It’s Quiet now. The Gurukul Located in the hills of Pangot, near Nainital was bustling every day with sounds of energetic conversations about life, religion, culture, human nature, political inclinations and fitness. Every voice carried a hint of an accent. Every face seemed different. And yet they had an amazingly simple sense of camaraderie.
Every one of them had swung fists, kicks, knives chokes at each other. And yet every one missed each one dearly as they walked down the stairs through the narrow passes of the mountains to the civil world again.
I have been at the camp for seven amazing, gruelling, beautiful and insightful days. Blogging every day, sharing insights that would come to me in the unlikeliest of moments.
While knowing now what my body is capable of doing is a plus sign in itself. I realised that civilized life devoid of physical strains and adaptability ingrained in nature can be so sneaky. It creeps into our lives and changes us. It doesn’t take long then after which one can neither recognise themselves in body nor mind or spirit.
After an 800 metre jog down the mountain and back up to camp, the gruelling sessions started three times a day. Two hours in the morning and evening and one hour in the noon. Shifu Kanishka Sharma had a brilliant and almost devilish smile as he demonstrated and enforced physical discipline and rehearsed many a time the delightfully dangerous techniques and tools of a martial artist.
Making friends with people of tender teenage years to wise and toughened forties, I panted, wheezed, punched, kicked, rolled, wrestled and poked away every day. Every morning, staring at the horizon, as I could see the sunrise among the mountain peaks. I would step out of the tent I shared with four other aspirants, stretch my arms in the cool morning breeze, look up at the skies and say to myself, “Might as well.”
Today was the last session of the ongoing routine that was my life at the Gurukul for this short time.
A Gurukul, by the very definition of the word, is a family one has with the teacher. A bit of emptiness though visible both within and without, A valuable lesson comes along to me. Something that I would never have learned anywhere else.
We live our lives, building bigger houses, making bigger nameplates, appearing perfect in looks and in nature. But this isn’t where we find the joy we keep looking for all our adult lives.
It is when we are the weakest, the sweatiest, the most in pain. Then we see the likeliness of the human next to us in ourselves. It is then when we make true friends. To show them your weakness would never hurt. Because they would know you for you as you would know them for them.
Travelling light, I will have collected my belongings soon. Saying my goodbyes to every nook and corner of this beautiful retreat. But all my reservations, questions doubts and fears that I carried Along with me on my way here have been replaced by this gift I gained. As I was a part of the Shifu Kanishka’s Combatives program May 2018. I now know the joy of a simpler life. A life where Strain is a friend and Rest can only be earned.