Friday, October 15, 2010

A Promise at Nalwa Guest House

I took a trip this one time
On a motorcycle, and I did climb
Over slippery mountains and dried tears
To find questions for answered prayers

I was not alone, I rode with my friends
Trying to straighten our lives around the bends
We rode through the night and over the day
We were trying to make it to Leh

Withdraw money I remember telling them
This map says Manali has the last ATM
Hundreds of miles after Manali’s north flank
The views are priceless, but there is no bank

That romantic night we flirted with death
We slipped, swerved and caught our breath
Should have reached Keylong three hours before
Our eyes longed for a roof around a door

It was around two when I saw a light
Shining through the misty night
I knocked and a man peered outside
Do you like your Momos steamed or fried?

In the morning I was the first to rise
The owner served eggs and some advice
Son, you should all be on your way
You have to survive Baralacha La on the road to Leh

I woke my friends in the first lodge on the hill
I asked the owner for the bill
The amount was small, and I asked my friend
Do you have Rupees One Thousand?

A thousand for the night we passed
A few hundreds for the brilliant breakfast
But we had committed one big folly
None of us withdrew anything at Manali

I looked at the owner, he looked back
A young man and his first heart attack
Sir, is there a bank close by I say
He replies the next one is at Leh

Why Son, why are you turning blue?
Sir, we have no money to pay you.
He took a moment and then he smiled
Youngsters, careless and wild

Just when we were at the end of our wits
He said, you can pay me, when life permits
I could not believe what he just said
Son, I am Buddhist between birth and being dead

Bed and food are the only things money brings
Just show compassion to all living things
Just pass along the money that you owe
To a hungry child or a lonely widow

I made a promise to him without fail
That every single time I tell this tale
To my friends on the road to Leh
Nalwa Guest House is where you should stay

  You may also like Keylong

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The song on my playlist is Better as a Memory by Kenny Chesney


ankha said...

beautiful.. :) just like a story teller.

Kalyan said...

Nice yar...
So, how was the trip to Leh?
Pls share some photographs...


Gaurav Parab said...

@ Ankha: Thanks. The mountains, I feel, are always full of timeless stories. This one is absolutely true by the way.

@ Kalyan: Thanks. Emailed you the link.

Juhi said...

Beautifully expressed....loved it..:)

yogesh said...

Well written Gaurav.

Hiral said...

awesome story beautifully told! This is a real inspiring instance.