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Aug 01, 2017 at 13:39

Away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolitans, our young reporter Lusha Jetley explored Leh, and it made all the difference.

Leh is different. And I’m not just saying that to make myself sound unique – I’ve already taken cognisance of my snowflake-ness. I’m saying that, because I went as a snowflake: delicate, intricate and awfully cold, and came back as a web – strong, connected and a lot warmer (because let’s be real, anything is warmer than a snowflake).

Between 20°C and -1°C, I found in myself carelessness I thought I’d long lost in Delhi. Being in Leh allowed me to flow. I wasn’t here for a reason – I was here for the journey.

Leh is the sensory overload every city inhabitant needs to experience. You wake up, surrounded by the Greater Himalayas. You tread among mud houses and demographics you’d think you’d only ever read about. You unearth Buddhism – sans sight, smell, sound, taste and touch in every monastery.  You experience life like a movie. It’s all too much, and so enticing, that staying there for less than 10 days would seem unfair.

In my 7 day trip there, I covered as much as I could. I did the usuals – Pangong Tso, Moon rocks, Khardung La et al, but I also took my time exploring Leh city, and I saw so many cultures existing so peacefully. It’s as though the air has lulled the animosity to sleep. And to experience this lull in arguably the most conflicted state of our country, was a feeling my heart will hold onto  for all troubled times ahead. Which reminds me,

Leh reminded me what peace felt like.

Maybe it’s because we were in the mountains. Maybe it’s because my phone wasn’t working. But in those 7 days, everything around me seemed like it was humming ‘Across The Universe’. There was no semblance of time, no urgency. Days and nights merged into an unforgettable memory which everyone lived in. It was so abstract for a city dweller like me.

I ate snow. I experienced oxygen deficiency. I slept with four pairs of socks on.

But those seven days, have given me renewed energy. Leh will embrace you with it’s cold, and you will let it, because it’s all too much, and it’s so enticing. Like sleeping on a fluffy pillow.

Lusha Jetley