In Search of Silver Linings

The past 2 weeks sDSC01729ince my return from Nepal have afforded me the opportunity to distance myself a little, from the havoc that my stay in that country wreaked on me and my body (though I seem to still be dealing with some after-effects). Yes, it was a challenge, yes it took a toll, yes it left me with a bitter-sad aftertaste.

But always, there are silver linings. Blessings in disguise. Slivers of hope. Gems of unexpected beauty. Memories that cannot be captured elsewhere or at any other time. Those too are worth recalling and recording.

It was fortuitous timing that brought my friend C and I together again. We had first met in Nepal in 2008; she, a native Brit living in the Spanish countryside, I an adventure-seeking escapee from Canada. We met up again when she joined me for the last leg of my pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago in Spain, a couple of years ago. I landed this time in Kathmandu knowing that C would be there – and there she was. DSC00923

Another joyful reunion. A couple of days sharing a room, my first re-taste of veg-momos and a trip to Bhaktapur. When I left to Chitwan, C went off into the remote mountainside – without access to internet – to help reconstruct a school. We would reconnect at the end of April, perhaps making a sortie to Bhandipur before our respective departures.

But instead, there I was, heading back to Kathmandu, two weeks earlier than expected, with a ticket out of Nepal 2 days later. How would I let C know that we would not have a chance to meet again before I left? She was on my mind for much of the 9-hour bus trip from Pokhara to Kathmandu.

I dropped my bags off at the guesthouse and headed out for a bite. I turned the corner, and there she was. Oh gods of serendipity, I marvel at you once again!

12939132_10153674209946633_87545304_nC was also there on my first full day back in Kathmandu in 8 years. She was with me on the packed micro-bus that drove us to Patan, another ancient kingdom on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Home not only of UN headquarters in Nepal, but just around the corner, home also to an Ayurvedic pharmacy – and to the office of my astrologer. I say “my” with full knowledge of the weight and implications of that term; “my” because it is not just any astrologer that can urge me to be watchful of 2 health issues – which happen to be the only ones I currently struggle with; and it is not just any astrologer who could have offered a dire prediction as he did (consulting my birth chart, of course) – that I was heading into the path of danger and tried to warn me away from it. “My”, because I have faith in his lineage and guidance. In other words, though I broke it 8 years ago, I know that in deeper ways, Deep has my back.DSC01313

And then, of course, there is the exquisite joy of being in the presence of… elephants. Oh, I beg you, don’t underestimate the entertainment factor of being in their presence. If you know not of what I speak, then you must not ever have seen an elephant cross one hind leg over the other, as if in a waiting stance. It’s puzzling and hilarious. What are you waiting for, dear pachyderm – to be unchained? Ahhhh, dear ‘hati’… the wait will be long..

DSC01305So for a dose of sheer comic relief and hilarity (and for another escape route out of tourist- and traffic-choked Sauraha), I headed one early morning over to the elephant breeding center. There I stood for what seemed an eternity, watching a baby elephant slipping and sliding all over the mud, reaching out to its mother but not quite grasping the idea of staying put or far from the glop. A vaudevillian animal act that was both heart-breaking and priceless. Chaplin couldn’t have choreographed it any better.DSC01321




DSC01300And so, with these pix of playful Nepali creatures, I bid you, for now, adieu & namaste.

Seeing still, the light in you, Nepal, and in the world.. even when darkness seems to envelop me.

* And that, my friends, in the photo on the left, is from a sighting of a rare, one-horned rhino!

More photos from Nepal uploaded to my Flickr site here!



  1. I love to read how the universe tosses serendipity around in playful ways like this. The chance meetings, the faith in unseen paths, the young elephant … it’s all part of a life that had we the chance to sit before and write it out, we could never have matched the brilliance.

    So glad I happened by here today.

  2. I love the elephant photos. I have seen the crossed leg action and I agree, it’s funny! I’m glad you had a little levity and a few happy moments. Otherwise it sounds like the trip was heavy.

  3. Amit, your baby elephant stole my heart! I last saw the crossed leg stance in a temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka. They have an elephant there that is much loved (but captive) who displayed it. At least your baby looks like it’s having fun. 🙂

    BTW, you may have noticed that things have been quiet at Gallivance. Our travels have been (temporarily) suspended because I blew out my knee and recently had to have total knee replacement surgery. Not fun, but I’m working hard on recovery. We haven’t forgotten about our friends and want things to get back to normal. James and I are looking forward to catching up with you and finding out what you’ve been up to. In the meantime, thanks for continuing to follow along.

    All the best, Terri

    1. Hi Terri, Sorry to hear about your setback. Hope your knee heals well and that you’re back on track in due time. Rest up, take care and I look forward to following more of your inspiring adventures! All the best to you & James 😉

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