Sunday, November 22, 2015

Angels in disguise #madeofgreat

This post is written for the #madeofgreat campaign where for the first time Tata Motors is undertaking an overall brand association campaign with a brand ambassador. Lionel Messi is talent galore with conviction and is an icon for today’s youth. He is a winner who is trustworthy, reliable, pioneering, simple and driven by self-belief, which is what is at the core of Tata Motors as well.  Do check out their website for more details about this collaboration between Tata Motors and Lionel Messi. It is certainly a  #madeofgreat  combination. 

We meet many people in our day to day life from the time we are born. The first person with whom we establish our first bond is our mother then our father. They are followed by our grandparents, relatives, school friends, teachers, neighbours, friends, college professors, hostel mates, colleagues at work, our life partner, people whom we interact with on a day to basis and many more who just come and go. Family members are someone whom we are close to and we see them throughout our life span. We see changes around, we get influenced by people around us every single day knowingly or unknowingly. But there are some who leave a lasting impact in our lives. They can be called strangers because we have had no previous acquaintance with them. We just meet them once and we never know we will ever be able to meet them again. Such strangers- whose identity is unknown. We are purely influenced by the moments spent with them. When life throws surprises at us for which we are not prepared such strangers come in our lives just like angels in disguise and pull us out of the muddle we are in. It may sound mystical but such instances do happen in reality. I have been through one such incident with my husband and friends on our recent visit to Leh- Ladakh. Precisely, when we went to Tso-Moriri.  I am going to describe about that one terrifying night when Tibetan nomads pulled us out of a very dangerous situation. The amount of help they rendered  and their act of selflessness and extreme kindness was what influenced me the most. It touched a very delicate corner of my heart and I can confidently say that no one has ever left such a deep impact in my life. I neither know their names nor their location because they are nomads. Even if I want to go back to Leh-Ladakh the next year to meet them, I might not find them there because they are always on the move. They were just god sent angels that day who helped us. 

Tso Moriri is the largest high altitude lake located at an altitude of 14,836 ft and has a 24 km expanse. It is actually known as Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve. This wetland is a protected land also called as -Ramsar site. It is 240 kms from Leh. ‘Tso’ means ‘Lake’ in Ladakhi/Tibetian language. It is a brackish/salt water lake. It is in the Eastern Ladakh region and is to the south eastern side of Leh. It is located in Changthang, which is a high altitude plateau. It is a remnant lake. This lake has a closed drainage system. Snow melts and drains its water into this lake but the water does not flow out. Vegetation is sparse and one can see nomadic Tibetian settlements there. The most common animals spotted there are sheep, Yak, Himalayan dogs and at times the Himalayan Marmot or even the extremely endangered Snow Leopard or the Tibetan Wolf. The nearest village is Korzok where you can see some habitation; otherwise most of these areas form a major part of the high altitude cold desert. It would be even difficult to spot animals or creatures around at times. If one gets stranded in such places it is difficult to even find shelter. It is just a plateau with nothing on it. The most famous, 135 year old Korzok Monastery is located in this village. Tso Moriri has been recently opened to foreign trekkers.

There were four major check points in our route - Upshi, Chumathang, Mahe and Korzok, Tso Moriri. We were 3 couples travelling on Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500cc. We had rented them in Leh for our trip. In Ladakh, everything is very unpredictable, right from the weather conditions to the terrains. There are frequent landslides. Weather conditions can become extreme. When we are travelling in such terrains on bike it is always a risk but one has to take risks when we want to tread the adventurous route. That morning , when we left for Leh, Yd ( my husband's) bike had a problem for which we had to spend two hours getting it repaired and hence we got late while leaving from Leh. We had just crossed Upshi when Saveen's bike had a flat tyre. After a lot of struggle we managed to get help in transporting the bike back to Upshi and get it repaired. Two of them went with the bike while we all stayed there. We were practically stranded for three hours in the middle of nowhere. Our journey had already been delayed by five hours by then. We had to encounter many huge water crossings on the way. As a result of this our shoes we wet, we had practically nothing left to eat or drink. There was no food or drinking water available around. It also started raining. The breeze was also strong and we were getting closer to sunset but not to our destination. We were shivering. We still had 60 odd kilometers to travel and we had no clue how long it would take for us to reach because it was getting dark. There was nothing around. 

