…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menotra (men-oh-tra); the yatra you have during the meno years

Yatra is akin to pilgrimage.  It is sightseeing of the spiritual kind.  In theory.

Naturally, travel involves people and where there's people there can be less than noble experience.  Being on yatra, though, means overcoming the normal aversions and hurdles that such interactions can bring up.

In case you missed the first episode on Friday, let me sum up;
We traveled Air India to Delhi on a jet, then waited - - - - - - - - - -
Then boarded this 
Figure 1
Then from Kangra airport we travelled in this……..

Figure 2
But which was driven like this - - - - - - - - - 

Figure 1...again
We arrived to this_______________

As mentioned the rooms were basic but all that was necessary was there.  The beds in India are inclined to be 'firm', these were 'solid'.  The first night, probably out of travel exhaustion, I slept like a log for a full 7 hours.  Unheard of for me!  Woke early and saw the sunrise.  The weather was not being particularly kind though, the clouds having sunk so low as to obscure the mountain range almost completely.

Following an excellent breakfast of dosas we gathered our stuff and around 9:45 wandered out of the gates and into the hamlet which surrounds.

There are a handful of shop-stalls; a drinks and snacks place on the corner, a provisioner/taxi service, handyman services, dhaba (café), a photographer's studio, an outlet for the CORD products and a tailoress.  It was there where we were headed as I required a couple of sari blouses to be stitched.

That organised, we then gave business to the Gurudhara (Teacher's Grace) outlet.  A few hand-made items for souvenirs and gifts.  We all spent.  Small money to us, but great worth to the makers.  I will fill in more detail of CORD on Wednesday's post - I know many of you will appreciate what is going on there.

There was a light thunder storm as we were out, but minimal rain.  The cattle and goats were in good shape, as were all the dogs we saw.  The country folk take good care of their livestock and of course they are getting proper grass and meal as diet - not the scavenged items that constitutes their fodder in the greater urban areas.

We returned to the ashram for lunch and a brief rest before heading out the gate again but in the opposite direction.  This time we were walking over to the compound which houses the CORD centre.

In preparation for Wednesday's post, you need to know this stands for Chinmaya Organisation for Rural Development and there are some amazing self-help and empowerment as well as medical programs going on.  So do return on Wednesday to read more about that!  

Monday and Tuesday will have the regular spots.


  1. Enjoyed following along with you, Yam.
    Luv, K

  2. I like the taxi comment. Some hair raising photos would have been great.

  3. Hari Om
    ...You forget- hand were busy holding one onto the seat!!!!


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