Saraswati – the mystical river roared at Mana – the last Indian village in Uttarakhand, near the Indo-China/Tibet border.
I had fallen in love with this tiny village when I had first visited it in 2014. Little did I know I would get another chance to visit it again, a few years later. Because, I fall in love with many places, and think to myself – I’ll come back here again, some time, but that rarely happens.
It happened this time, I went back to the same place a second time. I felt at home as I walked through the village, and was surprised that I almost remembered every corner, each turn but I guess that those tiny villages don’t change rapidly or much for years. And that’s kind of lovely for it feels so familiar and welcoming every time you visit as if you never left the place or the place never left you.
I realized that I was secretly hoping to find the people I spoke to and see the faces I saw back then. The baby girl whose name was Harshita rode on her mum’s back and who had posed for me, would be older now. The old lady beautiful with her wrinkles, who knitted woolen shawls sitting in the warm sun and who had smiled and asked me where I came from, would still be graceful. The kind-faced old man who had sold me a local herb guaranteeing it can make any dish taste great would be selling another herb to another traveler.
As I walk through the little village, listening to the roaring Saraswati river all the while, these and so many other thoughts flood my mind. I also think that if I don’t see those people now, maybe, I will come back here yet another time and meet them all.