We kept moving ahead in the hope of finding some source of light or a place to even halt for a while. Yd kept telling me that he did not remember travelling through this terrain in 2012. He was only looking for an open plateau with multiple routes leading to Tso Moriri. This was nothing close to it. We were now on a road. The only sign board for us was a Y shaped junction where there were many Buddhist prayer flags. We moved ahead not able to find any sign board. It was close to 9:00 PM when we reached a long stretch of road with some shiny, water body like thing to our left which many couldn’t even make out and totally dark plains to our right. There was nothing to be seen except a few meter distance in front with the help of the headlight. We were practically moving into nowhere. Suddenly, we spotted one small light, as good as a twinkling star. Thinking it could be a lantern we moved ahead trying to go closer to it. As we moved further, we spotted more such neon like lights. I was sure that the water body beside us was Tso Moriri and the lights were from Korzok village but Yd told me that it was not Tso Moriri. No one was there to even tell us what it was. We crossed the area where we had seen lights and again moved into darkness. We were totally blinded by the darkness. Thanks to the headlights, we spotted another water crossing. Saveen moved in front and tried to check the stretch of road beyond the water crossing but was not able to. The bike headlights all combined together also could not spot the route beyond the water crossing. We did not know what to do because if we moved towards our right thinking the water crossing was not deep we could land into deep trouble. Bike could get stuck; the road could just end from there or could also lead us to the edge of a cliff/ a mountain. Not able to decide further, we decided to turn back and go to the place where we saw few lights. We reached there to find nothing but just one or two lights. The lights were seeming like a mirage at night. There were also few tents pitched around with no one to be seen. By then, the intensity of rainfall had also increased and we were all freezing in the cold weather. It was more because of the rainfall. We reached close to one of the tents and put the bike headlights around. There was a huge barricade made with stones and we could see horns of animals which smelt like sheep. The smell was unbearable. The first thought that came to my mind when I saw the moving horns of the sheep and also the noise made by them was about Snow leopards. I remembered reading the news about Snow Leopard hunting sheep that were kept in a confined place like these.

Meanwhile, hearing the thundering sound created by the bikes one or two people came out. A man and a woman came out. They hardly understood Hindi and only told us that this was not Korzok village. We understood that Tso Moriri was further up from the place we were in. We hadn’t lost our way but the distance to be covered was unknown. Saveen and Yd tried explaining to him about the water crossing and requested him to come along with them on the bike and show the route to Tso Moriri from there. That man indicated in the conversation that there was a route after the water crossing that will take us to Korzok. His wife was also around. For ten minutes they both stood staring at us, not able to understand our intentions. They must have surely thought, ‘Which fool will come here at this time?’ They might have also suspected our intentions but seeing our helpless situation that man agreed. We all waited while the other two went with the man. Yd also gave him 200 rupees and also assured him that they would bring him back to the same place. They somehow convinced him to show the route.

