Written on May 27 2016, our journey imported from our old website <3
Last month I took my fashion hat off to co-chaperone a ten day trip of 30 Manav Sadhna children to the Himalayas along with my friend Tejshri, a MS volunteer of Gujarati descent, born and bred in Texas. I thought it might be stressful, stepping away from the research and studio work for so long- but this unexpected otherworldly experience is the first thing that has ever pulled my headspace away from my work. All of us were transported in some way throughout the duration of this adventure.
The Manav Sadhna kids have not traveled much before. They were very excited and I was excited for them- however I had no idea what it could mean to travel a long way up and down windy mountain roads through various means of transportation over the course of 10 days, with 30 children whose life experiences have moulded them into significantly stronger individuals than myself
The first two days were spent in Rishikesh/Hardiwar seeing Hindu temples and other various spiritual experiences (Gangaji aartis, river dips, ashrams and such). The Himalayas are supposed to be very spiritual. At first I didn’t think I would feel it. After all, I’m not Hindu- Although I was curious to learn about the religion. There are so many amazing stories full of philosophy and beautiful life lessons in Hinduism. My personal spiritual background is solely monotheistic, as such I had a little trouble connecting with the idea of so many energies each with a separate divine power. Did they come together to form one? Or are they all really separate, with their multitude of connections and reincarnations? I asked a lot of questions throughout the tours. The trip felt like a mini “birthright” for the kids, and to me it was a such a valuable learning experience.
Rishikesh Gangaji Aarti above, Haridwar Gangaji Aarti below
Aarti defined: "Hindu religious ritual of worship, a part of puja, in which light from wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor is offered to one or more deities." In this event, the prayers were to Mother Ganges.
Above: Bharat Mata Mandir
Below: Vishnu Devi Temple