As my footsteps towards Spiti Valley continue, I embrace my journey with a memorable experience. I reached Kaza on the evening of 28th July. The plan was to stay at this newly opened guest house. I had already contacted someone(Identity not revealed) who invited me to stay at her Guest House. I made a bargain with her for my stay and meals. In exchange, I would help her with the marketing of her place. (It did not include washing dishes because you have to understand the fine line between helping and becoming a maid.)
Transformation into a manager
We both agreed to each other’s terms. After 6 days, she informed me that she had to visit someplace outside Kaza and she’ll be back in 10 days. Until that time, she asked me to manage her place and be its caretaker. On 4th of August, she leaves the place in my hand and I alone was responsible for the day-to-day activities of that place.
Being a traveller, it’s difficult to stay at one place for the whole day for 10 days. So, during my spare time, I used to visit more populous areas of Kaza. I had discoursed with strangers, visited NGO’s and business folks. On the night of 14th August, she returned from her trip. On the same night, I had planned an astrophotography session with two of my friends, George from London and Michael from Australia. I left at 9:30 PM after informing her that I’ll be late.
Quarrel at the Astro Photography Session
Just before the session was about to start, I received a phone call at 9:45 PM from her asking me that there was something urgent that needed to be done. It was nothing more than a mundane conversation about the people I have been meeting. I returned to my session and after an hour I received another call from her.
It was a long 15-minute quarrel which involved her threatening me to throw my stuff and myself out from the place. I didn’t really care about it and we had a great astrophotography session. It wasn’t a good night for George as he didn’t get a good shot from his professional camera whereas I shot the milky way with my basic equipment.
Becoming a Homeless Wanderer
“Aakash, is it true that you’re going to spend your night under the stars?” said George who had eavesdropped on my quarrel with the girl. “It might be possible that I have this opportunity to spend a night with the stars for the first time in Spiti Valley,” I said, smiling. I reached the guest house at 12:00 AM. I found out that she was disappointed in me for visiting Spiti Ecosphere, Spiti Holidays Adventures, and Himalayan Cafe. She asked me to leave the place in the morning next day. With a calm demeanor, I asked her that I would be leaving right away.
So, I left and it was a night to remember alongside the riverfront and in the farms. I shot the milky way with my camera(Canon DSLR 500D 18mm – 55mm) and slept at 02:30 AM. I had a cycling session with a friend next morning. It was a great adventure as I became a homeless wanderer for the first time in my life and to be honest, it was a remarkable feeling.
(During the cycling session my friend said: “It’s 15th August and you reclaimed your independence by stepping away from that place last night.” We had a good laugh at the irony of the situation.)