Once they left, Viren, Spiti, Deepa and I waited there , out in the open, completely drenched, shivering , teeth clattering out of fear, tensed and a sense of unknown prevailing within. The smell of the sheep flocked together was nauseating. We tried searching for that lady so that we could get some shelter till then. I waved the torch and tried to call out but there was no one around. I waved again and shouted- ‘Koi hai, Koi hai’ in desperation. The torch light moved into nowhere. It was just pointing at some mountain which was too far. Suddenly, Deepa and Spiti spotted a small animal like thing scurrying around. When we pointed our torch light we were shocked to see a small baby running around in tattered clothes, without warm clothes or even rain coat. Here we were wearing double layers of warm clothes with a rain coat, shoes and a helmet, yet we stood there shivering. Soon, her mother- that man’s wife came out and looked at us quizzically. We requested her in Hindi and asked her to give us shelter in the tent till our friends were back with her husband. She took us inside immediately. We went inside to see a carpeted floor on either side fenced by cloth bags and rugs around. The tent was made of cloth and was held only by a single pole in the center. All the corners of the cloth forming the tent were tied to stones that were kept around. We were too relieved to find some shelter. We shivered and also freaked out thinking about our plight for the night. It was close to 10:00 PM. While we tried to sit, we found that the carpet was wet. At least we were free of our wet shoes and socks. Water was dripping slightly from the corners but sitting inside was such a relief for us.
The lady asked us a few questions in Hindi and seeing our helpless state she could only offer her pity to us. She was also just wearing an overcoat over her traditional gown with a scarf wrapped around her head . She kept staring at us as we spoke to each other describing our fear. There was a stone kept inside the tent where she sat, simply staring at us. I think she was empathizing with us but she did not know how to express. She also lit up a mini fireplace in the center. It was her stove. She offered to make tea without us asking anything. We were so delighted to even hear about the offer. She started preparing tea immediately. Everything was happening in that small tent. The kettle was put to boil and dried goat shit was used as a fuel for the fire. She had two bags full of them in the tent. She wasn’t shivering or feeling cold. Spiti and Viren were also feeling too sick because of the extremely cold weather outside. We all tried to keep ourselves a little warm with the fire. Deepa had become very quiet by then. She also sat in one corner and kept her fingers warm with the heat from the fire.

Saveen and Yd also came in a while with the man. They all came inside the tent. In that small tent there were 8 members now. We sat crouched there. I was literally kneeling and sitting on my toes because the carpet was wet. That man had showed them the path from the water crossing. Actually, the route was to our left and not to our right. Yd and Saveen said that they had travelled quite a distance to check the route. They were deciding whether to go ahead or not when Viren suggested we stay back in the tent. It was already raining and everyone was feeling extremely cold, so we all came to a conclusion that there was no point going further in the rain. Yd and Saveen however were very confident to move up further, go to Korzok and get help from Yak Camp. Then they would come back and take us. But seeing the weather they also stayed back. We squeezed ourselves inside the tent and were almost sitting crouched, very close to each other. Water had started dripping more and more. It was falling right on Yd’s head and on Viren and Spiti’s head on the other side. We sat facing each other in a horrified and helpless state. Viren and Spiti had to open an umbrella inside the tent to keep off the water falling on them. There were so many people in the tent and so much carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide was generated by the burning fuel that at one point of time I wasn’t able to breathe. I just couldn’t inhale air inside. I was close to feeling suffocated. It made me even more nervous. Finally, when I went out to relieve my distended bladder I breathed fresh air. That lady was kind enough to hold my hand and take me out in the open. There are many firsts in life. I have never done this ever in the open, not even knowing what is around me , where I am, in pitch darkness and in a high altitude region with a complete stranger woman standing there to protect me in the night. Life was throwing different challenges at each step. Once I felt a little normal, I went in, again wet and shivering. Tea was ready by then. We all had the hot tea, apparently made from goat milk. Who cared then whether it was goat milk or cow milk or camel milk? We were too grateful to have been even offered tea. I gave her some money for helping us. She smiled and looked at me quizzically not knowing why I was giving her the money. With all the help that she did for us, she demanded nothing in return. I had to force her to take it.

