Noah Adin Koski – The Milk of Dharma

Carusopascoski è tornato dall’India dopo 5 mesi. Dato che è ancora piuttosto frastornato, che non ho ritrovato ancora piena fluidità ad articolare un discorso in italiano dopo mesi di lingua inglese e che si sente pigrissimo dopo tanta bellissima iperattività d’Oriente, coglie l’occasione per festeggiare il ritorno all’attività del blog (sticazzi) pubblicando un diario di viaggio dell’India che gli è passato sotto gli occhi. Di diari di viaggio sull’India ce ne sono tantissimi, da quello di Mircea Eliade a quelli incrociati di Moravia e Pasolini, fino all’abuso recente di Moleskine, dal quale ha cercato di sottrarsi per donarsi a un più raro silenzio contemplativo, talvolta interrotta dal rutto libero che, per la sopresa del blogger, vige e imperversa in India.
L’estratto che viene pubblicato di seguito fa parte del diario fresco, umile e onesto di una tra le più belle persone incontrate in Asia, Noah Adin Koski, sosia perfetto di Alexander Supertramp di
Into The Wild per aspetto esteriore, attitudine interiore e progetto di vita (viaggiare per almeno tre anni prima di iniziare l’università, come si raccomanda nel libro cult), a differenza del sottoscritto è ancora a zonzo per l’Himalaya indiano, e potete leggere le passate e future puntate del diario di viaggio sul suo blog. –
Ah, prima di augurarvi una buona lettura, quel Luca di cui leggerete corrisponde al sottoscritto, e pazienza se sono di parte, perchè rileggermi dentro il diario di viaggio di qualcun altro mi ha emozionato e non poco.

