My day at work left me feeling very flat and drained today. My evening Table Tennis sessions are a perfect antidote to such stress but even that failed to lift my spirits which is truly rare. When I reached home and kept my keys next to the TV, Sesha left his violin and started fussing over me. He also offered to make tea for me, interrupting his violin session and that is even rarer! Still, I was finding it difficult to shake off the blues.
Then I remembered a lovely mail I got today. I went over it and shared it with my family. That did the trick. It is a query about Ladakh and anything to do with the region works like a charm with me. Here is the mail:
Hello Sweet Mridula
My name is … I am a monk. My desire is to go to Ladakh (Leh). Precisely, I need to get to Phuktal Gompa (a monastery), in Phuktal in the Zanskar region, to finish a spiritual mission. I plan on leaving on November 1st, 2006. I plan on flying to Leh from Delhi.
The Problem is that I am not a tourist and I do not want to sight see. It is not my interest. Besides I do not have the money to run around. I do not want to visit the other monasteries either. Is there someone that you know in Leh, who I can pay to take me directly to Phuktal Gompa, without the frills and the thrills.
They say the Zanskar region is closed off by the end of November. So, am I safe to go at the beginning of November.
Please help me with a contact person and any words of advice that you may offer.
I had read the mail in hurry but it made me pause and smile. I immediately write to Rigzin, who is from Ladakh (but currently lives in another contry) and has shared with me pictures of the Leh Floods. I seeked his help and he was so kind with his reply.
I am a friend of Mridula so she has forwarded me your email. I belong to Leh.
Oct-May is a bad time for Zanskar as it is cut off from Leh. Local people and very few foreigners do ice trekking to reach zanskar during this time. Walking over frozen river (Indus river) is really tough. People also travel via Kargil to Zanskar.
You can get in touch with Mr Odpal George, a local Ladakhi his contact details are:
Mobile + 91 9419179742
Ph- + 91 1982252638
He is a travel agent, but if you write to him about your specific query, he should help you out, and is very reasonable in pricing. Since these months are off season you could ask for a discount.
Feel free to email me for any queries.
I consider such communications the biggest and the sweetest benefit of blogging. Three people currently living in three different countries interacting over Ladakh brought together by a blog, to borrow from MasterCard, feels priceless.