We requested them to allow us to stay in this tent for the night. They readily agreed and gave us their tent. They also told us that there was another tent where they would stay instead. We were feeling extremely bad for having taken their tent. If only someone could see the other tent, we could shift there as this tent had started leaking. Everyone looked at Yd who was standing in the corner. He took a torch and went with that man in an umbrella. He was extremely nervous going with a complete stranger into darkness. Yd said that the man was showing the torch everywhere pointing towards a tent but there was nothing to reflect the light back. It was pointing again into nowhere. To their dismay the tent had completely collapsed and on being asked he told Yd that, it was that tent he had been referring too. The last hope that Yd had was also shattered. He was extremely disappointed and also shivering after he came back seeing the collapsed tent. I could sense the disappointment on his face. We had no other option but to wait there. I was ready to sleep in that tent provided the rain stopped and water was not leaking. Yd was shivering so much that his teeth were also clattering. That kind lady offered to make dinner for us too. She asked us, “ Will you have dinner?” We wouldn’t expect this hospitality even from our close ones at times. She said that she could make dal – chawal for us. We readily accepted as we were too hungry. We all sat around the fireplace, warming our hands, feet and also face. That lady was cooking in the same tent. She cut onions and added dal chawal in the cooker and cooked our meal there while we all sat wondering what to do next. The husband and wife duo looked at us helplessly trying to find a solution for the leaking tent. They seemed upset seeing water entering the tent. While dinner was getting ready, we had tea. Yd and I were ready to pop pills for fever and body pain as we started feeling symptoms of cold and fever. In the same small tent I even managed to remove my contact lens and wear my glasses. Thankfully, our luggage was brought inside by Yd and Saveen. Deepa had started feeling sick by then. She was also very hungry and was also having acidity. She had suddenly turned quiet again.  We were all in a helpless situation. No one was having the energy to even move out of the tent. Then, something happened. That lady was trying to move some utensils around when her hand hit the pole that was holding the tent. The entire tent shook and more rain water fell on us. She put it back to rest on the stone immediately and held it upright but we realized that this tent could also collapse any moment. The cloth was also not water proof. We had to leave this place or find another sturdy tent for shelter.

I don’t know what struck me that time. My mind was clouded with fear while at the same I was realizing that the people there had such a good heart to help us out and offer food when we didn’t ask for anything except shelter. We were all able to understand that even in such a remote corner of the world, nomads who did not speak or understand our language much were ready to help us out. I was continuously thanking the lady and asking her to help us out further. I was repeating this again and again. Probably it was also a symptom of altitude sickness- talking too much. We only had our words and money to thank them. Even that wouldn’t suffice for the help which they had provided. She looked at me with a smile without being able to understand my thankful gestures. She only looked helplessly at us and later looked at their leaking tent. None of them were clad in waterproof clothing. It was probably a normal day for them. During our conversation I asked them a question which might have seemed extremely stupid and impractical then. I did not even remember that it was me who asked this question. Only when Saveen told us later that he was extremely pissed off listening to my stupid question at that moment, did I realize that it was my idea to even ask that lady. I asked her, ‘ Aapke paas koi gaadi ya car hai kya ?’ Despite having the knowledge that they were nomads and they could not own a vehicle. They were shepherds and poor people who stayed in tents and here I was asking if they had a car.

To everyone’s surprise, that man understood my question and said yes. So my stupid question actually gave us a ray of hope. It was not a car but a camper which they called 404/407. Apparently his cousin/brother/friend, someone whose name was Namgyal had a 404/407. That man left immediately to call his brother and get a vehicle for us. We were all excited thinking that we would be able to reach our camp in Korzok soon. We planned to leave the bikes there and only take our luggage along. This was also depending on the space in the camper.That man came with Namgyal soon. Namgyal spoke in Hindi and also understood about our condition. Initial plan was that, Yd and Saveen would go with Namgyal till the Yak camp in Korzok and get another vehicle like Innova or a mini truck and take the others back. Namgyal interrupted saying that there was no need for another round trip as he could accommodate us in his truck if 4 members tried to adjust in the seat behind. We readily agreed. There couldn’t have been a better solution. Namgyal was almost half asleep when he was woken up. He was also ready to help us just like the other two. Our dal-chawal was ready. It smelt heavenly at least for me and Yd because we were so hungry and exhausted that every smell around seemed to be masked by the aroma of the rice cooked there. Yd appreciated the lady for the tasty food and also enjoyed a spicy powder which she gave to mix with the rice. His appreciation was genuine and we both actually had two servings of that rice. I asked her the recipe also for this awesome rice that was cooked. Even in that helpless and lost state I managed to strike a conversation with her. That was the only meal we had in the entire day after breakfast. Deepa was not even able to complete the food as she was feeling nauseated because of the smell around. Viren and Spiti were also not feeling well because of the cold and damp weather. They were practically tucked in one corner shrunk into each other. My hands were refusing to warm up and my teeth were still clattering. Yd and Saveen were the only ones who managed to do everything even in the rain. They stayed calm throughout despite their tiredness. They were also feeling equally cold and sick but they acted as our support system. Deepa was praying for the rain to stop. 

