The journey is born, we conceive it and we take care of it. The journey grows, get old and then dies, but as soon as it is born it is already «ready», capable of using its head, making and undoing itself at will.
In Hindi it is called MAHAPRASTAN; the beginning of a process but also the end of something, is the Great Journey, the end that coincides with the departure.A place of passage from one form of energy to another, the essential beginning of another new journey.
In the Langtang mountains simplified by a phrase from a Tibetan woman: «he’s not the road you walk, is the walking».
Kathmandu is a vortex, I was staying in a monastery, I moved away from the westerners, abandoned the center of the city for a peripheral neighborhood in the middle of the two main Hindu and Buddhist temples. Dirty brave and desperate human organic. Footprints, streams, pools of water, dark wet, dry and iridescent spots, red spits, small heaps of soft materials, ash crusts and peels. First nausea then completely normal.
I demanded Indian boys from a small slum like many who fit into the rubbish lanes, Kathmandu is full of these villages as they define them. The casual encounters become reality every day, I spent the evenings sitting in their little huts of canvas and wood where I was offered food, the most valuable thing for people who don’t know how to eat; sitting on the ground on a mat, sitting at the same height as the untouchables, embracing them, eating, as the Hindu tradition teaches, from their hands, I was a «ji» for them as a sign of respect, listening to the trembling light of an ancient candle Hindu legends, smoking and drinking their water from a common glass, around a fire fed by plastic bags and garbage while children sleep wrapped in old blankets and women by the fire waiting for the men to order.
Familiar scenes that stick in you; like the quarrels between man and woman, the free straps to the woman you don’t love but who you married for weddings that are still combined, the dreams hanging on the walls, western dreams, posters that represent villas and happy children in the shadow of a great mountain or travel for them unthinkable, London, Paris, Japan ..
They bring you to the temple for the day of prayer passing through the neighborhood of the oracles, baba gurus who foresee the future read your hand and comment on your life line with proverbs and stories of Shiva, Krishna ..
At night you walk through the streets of a city lit by candles, which light up when the blackout envelops the houses, the streets, the cows on the street, the holy men and the beggars. All dark and faces lit by small bonfires in the middle of the street surrounded by five or six people trying to warm up. Strong smell between incense and urine.
I often happened to go home late at night, still meeting Tibetan pilgrims chanting mantras in the moonlight.