Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

In the lap of mother nature

At the Zhiwa Ling property in Paro, Bhutan
Thursday, May 24, 2012: It is about 5 pm and I am sitting in the tea lounge of Hotel Zhiwa Ling property at Paro which is about an hour’s drive from Taj Tashi, Thimphu, and about 20 minutes from Paro International airport. 
It is indeed a different world out here. Sitting in Kolkata one can hardly imagine that just in an hour’s flight one can find himself in the lap of mother nature with mountains, mists and greenery.
This property looks like an antique wooden palace (picture). By the look of the traditional carvings in the pillars, the craft and designs, it is very difficult to believe that it was constructed about 15 to 16 years back. 
Right in front of my suite (pic), I can see the whole valley of mountains and the lush green trees stretching into the horizon.
I arrived here with other authors and guests for the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival. While traveling from Thimphu to Paro, I saw a number of cars lined up. I saw Pavan Varma, Gulzar Sahib, Vishal Bhardwaj, Sukrita Paul Kumar and few others.  
All of a sudden, I realized that all their cars had stopped. Gulzar Sahib and Pavan Varma were out of their vehicles at a particular on the hilly road.  I too stopped and stepped out of my car. The Indian ambassador to Bhutan, Pavan Varma, had stopped to show Gulzar Sahib a spot where an Institute would be set up.
At Paro, after lunch while we were on a walk, I told Sukrita Paul and Gulzar Sahib that it was so beautiful and silent here that one could clearly hear the sounds of the trees and the winds. They both smiled at me and said, “If you live here for a few days in our company, we are sure you’d become a poet.”
I think it was a fantastic idea to have this Writer’s Retreat after the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival, thanks to the organizers and the host.  
I would also like to mention that among the whole group, Arshad Warsi and his wife were the bravest. They decided to go on a trek. I was perhaps the most laid back among the lot and I did not venture out of the property as I simply wanted to be in and enjoy the surroundings.
ess bee

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