As we completed our food and left from there, our bags were put behind in the truck by Yd and Saveen. This was all happening at around 11:30 PM at night. Before leaving we gave some money to that lady and the man for their help. Again, she did not expect money for all that she had done. Even Namgyal did not demand money. His only concern was that his truck’s wiper was not working. So he said that he would go slowly in the rain. We had a vehicle to take us to our camp. We required nothing more. One by one we entered squeezing inside the truck. Saveen and Yd sat with Namgyal in the front seat while Deepa, Viren, Spiti and I sat in the seat behind. We were still wet. Our shoes were still soaked and few things that we were holding in our hands were also wet. In the truck’s carrier behind all our clothes, saddle bags were kept which were surely wet because of the rain. All we wanted was to reach our camp. My hands were freezing cold but with Deepa’s help I tried to keep them warm in her jacket.

Half an hour passed and we were still travelling. We had also crossed that difficult water crossing which was actually nothing. The roads seemed pretty okay but we were discussing that it was good that we did not take a chance and drive through it. The journey was getting longer and longer. Viren and Spiti were fast asleep. Deepa and I were also not too comfortable. Deepa just kept quiet. Yd and Saveen kept doing a status check in between. Yd was continuously having a conversation with Namgyal , most of which was extremely boring and irritating but it was enough to keep him awake. He kept telling me too not to fall asleep. The rain had slowed down. Deepa was a little relieved. It would help us reach Tso Moriri faster. The cold breeze had not stopped though. It was freezing cold. Exactly as I describe. We were almost freezing.

Suddenly the rain drops became huge and intense. They were falling on the glass screen and refusing to move from there. They were just getting stuck there making it difficult for Namgyal to see. To me they seemed like pigeon shit falling on the glass screen and refusing to go away. Only when Namgyal strained his head out while moving the steering with his left hand and with his right hand removed the slick we realized that it was snow. Within ten minutes it grew thicker and thicker and Namgyal kept repeating the same act without bothering about snow falling on him or even cold affecting him. I remember he was just wearing a jacket for protection. No head gear, no goggles, no gloves or no rain coat for protection. He was comfortable and happy in helping us out. We had to cross a herd of sheep on our way which were not visible in the dark but we could hear their sound clearly. We could only see something from the front glass which was getting cloudy every second. We were amidst a snowstorm.

After a while, Namgyal stopped his vehicle and told us that it was not possible for him to take us further as the snow storm had increased and the roads were going be blocked soon. Driving would be dangerous in this weather plus he was not able to see anything in front. Snow, being opaque does not allow light to pass through. It was difficult for him to see anything and this exercise of removing snow each time and driving further up was difficult. He told us that if we moved further up, the intensity of snowfall would increase and we might be in a tougher situation. He suggested that we should go back. But where do we go back to? May be the tent where we stayed would have also collapsed because of the snow water would have entered completely?  We told Namgyal that we did not have a place to go to. What he told us next left us feeling surprised and shocked. He told us in Hindi, ‘I will take you to a hotel, if you find place there you can stay or else I’ll take you all to my house. It is near Mahe Bridge.’ At that moment his simple act of humanity seemed like words from spoken by an angel. We knew then that humanity still existed in this world. He was just like a God sent angel.

Now that we decided to go back, he had to reverse the vehicle. The road was so narrow that it was difficult for him to even reverse his truck. He somehow struggled with it, moving his vehicle back inch by inch and looking carefully outside. We were not able to see anything but the people sitting inside. He was also doing this very carefully. Anything could happen at that moment if he missed a ditch or he reversed the vehicle up till the edge of a mountain/cliff. Any wrong move of the vehicle could put our lives at risk. But he was very careful and reversed the car perfectly even in that weather condition. All this while, snow was falling completely over him as he was dusting it off every time. I was too scared to witness this and in an attempt to close my eyes I dozed off. I did not know what happened after that but I heard Deepa speaking in between and asking if I was awake. I replied to her and again closed my eyes. I was hanging between reality and sleep. We were all completely dependent on Namgyal.

