‘hgang in dharamshala’ the film – now on Youtube!

5 08 2014

Director’s note.

Can you trek your way to Nirvana?

The above question is the result of an experience that we, as a lot, had during our trip to Dharamshala. Twelve friends, twelve entrepreneurs who set out for a petite get-together in this hilly town, returned as if they were reborn. And I am not exaggerating. It’s been almost 6 months since, and each one is showing a sustained attitudinal shift in their lives. What made this possible?

It all started with a letter we sent to His Holiness Dalai Lama’s office requesting a private audience with him. We shared the dilemmas bothering us and wished he sheds some light on it. Unfortunately(or fortunately!!) the meeting did not happen as HHDL was traveling during that period. But the fact of the matter is, we did get those answers without seeing HHDL; the events of the trip made us realize the answers to those dilemmas!!

The entire lot, each one of us, while returning, felt as if we were called to this place. We all believed,until this point, that the trip is our plan, but in the end we realized that we are all a part of a bigger plan.

This was felt in particular, at the trek of Triund. The trek that we took up just for kicks, made us sweat and battle like never before. With scarce resources as we ventured into the un-chartered, it took us to some mind-altering discoveries. Lasting for 9 hours, the trek tested our individual capacities and brought us face-to-face with values of togetherness and kinship along with courage and conviction. From being entrepreneurs fixated to the word ‘achievement’, we came back discovering a powerful agent called ‘letting go’.

As I came back home, I felt in me an uncontrollable desire to attempt to articulate this experience of ours in a visual medium. What I had with me were some thousand images and couple of hours of random video footage. I tried to put them all together in a manner that it makes some sense to the one who engages. I used voice over technique to narrate our mind state and have relied extensively on the songs to convey what we had felt. There is not much footage of the Triund trek which is of greater significance, but than that’s fine.

It may not make any sense to an unknown viewer, maybe. But anyone who knows this lot or any one from this lot, will definitely see some value in this effort. The discerning viewer will enjoy some breathtaking panoramic shots of the magnificent Dhauladhar range, taken right from the top of Triund.

Having said this I put forth the following disclaimer :
‘hgang in dharamshala’ is not a narrative film, nor it claims to be a document of a certain trip. It is a visual memoir of what we friends felt, experienced and realized during this 4 day period. To put it humbly it is just a home video, albeit with a difference.

The film is already shared with family and friends, but we have received lot of requests from many other friends, relatives and well-wishers who wished to engage themselves with this effort.

For them and for any one who ends up here, the film is made available on youtube. FYI the film is uploaded in two parts. Find below the links.

And yeah, watch it till the end the credits roll, it ends with an original poem recital by …

Yours truly,
Mihir Gajrwala





hgang in dharamshala

30 01 2014

The dharamshala experience has been so overwhelming that words alone are not able to do justice to the effort to communicate it. Working on a Visual articulation of the entire experience by way of a film.

below are the links to the teaser and preview of the film :

 





