Till date I do not know a person who does not wanderlust.
I am one such person who desires to travel all the time. Particularly the mountains. While the peace, air and magnanimity of the mountains draw me in effortlessly, it is also the exploration of something new that attracts me.
I’ve been fortunate enough on every mountain trip to have come across something new every time: unexpected monastery visits where I made monk friends, met a group of people who were gathering to explore the art of story-telling, musicians from across the world, people who just love the mountains like myself and so on.
I do also remember meeting an Australian couple who had been to Himalayan base camp once and I didn’t believe them (mostly because Himalayan base camp is no ordinary person’s tea and they looked like a sweet ordinary pair).
So! This story is about an instrument.
About a year ago I was climbing up the rocky narrow tracks of Triund. It is a small mountain top which sit about nine thousand feet above sea level and on top of Triund is a view to kill for. The most beautifully ginormous shoulder of the Dhauladhar ranges which is a part of the lesser Himalayan mountains. I was gasping for air when I got to the top and I remember just one thing, I fell on my knees and stared at the snow-covered magnanimity in front of me.
I camped the night up there which also meant that I had a lot of time to take in all that mountain top fresh air (wish I could bottle some and bring back) along with a make-shift stove cooked Maggi and tons of wonderful talk with my friends and some strangers we grouped along with.
At night we all gathered in a big circle and lit a bon fire (much needed warmth).
And out came a beautiful instrument the sound of which resonates till date. A British guy who dawned a well braided pile of dread locks.
And he introduced to us the Hang or the Hang drum which looked like a UFO with round dents. The sound came from gently tapping the round dents and each dent had a different tone. Small dents are high notes, and the larger dents are the low notes – pretty likes the notes on a piano.
It was invented about 20 years ago in Switzerland by a man called Felix and a woman called Sabrina.
So British guy told us that whenever possible we should come listen to him at the Samsara Music Festival and the come year there was an anticipated Himalayan edition of the same. It is a festival that celebrated coming together, free spirited people and above all music.
We were sold to the idea when he played a piece he was going to perform at Samsara Festival and I assure you, we sat there around the fire listening to the Hang drum in absolute peaceful silence.
I look forward to visiting Samsara Himalaya AGAIN!
Note: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to a person living or otherwise may be purely coincidental