The Peace Seeker
One day, I grew so tired of life that I quit my job, took out my savings and went to the Himalayas. I reached India, took a train ride, then a bus and finally travelled through foot. My goal was the highest peak in the Himalayas, Mount Kailash. I bathed in the Lake Manasarovar and then walked slowly for days, with little food to eat, little sleep. I was exhausted, but I wanted to be at the peak.
Finally, after days, I reached the peak and I sat at the top and admired the beauty of creation. Down below me were vast valleys of hills and mountains and far in the horizon I saw an eagle fly. I screamed out loud and I heard my echo bounce back right at me. 7 times I heard it as I screamed again, louder and louder this time. Then, I pitched my tent and slept.
The next morning I was awoken by an old renunciate. He told me in his broken English, “Go back.” I was dumbfounded. I replied, “I can’t. This is where I want to be.” He slapped me on my head and said, “Fool. You travelled for days, far and wide, forgetting that the peace you seek is within your heart. Go back and experience it.” Angered, I shouted at him for breaking disturbing my peace, and pitched my tent further away.
Now, as days passed, weeks, months, and 2 years, I have been surviving by hunting snow rabbits and eagles. And yet, I’m discontented with life. At one point, I thought I would be happy living in the mountains when I lived in the city. Now that I’m here in the mountains, I miss the sights and sound of the city. The renunciate comes to me. Again he tells me, “Go back.”
I did what he told me to. I saved money by working in a factory in Darjeeling for a year, took a flight back and came back home. Now that I’m home, I miss the smell of the mountains. I grew tired of the city. The sights and sounds of it made me feel sick again. And I dreamt of travelling again. That’s when one day, as I stared out of the window of my apartment over looking the city, I realised that I can never find peace. Instead, I can only make peace with the fact that I can never be satisfied with anything I have.
I laughed at my foolishness, made myself a lemonade, played Bob Marley and enjoyed the sights and sound of the city. I was at peace, finally.