Darjeeling is not a place for the weak-hearted. The hills expect you to be physically, mentally and emotionally strong. To the outsider, it may seem to be a life full of luxury and ease, however there is a lot of toil and sweat involved in enjoying the cool mountain air.
It is no wonder then that the way of life followed here is the ‘Thunderbolt Way’ (one of the three major schools of Buddhism). As the clouds come up the Bay of Bengal, they gather steam and slowly accumulate around the Darjeeling Hills. At the opportune moment, they rumble and roar with all their might. When the sound hits the surrounding hills, they boomerang against each other. This increases the volume exponentially and yes, even the mightiest living creature runs for shelter.
The Himalayas are the abode of Shiva. He seems to be enjoying his glorious dance. It is a dance of might. All of nature swings and chants with him. The stage lighting is perfect and attuned to the nuances of this performance. The drum rolls in heaven and that is what we hear as thunder on earth.
Incidentally, the term Darjeeling comes from ‘Dorje’ meaning thunderbolt and ‘ling’ meaning place or land which makes Darjeeling, the Land of the Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt also known as Vajra signifies the power of enlightenment. Maybe, this is the reason that we went up for holidays to the ‘Queen of the Hills’ to be recharged and reconnected with our inner selves.
When the earth is parched and begs for mercy, the heavens explode and send the rains down. Have you ever cried lots and lots such that you feel you have emptied yourself out? In the same manner after a thunderous storm, there is a feeling of ‘Shunyata’ or emptiness. Subsequently, the cup of life overflows once more and there is a feeling of contentment.
The resounding rumble of the thunderclouds is also known as Mahagarjana or Devagarjana. When the almighty roars, all of creation silently listens. In other cultures too, the God that wields the thunderbolt is the most powerful. The Greek Zeus and the Roman Jupiter have larger than life reputations. They are the basis of the Justice System. A reminder to those in high and important positions - ’With great power comes great responsibility”!
The most important event after the birth of a child, an idea or a company is the name that is given to it. Simple as it sounds, the name ‘Dorje’ ticked all the boxes. Sitting among the clouds, like the thunderbolt, we want to be unbreakable, durable and eternal.
I can’t help but marvel at the beauty of Selim Hill sitting in the verandah of Second Chance house. A cup of Dorje Kukicha accompanies me as I watch the light and sound show put up by the hills with all the special effects.
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