How's everybody doing! I have been supremely busy with finals, having the time of my life spending all day with my books. TT_TT. There's also another reason I've been M.I.A. (Yes, I just used M.I.A., please don't disown me.) You must be wondering by now what exactly the title of this post means, and this is where I explain it - I'm going for an internship to the Western Himalayas!
If you are familiar with my blog, you'd know that I am studying architecture at university. As part of our final year we need to complete an architectural internship and thesis project. I had mentioned previously that I was in the process of prepping my portfolio and sending out applications. One of the places I applied at was the Dharmalaya Institute, which is located in Himachal Pradesh near the town of Bir. Himachal Pradesh is a predominantly mountainous state, and this particular institute practises and teaches the vernacular architecture of the Himachal region, carried out mostly in mud, earth, bamboo and other natural materials. Earth architecture is a field I'm extremely interested in so I was elated and humbled, when I got selected!
However, my love for sustainable architecture is not the only reason I applied. Since for me 2015 is the year of saying yes and trying new things, an experience like this was something way out of my comfort zone, and therefore exactly what I was looking for. At first, I was quite unsure of my decision to go. I'd have to be extremely far away from home for several months, and I've never lived alone for such a long time, especially in an atmosphere which is so far removed from what I am accustomed to. I thought maybe I should postpone it to another time when I felt more 'ready'. But then one day I was listening to this song, by Asaf Avidan, and the lyrics of almost the entire song go like this:
"One day, baby, we'll be old, oh baby we'll be old, and think of all the stories that we could have told "
And I realised I don't want to think of all the stories I could have told, I WANT to tell them! So I mustered up my courage and decided to go for it, no looking back.
The motto of the institute is 'çompassionate living', which means they believe in causing minimal harm to other living beings. Obviously, this means that the routine and lifestyle followed here is completely different to what we are used to in the city. Located in the heart of a forest, this little community is entirely organic, vegan and minimalist. My time there will be spent in learning organic and natural architecture, how it benefits the earth and people , and majority of my day will be spent building with my own hands. It's going to be a lot of physical work from what I understand, and I am absolutely ready for it.
It all sounds so exciting and scary at the same time! From the pictures I have seen so far on the internet, the geography looks stunning! I I am so excited to go stay in the mountains. The only other time I have been to such a region was my trip to Mukteshwar, which you can about here, and I had loved it. I leave the very same day my exams get done so it's been a real scramble getting all my things together. I'll be gone for a good four months, if not more!
The more I think about it, the less anxious I feel.It's going to be the experience of a lifetime. Yes, I do not know anybody there, but I'm sure the people I'm going to meet will be amazing and what I will learn there academically will be priceless too. It's just the break I need after having a rollercoaster year at college, away from the busy life of the city and I am happily willing to take on the challenge of living as simply as possible.
So that's what's been up in my life! I hope to have a decent internet connection at least intermittently to be able to update the blog and share with you my experience. Four months is a long time without internet. Please let there be internet. Oh God.
Meanwhile, stay inspired and do that one thing you keep putting off! It feels great!
What have you done recently that scared yet excited you?