“Last I wrote I left Pohkara, Nepal for Dharmsala, India to try to make it in time to hear the Dalai Lama speak. And ended up cutting it very close. Learning just before deciding to leave Nepal, that the Circus was coming to Phokara, I couldn’t resist. And having just enough time I brought my bag to the show, watched circus Khatmandu, a circus of rescued Indian and Nepalese circus performers who had rough lives in cruel circus and gave them a new home. So I attended this and rushed with just 40 mins left before my bus departed, and then, as all bumpy bus travel seems to be, was a 20 hour bus to the border, crossed the border no problem, and another 10 hour bus to Haridwar to once again change another bus for Dharmsala. Tired, bruised and exhausted we arrived in Haridwar too late to get a bus for Dharmsala, and I was about to stay the night there, when one of the new friends I met on the bus said he was going to rishikesh to stay at a friends ashram and if I wanted to join I could. Being just 30 min away and seeming much nicer then Haridwar Luca (a new friend from Italy), myself, and a Canadian Sean who was also trying to get to Dharmsala went along. And ended up spending one perfect day in Rishikesh. We stayed The night in a small ashram, one with no sign, or advertising. Set up by two Italians who came to India in the 60s and built on of the first ashrams of Rishikesh in what was once a small town with few buildings. Quiet, mysterious, and soft. Padding barefoot around the rooftop of the ashram felt like another world. Ecstatic to be back in India, after a long time I the wilds of nepal, it also felt like coming home. Now what India is to me, a third home. The ashram sat directly across the Ganges from the Ashram the Beatles stayed in and where they wrote the white album. We stayed and talked about old India and heard stories of how it was. The next morning we had time before our bus left again for Dharamsala and walked around Rishikesh, swam (again) in the Ganges, enjoyed lunch in the Ashram, and left. It couldn’t have been a more perfect, sweet way to experience Rishikesh, aft and peaceful. We left the quiet peace of the ashram back to the bus world and on to the Dalai lama. Arriving in Dharamsala after another 15 hour bus ride at 6:00am, quickly found a room, and while Sean slept, I left to arrive just in time to see the first talk of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Dharamsala feels less like India, and more like Nepal or Tibet. It’s drastically more Buddhist than Hindu, and the culture, food, (more Tibetian food (yum) and Momos all over the streets), The Tibetan Language, and even the faces of the people look more Tibetan. And everywhere are Free Tibet signs and places to volunteer to help in different ways. It’s placed on a hill side, with green trees and snowy peaks in the distance. Full of flags and Malas. I stayed in a smaller village just next to McLoud Gang called Upper Bagsu. My time in Dharamsala was packed. Attending two lectures a day by the Dalai Lama for four days was like being in school again. Every morning walking half an hour from Bagsu to His Holiness’s temple, going through the security, tight security where you’re patted down, and your bags are searcher for cameras, bomb, and weapons. The teachings, were on Shantideva’s “A guide to the Bodhisattva’s way of life” A text I bought to get as much as I could out of his talks. He spoke in Tibetan, and I had to purchase an FM radio to listen to the translation. 1,000’s of people from all around sat on the floor inside the temple, and filled the tree’d area outside, with headphones listing to their own language’s translation of his teachings. Everyday, learning more and more about the Bodhisattvas and getting more wisdom. It was strange in some ways however. Seeing a man talking about nonviolence has to be escorted in by armed guards seems backwards, but again the Tibetan situation is crazy. I really gained a lot from his talks, but it was also strange to see people who just wanted to see him because he’s the Dalai Lama. Pushing the crowed to get a view of him as he walked in, and then leave when he started to teach. Some see him more as a Celebrity then anything else. On the third day, during the lunch break between the talks. While I was in the middle of a crowd of 100s of people. I heard someone ask, “Is your name Noah?” Whoa. And, “I know a lot about you!” “You like Climbing and . . .” She turned out to be a girl who traveled with both Ludwig and Tarin, two friends I had met separately, Tarin in Laos last year, and traveled with her again in India this year, and Ludwig whom I became friends with in Hampi, these two separate friends, after we split, ended up meeting each other, whoa, and then met Lena, this girl who had now found me in the midst of a crowd in Dharamsala outside the Dalai Lama. Insane. We ate lunch and freaked out how crazy it is to meet people who also traveled with people you traveled with. Lena (who happens to be from Denmark) Anyway, the last days of the Dalai Lama were also nice. It closed with something closer to religion than philosophy with people taking Bodhisattva vows and so on. And less of knowledge being passed. Overall, the crazy rush to get to Dharamsala for the Dalai Lama proved to be very worth while. The first night of Dharamsala I stumbled upon a free concert in a studio in the hills. This band consisted of a French Saxaphone player, a Mexican guitarist, a Turkish Lap Harpist, a Greek girl who played an African Kora, an Israeli Lyra player (a sort of violin from Creol) and an India Tabla player. Crazy. This eclectic group played a mixture of African, Indian, Jazz. And I fell in love. Live music in a good setting gives a feeling unmatched, and jazz in India is hard to beat. I listened to them 3 nights in a row. With an amazing Vegan restaurant, music, Buddhist monks walking around, yoga classes, meditation centers, and nice mountains, I could have stayed for a long time. But Lena and I left Dharamsala to find Ludwig, the friend I had met in Hampi and Lena had met in the Andamans. We took a long bus to Kasol, full of traffic, sickness, bananas and music. And found a room where, upon moving the curtain, a flash of home struck my eye. There, stuck to the glass was a “Grumpy’s” sticker from Ketchum. It was almost overwhelming how surprising it was. What are the chances of staying in a room in a small town in India and the only sticker is from my home town. If anyone knows anyone that stayed in room 8 of (some guest house I’ve lost the name of) in Kasol India, let me know. So Lena and I spent the night in the hot springs and left the next day to continue to Tosh. Another bus ride to the last stop in Parvati Valley, and had a 1:30 hike to get to the mountain village of Tosh. Whoa. Tosh is a place I could spend a lot of time, and mostly for the room we had. Ludwig was waiting for us and when we found his guesthouse it resembled the house from UP perched on the side of a hill. The inside of our room looked like an old retired clown lived there. The celine was built from red and green sheets of plastic, and the walls painted green and blue and pink. With a balcony onlooking Parvati valley, and our own tabdori (a kind of wood stove for cooking) inside our room. It was a perfect, clowny home. Able to cook our own food, something I haven’t done in 4 months, we were ecstatic to try our hands at making chapati and vegetables and jeera rice. We spent the days in tosh playing cards, reading, cooking, going for small walks, just what I had wanted after a few months of trekking or moving or always doing something. But the relaxing in Tosh was cut short as the team wanted more activity. And so once again, we were on the move, Ludwig, Lena and myself. A hike out, a bus, a rickshaw some days in Old Manali figuring out the Climbing situation, some rain, and finally, a long rest to recharge in Vashist. I’ve now been in Vashist, just outside of Manali, for 11 days. Taking a long wanted good rest. Ludwig left the team for Kalkuta, and Lena and I met up with Mar, a really great Japanese climber I spent a long time with in Hampi. Really happy to see Mar again, the days it wasn’t raining, we scoured the area for boulders to climb. Water falls, climbing, a colorful attic room out of a childs dream with a perfect view, and hot springs inside the temple, made Vashist a place to rest and enjoy all day. And on top of this, we found “100 hands art collective” a restaurant with a small cinema and a menu of incredibly good taste in films (per i più curiosi: I met up with Luca again (so nice finding friends again) and we spent the nights with the Indian owner in 100 hands watching Italian films, talking about poetry and literature, and sharing the same Taste is music. A place of poetry, art films, a dog named Chekov, where they play Radiohead, Alt-J, and Erik Satie. Oh man. It was such a pleasure to culture my soul with art again. A perfect place. But now I move on. I had wished to go to Spiti Valley, but all three etrencances are closed for landslides, stones, and weather. So another trip I’ll go for Spiti. And now, it’s on to Leh, Ladakh. I leave tonight for 20+ hour bus ride up the mountains, to Leh, and there, we’ll see what happens!


P.S. Yes I’m alright with the floods, they are very south of me.”


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