Ladakh Road Trip -2013 – Day 21-22

Sight seeing with Norboo uncle

Day 21, 2nd July, 2013

Rajesh and Kinjal got ready and left for K-Top at 8am. Rajesh seemed pretty excited for today’s ride. After all, riding on the world’s highest motor-able road is a big achievement in itself. Norboo uncle was going to pick us up at 9:15 am. But just when Rajesh-Kinjal were leaving, Norboo Uncle entered our hotel. He said he had an important meeting later in the day therefore he arrived so soon. Me, Avinash and Maithili got ready and sat in his car. He drove us through the campus of Mahabodhi center. He told us that this entire Mahabodhi center has been founded by a single guy. He was in Indian Army. After retirement he became a monk and founded this facility. Now this center is funded by many international organizations. Mahabodhi center has a meditation center. It also runs schools, orphanages, old age homes etc. Norboo uncle emphasizes on one fact that a single guy can bring about such a huge change in society.

The route soon joined the main Leh city road and we found ourselves at the base of Shey palace. We had visited Shey palace before but Norboo uncle was unaware of it. When he learnt that we have been here before, he seemed a little disappointed but we told him that it would be a great experience to re-visit this place with him. He climbed the steps of the palace with such agility that we were feeling ashamed of our health condition. We were panting and were breathless after climbing a few steps. We visited the palace and had a good question-answer session with Norboo uncle. He then dropped us back in our hotel and left for his meeting. Before leaving he gave us a bag. He said it has a Ladakhi read which we can have for breakfast. Since I had already had my breakfast, Avinash and Maithili finished their share of the bread during breakfast.

By 1:30 pm Rajesh and Kinjal returned with cheerful memories of the K-Top. Rajesh had forgotten his waist pouch on the bike in hotel premises which was with Avinash now. Five of us had lunch after which Avinash and Maithili went to Mohan Sharma’s garage to fix the suspension problem in Avinash’s bullet. I spent the rest of the day writing this travelogue.  

An open discussion with a Buddhist Philosopher

Day 22, 3rd July, 2013

While we were having breakfast at 10 am in our hotel’s garden, Norboo uncle came to visit us. We were surprised by his visit. He said he was trying our hotel number but couldn’t get through, so came personally to meet us. He had come to tell us that he would pick us from our hotel at 4:30 pm and take us to his office where his friend, who is a professor in school would meet us. We had earlier expressed our wish to Norboo uncle that we wanted to have a chat with a Buddhist monk who could tell us more about Buddhist Philosophy. That’s when Norboo Uncle told us that his friend has done deep study on Buddhism and he would be the right person to answer our questions. Today was a day when we’d get to meet him. We told Norboo uncle to have a breakfast with us but he refused as he was very busy.

After finishing our breakfast, Avinash, Maithili and me went to visit “Hall Of Fame” – a museum and a Kargil war memorial. Rajesh and Kinjal stayed back as they had already seen it while we were on Nubra Valley trip. Hall of fame was a nice experience for us. We learnt a lot about the history of Ladakh, about its Flora and Fauna, culture, Kargil war which took place in 1999. In one of the halls we saw a documentary on Indian Army’s operation Vijay. Due to lack of time we couldn’t finish the entire museum display. We headed back to our hotel.  

When we returned to our Hotel room, Rajesh and Kinjal were not there. We assumed that they must have gone for lunch at Yoyo’s place. So we too went to Yoyo’s. They were not there either. We ordered our food and within 20 minutes Rajesh and Kinjal showed up with shopping bags in their hands. Rajesh and I had decided to courier all our gift items to Mumbai today. I thought Rajesh would be ready with his stuff but he had bought more stuff to be couriered. After finishing our lunch, Rajesh, Kinjal and I booked a cab and went to a private courier service provider on a Kargil road. We were supposed to finish this business of ours before 4:15 so that we could return to our hotel before Norboo uncle comes to pick us up for the scheduled meeting. We got late and when we reached the hotel, Norboo Uncle was already there with Avinash and Maithili and three of them were waiting for three of us.

We went to Norboo Uncle’s office which was hardly a kilometer away from our hotel. We got introduced to Mr. Namgyal. We had a very long and informative discussion with him. We got to learn a lot from him about Buddhist philosophy and beliefs. While leaving from there we bid goodbye to Norboo uncle with a heavy heart. We had developed a great respect for him. We told him that our trip and our stay in Leh became more memorable because of him. He said he’d come to see us off tomorrow morning only if he’s not too busy.  

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Pranay Meher

Full time cg/vfx artist / part time traveller, photographer and hobbyist

Hi, I’m Pranay. Welcome to my website. This is my space where I share my travel stories, my musical progress, photographs and some CG/VFX related stuff.

Pranay Meher

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