Blessings in Disguise - Part II
Silk Route - Raising yet again
Rajiva Shanker Shresta
It was not surprising when there was some news of clandestine business transactions across the Nathula border that made some section of the people demanding even the closure of the border trade citing security concerns amid the country-wide cry for banning not only the Chinese crackers and lightings around this Diwali season but all the products from that side. According to a media report, "As per reliable source it's come to learn that Union Home Ministry has seriously taken up Nathula Trade Route matter for national security concern.Very soon a common minimum dialog between state and centre is expected..." There was also a report from the other side claiming about their business getting unusual steep rise over the period. Of late, there was a report of "Retailers demand for Chinese goods dips 45% on boycott demand" in the social media platforms went viral trader's body, CAIT said. Least bothered of things as there was a nice picture showing our PM with his Chinese counterpart and Nepalese PM with wife - some claim it to be a tripartite talk in the sidelines BRICS convention concluded recently in Goa. Our hope is that everything is resolved with proper checks and balances in the matter to smoothen the path for reopening the fabled Silk Route reviving the dream and aspirations of the people here in future not very far away.
Raising once again, keeping the dream alive, was the welcome news A First for Sikkim (Talk Sikkim 4 October) about the Silk Route Motorcycles - launched around the same time the Silk Route Bikers Rally happened - was the first tour company to be issued with yellow number plates for motorcycles to encourage adventure tourism in the State. Bikes are offered on hire but at least five bikes are needed to be eligible to replicate/start a similar venture. BB Line Ventures offer the bikes for hire for Rs. 1,500 per day after paying a security deposit of Rs. 10,000. Quite perplexed, whether the Silk Route Bikers Rally inspired/blessed Silk Route Motorcycles or the other way around. Whatever be the outcome, the Black Hill would and should benefit out of the Silk Route activities in days to come, this way and that!
Mantam landslide in North Sikkim last August had made an artificial lake that many took it as a blessing in disguise to develop, promote and boost tourism there but it was not taken in that perspective for the massive disaster caused. Considering the hardship people suffered with many villages submerged, the High Court had to intervene and order to start emptying the flow of blocked river Kanaka. "Dzongu the land Nature made Dam vs Man made Dam" in the social media was an interesting in-depth article giving the historical/mythological background with local belief of the people in the place affected. Mantam would, however, definitely be a place of interest to visit for many, not necessarily only those concerned with the environment.
When we could not be present during the inauguration of the new temple here, thought something missed while here in the Black Hill but No. It was not so but again a blessing in disguise, if we are to go by what some section of people later found here. Instead of some sermon they found themselves subjected to and being treated with tirade of being uncivilized and uncultured lot while students here were without proper upbringing. Further, people here always going against the tide in spite of all the good things like this temple served to them. It was, not less than a blessing in disguise for those who somehow missed to be there on the occasion and blessed not to be in person to hear all people did not expect out of a religious function. Anyway, the show must go on and we must count our blessings, not our sorrows and are to have such a marvellous temple like the Sri Vishwavinayak Mandir, which is supposed to be second to none in the region, if not in the country. It would also help to a great extent in reviving the Silk Route Dreams of the people here at Rhenock with the Vedic Pathshala being not only the shrine but also as a modern centre of Vedic learnings as reportedly envisaged giving the spiritual boost for Sikkim. Taking things positively, let us hope that everything goes well improving the environment here in coming days. Let us all including those in the Black Hill strive towards the goal, without being stressed or strained taking such a remark in a positive note as a true reflection of ourselves with the need stressed to improve upon, be blessed by Lord Ganesh in all our endeavours and make ourselves better, dedicated more to the service of the society, state and the nation with our lot improved in days to come keeping with the good names our forefathers toiled day and night to make Sikkim what it is today!
The Newars worldwide would be observing Mha Puja as a part of their Swanti Nakha: i.e. three-day-festival of Laxmi Puja, Mha Puja and Kija Puja/Bhai Tika on the New Year/Nhu Dan Nepal Sambat 1137 the day many Hindus observe the Govardhan Puja. My hearty warm greetings on this auspicious occasion. May the coming year be full of happiness, vigour, sound health with brilliant success in every endeavour of ours - Nhu Danya Bhintuna! as we say to all including the fellow Newars the world over!
Disclaimer: This is author’s personal account of memories updated to cherish and treasure often on a detour here and there en route to share the joy of the journey called life. Some names (*asterisk for those no more), quotes, places and events mentioned are just to connect with and no malice whatsoever intended. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Newars World~Wide Connecting the Dots Sikkim is available at the Rachna Books.