Saveen and Yd were still talking about something to Namgyal. I remember the point when I woke up for a while. The vehicle halted and he spoke something in his language. Apparently it was a hotel where he was telling us to stay. No one opened the door. He kept calling names but no one came. The next option was to drive around 20- 30 odd kilometres to reach his village which was near Mahe Bridge. We couldn’t have asked for more. The journey was never ending. I woke up in between, looked at some faint light in front and again closed by eyes. Viren and Spiti were also awake for a while but they again went back to sleep. Deepa was mumbling and also asking Saveen about the time it would take. She was extremely affected by the weather, altitude, having  food at an odd hour, acidity and mainly the smell of sheep and diesel. She was holding up for a very long time trying to be calm. I was also woken up when she asked me if I was alright. I was still shivering and my nose was cold. I was having difficult to breathe but I managed to remain calm. There was one such moment when Deepa and I held hands and we were almost in tears but we managed to stay calm. All we wanted at that time was a shelter to prevent us from the cold, rain and the snowstorm.

After about an hour we reached Namgyal’s house. I was asleep for the past one hour. I was woken up by Deepa telling that we had reached his house. It was not snowing there when we came but it was raining. Not heavily though. It was close to 2:00 AM when we reached his house. It was a small house made of mud. We couldn’t see anything around. I only remember being told to get inside the room fast. Namgyal helped us in getting into one of the rooms. Yd and Saveen were busy bringing the luggage inside the room. All our bags were covered with a thick layer of snow. In that extremely cold weather they cleared out the snow and brought all the bags inside. Viren and Spiti managed to get a place to sit in the corner. They were half asleep and too weak to talk or respond to what was happening around. Deepa and I were forcefully woken up from our dazed sleepy state  when we stepped on the soaking wet carpeted bed. There was no place left dry for us to even stand. The room was muddy and also wet because rain water had seeped in through the roof. The roofs there are made of mud which cannot hold water. They get damp and eventually start falling. We told Namgyal that the carpets were soaking wet. He told us to go to another room but there was no light. We were shifting into the other room when Deepa had severe vomiting. She felt even more nauseated after entering the room. She lost a lot of fluid. Namgyal was extremely kind enough in giving her a bucket from his house. When she looked around to wash up and drink water, there wasn’t any. In a hurry we had left all our water bottles in the tent. Namgyal had some water stored in a can which was only sufficient for Deepa to wash her face and rinse her mouth. She did feel a little better after vomiting but loosing fluids had made her extremely weak. We both went to another room which was totally dark. We both sat on two carpeted beds in different corners. Thankfully they were still dry but in the centre of the room there was a huge patch of damp mud which had fallen from the room and water was trickling from the room. Namgyal went to help Saveen and Yd with the luggage and for a minute Deepa and I were left in pitch darkness. We couldn’t even see each other’s face. A thin ray of light escaped through the crack in that room’s door. I could see some movement happening outside the room and was able to hear Saveen’s voice. He was really worried about Deepa’s health condition. Yd also came in a while and kept our luggage there. We only had to keep a track of all our bags. We had no clue if our mobile phones and wallets were safe but we knew that they were somewhere inside one of the bags kept safely.

I felt relieved only when Yd came and sat beside me. Namgyal gave us warm blankets which we needed badly. We kept our rain coats aside and decided to sleep. Spiti and Viren also joined us. The place where they sat had also started leaking. Namgyal was very worried looking at the condition of the room. He was feeling bad that he couldn’t do much to help us. He had warm blankets for everyone. With both the rooms in his house occupied; one by us and one by rain water, Namgyal went to sleep in his camper. We requested him to stay back and sleep in the same room but he decided to sleep in his truck instead. We wondered at his helpful and kind nature.

The most important part of the day’s event is that no one asked for money or demanded anything from us. They were doing everything out of humanity. Had it been in some other place , I doubt if someone would have been so helpful without expecting money first. We had only few hours left before daybreak. That was the time when we all prayed for the night to end soon and were desperately waiting for the sun to rise. That was the only solution to all our problems. It was the longest and most adventurous night of our Ladakh trip and in our lives so far.

