheated together - telling them that we were from Manipur so we could pay cheaper entrance ticket, sometimes being cheated together - few incidents happened, sometimes becoming my walking stick, etc.
He was the one who fetched me on my first day reaching India, and he was also the one who sent me back to the Indira Gandhi Airport. He prepared many things for me for this trip. He would make sure that thing went smoothly by reaching the destination early (sometimes as kiasu as Singaporean), having enough water and fruits (as sometimes we didn't have time to have proper meal), following me everywhere (even to toilets, to ensure my safety, especially in public area), and so on.
|Your smile can and will captivate many women out there ;)|
As you mentioned in your blog post, you too have become someone different the ten days before and the ten days after. You have learned many things (including the effectiveness of the prayers of gratitude and the laws of nature), received blessings from the above (proving you that miracle did exist), believed that good people existed too - helping you in many ways and occasions, and it has cleared your mind about the truth that you were looking for.
I am happy that this trip has benefited you and changed your way of thinking. Here, I sincerely wish you all the best for the rest of your life's journey. I am sure you are now fully equipped with all weapons that you needed and able to roam your life independently, reaching out towards your goals and passion. It isn't goodbye though as we may see each other again, who knows? So, take care lah and thank you again for everything! Thank you, thank you, and thank you! Wish you be happy always!!! :)
PS: Thank you for Jigme who had offered to bring our bags to metro station on the day we left Delhi to Dharamsala so that we didn't have to bring my bag around while visiting Swaminarayan Akshardham or going back to hostel to collect! May Buddha bless you always! :) Also to everyone else that I didn't mention here, e.g. Uncle who led us to the public bus and asked the other guy to get up from ladies seat then offered it to me :) Thank you for your help that made my journey smoothly, safe, and miraculous!!! ^^