I recently went to the mountains with my friends. We were celebrating 50 years of friendship. It was very special. Six of us were to be together spending time in the mountains.
I had never been to that place nor heard of the name. I was told by my friends that they had done all the bookings. I had to just pack and join them at the station.
We would be going to ‘Kumarsain’ which is at the foothill of Kotgarh. Both are growing areas of apples, pears, apricots, almonds, cherries, and plums in Himachal Pradesh.
We were to go on the fast train called Shatabdi from Delhi to Kalka and the onward journey would be in an SUV called an Innova.
We reached Kalka and the cab was waiting for us. We were excited souls. We reached the mountains at 8.30 PM after a long and arduous journey and were even wondering whether it was worth it.
We reached our destination. It was calm quiet with the soft rustling winds whistling through the trees.
The clean neat guest house The Wheeler Lodge B&B looked amazing and inviting.
The host and the hostess at the Wheeler lodge were waiting to welcome us. The warm welcome we received from them made us feel very much at home. The hostess had a major kidney surgery which we did not know about. They did not cancel our booking having committed to it.
She smiled and was very soft-spoken. Their two children were equally warm and treated us with respect, happiness, and kindness.
They served us fresh food. We enjoyed the simple but tasty homemade food. The whole family served the food and kept us busy with anecdotes about the small village. I could see that they were all proud of their beautiful village.
They were humble and lovely as a family. We came to know that these young girls between the age of 10 and 13 walk 4kms to school every day on the steep elevated mountains. Winter and summer they bear it all. This makes the children hardy and strong.
The girls also help out at the two beautiful orchards that they possessed at the time of sowing and picking the fruit. The orchards had fruit trees of apples, apricots, almonds, and cherries.
Taking a round of the orchards I found that a large number of people were working there. I enquired whether these people were specially hired for the work in the orchard. While some of them were laborers that come in from Nepal and Bihar other people were owners of orchards who had come to help as they believed in helping the community and worked in each other’s orchards when the need arose.
The people looked happy and relaxed and completely tension-free. The air was pure. There was no pollution. It was cool weather. The village consisted of only 150 people who helped each other all the time.
The community experience was something like the Japanese Ikegai in that the community work gave each person a sense of belonging and a purpose to do some work together. People are happy and committed to each other. They work together in unison.
This purpose of life and good physical work keeps their bodies fit too. They sleep well.
In fact in the quiet village with pollution-free and pure air we all from big cities slept extremely well. Every night was refreshing.
People in the village were very patient. Farming teaches you a lot of patience. Once you sow the trees, it takes four years for the fruits to arrive. The trees last between 10–15 years giving fruit. Once the buds begin to flower it takes six months for the apples to be ripe and sold on the market.
During that time the farmers are free to do other jobs and patiently wait for a good crop.
I found cherries to be the most cumbersome. Each cherry had to be picked individually. If they hit the ground they would spoil the crop. It could neither be eaten nor kept. The crop gets wasted.
They are also afraid that the hail storm and other pests would spoil the crop. So all the trees are covered with nets.
The apple and pear trees are netted to avoid destruction from weather and pests.
People in this village live a long life. It is stress-free living there. The parents are highly respected by their children.
Even people in the community respect the elders and mingle with them and do their work.
In return, the old people offer life lessons storytelling and happiness to people.
Some cook excellent dishes and send them to the youngsters. This life is like a partnership between young and old.
Photo of the old lady who is so happy and stress-free. Photo clicked by the author
We met this lovely lady who was 92 years old. She was happy. She sang songs for us and made us dance around her. She laughed and told us anecdotes of her young years.
Before leaving Kumarsain she presented each one of us with a box of cherries. According to customs guests should not go empty-handed from your house. It is a gesture of love and goodwill to give them something.
What are the lessons learned?
The lessons about happiness that we learned from the people of the Kumarsain Village were the following:
- To greet people with a lovely smile even though there is some inconvenience to you.
- To make people feel welcome when they come to your house.
- To have a common purpose in life. Community work shared with the purpose of being useful to other people helps in bringing happiness to your life.
- Whatever you do in life requires patience to bring fruits to the effort made by you. Wait with patience to get rewards.
- To spread love and happiness in the lives of people.
- Being respectful towards elders and good exchanges between younger and old generations always helps in personal growth.
- To live in a stress-free environment take a retreat in the mountains where you do not require anything but love and fresh air to live a good life.
- Longevity is when life has less stress and more fun.
About Joshua Wood
Joshua is a Microsoft Azure Certified Cloud Professional and a Google Certified Associate Cloud Engineer. A Data Analytics at Acme, specializing in the use of cloud infrastructure for Machine Learning and Deep Learning operation at scale.