We were taken to Tso Moriri the next day by Namgyal.  We left from Tso Moriri at around 10:00 AM. In an hour we reached Thadsang. The sky was clear and the sun was shining bright. We wanted to meet that Tibetan lady and thank her again for her help. She was smiling happily looking at us. We also saw that little girl who was scurrying around at night. She was dressed in a cute traditional gown. She was going to welcome the Lama who was arriving to their village shortly. That Tibetan lady had also kept Saveen’s bike keys safely. She handed it over to him when the bikes were loaded on to the campers.  The tent where we stayed in was intact and the locals were behaving as if nothing had happened the previous night. It was just another normal night for them. The carpets in that tent that were damp were put outside for drying. That was when we observed the fenced area where the sheep were kept at night. We also saw horns of sheep lying around everywhere and the disgusting smell still persisted.

One camper had two bikes and the third bike was put on the other one. Our wet shoes and socks were dumped behind in the carrier. Our bags were kept on the top carrier. Another interesting fact about the people there is - Unity. They all work as a family, be it anything. While our bikes were being loaded many came for help, shockingly Namgyal’s 70 + old mother also came to help them out to load the bikes. She told Saveen, Yd and Viren not to do anything and she was able to lift a Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 cc bike on to a camper. They were able to tie the bikes to the camper so strongly that even if one tried to shake them, the bike’s stood still. Hats off to the spirit of the people there!! We were amazed seeing their unity and strength. We bade them good bye and left. 

It was one such incident that shook our confidence but increased the amount of respect for the Tibetan family especially that lady and Namgyal who chose to help us without any hesitation. The most important part of their nature was that they did not do it expecting any monetary benefit. It was an act of humanity. It is rare to find such selfless people. An unforgettable incident and unforgettable Tibetan people there in Thadsand village. I really wish to see them again if I get a chance to visit Thadsang village again. They taught us selflessness that day. They trusted us and helped us without expecting anything in return. It is very difficult to be that way. Considering that they are poor and are nomads, I did not see a hint of greed in their eyes. Money seemed secondary to them. For them it was all about giving us shelter, food, water and lodging in the middle of the night. They wanted us to be safe and reach Leh safely. Otherwise, who would offer one's own tent for us to sleep and choose to go to a dilapidated one themselves. I still wonder if ever someone comes knocking at our door in the middle of the night seeking shelter how will we react? Will we be able to be so selfless and think so clearly without any doubts?


alok said...

Indeed a nicely written post. I wish you good luck for the contest
Here is my answer
The association of Tata Motors with Lionel Messi is that of two greats. Lionel Messi has been exceptionally talented who with his hard work, determination and sacrifices has got better and tougher in his chosen sport so is the Image, reputation and quality of TATA Motors that have transformed brilliant ideas into masterpieces of engineering and created a brand and products that we are so proud of as Indians. Lionel Messi has transformed his body and the mind body co-ordination into a masterpiece of precision and excellence it would not be wrong to say that Lionel Messi is the TATA Motors of sports where as TATA Motors is the Lionel Messi of vehicles both giants in their own spheres driven by the drive to excel and lead by example. So Lionel Messi is the best choice for becoming the brand Ambassador for TATA Motors

Utpal Khot said...

The story of Legend in themselves – that’s how I will describe it in a short sentence. Very well written with the pics which enhance the simplicity yet greatness of the family and the group as a whole..Salutations and very happy for you to have got inspired and bringing out your best in life.

My answer: Tata is a name which any and every person can rely on for its honesty, commitment and perseverance. Lionel Messi is a legend who has carved his name in history books with total dedication to the game, simple living and improvisation which is seen with each game he plays. The association of Tata Motors and Lionel Messi as their Brand Ambassador will definitely give an edge to the Tata group over its competitors solely because the brand Ambassador also holds the same reputation of not letting his fans down ever, like Tata Motors who have given the best to the world over the decades. Its an exemplary association par excellence.

You can choose my answer as the best if you feel I described it all well.. :)