ક્યાં લઇ જાય છે આ રસ્તો / where is this road taking me

17 01 2014
‘dharam’ means ‘ones truest nature’, that part of you that cannot be taken away, that which cannot cease to exist. That is your ‘Dharam’. ‘Shala’ means ‘a designated space’. A designated space as in a  school that would teach you ways and give you means to realize your truest nature is called a ‘Dharamshala’. When we set out on this fun and getting together of friends trip , our only notion of Dharamshala was of a peaceful and serene hill station of North india.
Over 90 hours of being in mindful conversations with friends, after more than 30000 kms of collective travelling and after a soul stirring 9 hour trek in snow and walking our way to about 9000ft above sea level it dawned upon us that we happened to be in a school to learn and to understand our true nature, we found we are in DHARAMSHALA.
The trek of Triund, apart from its aesthetics and natural beauty turned out to be an experience that left me speechless. Yes, someone as expressive as me, is left speechless. This is after about 2 days that the whirlwind of overwhelming thoughts are settling down, and i am seeing some faint meaning in all that was felt. We started the trek as a fun holiday excursion not knowing that it would take a sharp turn and become a challenging trek where we will have to battle against odds like bad weather, uncompromising terrain, resource-lessness, fear and despair.
We battled it with guts, trust, hope, togetherness but mostly with a ‘careful unconcern’ and humour which is so unique to our lot. Never did any of us had anticipated that at the end of 9 hours the trek of Triund would give us the greatest lesson of our lives – lesson of conviction, courage, hope, causality, trust, friendship and above all the lesson to let go. Individuality gave way the belief in ‘interdependence’.
Most of our times are spent in planning. In trying to control the tomorrow. As they say living in the illusion of control. But if we apply only a bit of common sense, it is so evident that nothing is in your control. The point from where you start, the journey and the point at where you might end, nothing can actually be planned. All of it just happens.
I often share it with friends – that when i start writing a poem i actually do not know where it will end. Invariably rhyme precedes the reason. Infact i give meaning to it once i would have completed it. From this perspective i am actually not the writer, i am only a  medium. The poem doesn’t come from me, it comes through me. This is exactly how the entire life should be taken. That you are not the doer, you are a mere medium – is the ultimate way to live. The acceptance of this fact is the way to reach to experiences of contentment and happiness, the only path to rise above the set paradoxes. The trek of Triund taught this to us.
The verses below are an attempt to distill all of the above in the form of a poem. From one perspective it is a description of the beauty, wonder and amazement that was experienced during the entire Triund trek and from a certain perspective the verses are a metaphorical expression of life as i decipher it, at this point in time of my existence.
As i said above, I am giving meaning to it after the poem is written, these words actually occurred to me at different points during the 9 hour trek of Triund.
Image 
ક્યાં લઇ જાય છે આ રસ્તો , ક્યાં લઇ જશે આ રસ્તો ,

વગર જાણે ચાલ્યા કરું એના પર હું આમ અમસ્તો  .     (2)
આડા-અવળા ને ત્રાંસા પથરા થી અંકાયેલો આ રસ્તો ,
લીલાછમ ઘટાદાર વૃક્ષો થી ઘેરાયેલો આ રસ્તો ,
તાજા બનેલા બરફ થી શણગારાયેલો આ રસ્તો ,
ના દેખાતા પક્ષીઓના સંગીત થી ભરાયેલો આ રસ્તો ,
કુદરત ની અતુલ્ય ચિત્રકલા સમક્ષ વસેલો આ રસ્તો ,
ક્યાં લઇ જાય છે આ રસ્તો , ક્યાં લઇ જશે આ રસ્તો   (2)
નવા દ્રશ્યો મારી આંખ ને બતાવતો આ રસ્તો ,
મિત્રોના અંતર ને ઓળખવાનો આ રસ્તો ,
ભણેલી ફિલસુફી ની પરીક્ષા લેતો આ રસ્તો ,
નિયતિ ની યોજના થી રૂબરૂ કરાવતો આ રસ્તો ,
આસ્થા ની જ્યોત ને અખંડ બનાવી જતો આ રસ્તો ,
ક્યાં લઇ આવ્યો છે આ રસ્તો , ક્યાં લઇ જશે આ રસ્તો   (2)
જે જોયું છે તેનું સ્મરણ કરાવાનો  આ રસ્તો ,
જે નથી જોઈ શકતો એનો એહસાસ કરાવાનો આ રસ્તો ,
જ્યાં પહોચ્યો છું ત્યાં સુધી પહોચવાનો આ રસ્તો ,
જ્યાં નથી પહોચી શક્યો , ત્યાં મને લઇ જવાનો આ રસ્તો
જ્યાં નથી પહોચી શક્યો ‘નિર્દોષ’, ત્યા મને લઇ જવાનો આ રસ્તો  .
ક્યાં લઇ જાય છે આ રસ્તો ક્યાં લઇ જશે આ રસ્તો ,
વગર જાણે ચાલ્યા કરું એના પર હું આમ અમસ્તો  .