It was during my yoga days at Uttarkashi more or less a year ago that I met this interesting man. Almost towards the end of the course, one day we received a message on our WhatApp group saying “Actor Ved Thapar, a popular TV personality is going to be spending a week’s time with us.”
Me, been raised in a household that owned a little black and white TV and for whom the only channel existed was Door Darshan during my school days and even later on had been a little away from TV and possessed limited knowledge or interest about TV shows.
The day he arrived at Yoga Bhawna Mission, it was a Sunday evening around 8pm, we were done with our day long activities and sat around the heater talking random things. A middle aged man with gleamy eyes and a charming smile showed up at the main door of the yoga hall accompanied by a new student.
As an usual ritual at YBM they were welcomed with garlands and Tika on their foreheads (A red mark made with vermillion). We had a quick introduction and dispersed to whatever we were doing. A while later just before dinner he joined us at the heater. Though he came across as a friendly person, we were a little hesitant to strike a conversation. He stole the opportunity and introduced himself again, this time in much detail.
He was an Ayurvedic doctor, a martial artist and trainer, an actor, entertainer a performer and a social worker. He tried to know what each of us did and where we were from. As an ice breaker he also came up with a game where we had to chant “Om” in all possible ways we could. And thus began a week full of adventure, stories and learning that make my much treasured memories.
I had never met a man of this allure; He was the most enthusiastic of us all and loved to be outdoors. During our breaks between classes we would go exploring newer trails, walk along the banks of Bhagirati, and climb the mountains as he taught us some basic survival tricks. He would speak to the trees, the birds, the skis and water, thanking them every moment for their existence, oblivious about what people thought about him. He greeted random people on the way, making them smile though they didn’t recognize him. And in class he would be the most energetic and encouraging.
While we were not out exploring the woods, he would tell us stories on the banks of Bhagirati. He would tell them with such passion in his eyes and spectacular intonation that transported us to a world elsewhere. Sitting on a rock, by the silver sand, mighty mountains, clear sky and gracefully flowing Bhagirati, I lived those stories in my imagination.
The day he was leaving, we decided to climb the mountain that stood tall right before YBM that we gazed at everyday and wished to climb one day. At around 6 am, “Hey Gypsy! Let’s go!” I remember him say. And in no time we were climbing.
It is people like these that remind us the beauty of life, that teach us to appreciate the little pleasures of life and more importantly teach us to DREAM. I am so glad to have met this person and wish him great thing ahead. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get to the top of the mountain that day, but he is always on top in life!