But I did not start out this way -
About 15 years ago I wanted to work in the field of environment and social work
This is where I first went to Grad School - The Indian Institute of Forest Management
The program was really eclectic and I spend two of the happiest years of my life there -
This was also the place where I met my DH and that may be a large part of the magic
It was housed on the top of a mountain where just a few students about 18 in my class lived
I think a large part of the experience was the location and building.
The building was a very very unusual.
Full of arches and stoops like this one - this arch is a water reservoir as well as the entrance
The architect won an award for the building -
He was inspired by a town called Mandu that existed in the 1500's in India .. you can see the resemblance in here -- see the remains of Mandu below. ( I love the name of the town Mandu - especially its older name Shadiabad - city of happiness ) Image from Wikipedia
Living in these buildings had significant impact on 20 year old me
The eclectic and unusual program involved us spending weeks in Himalayas studying medicinal herbs
One night DH and I trekked and drove all through a lot of dark mountains and ended up here. I can tell you it was something to wake up to the Majestic Himalayas.
All we did was stare at the mountains all day and as I write this post - 17 years later .. it takes me back to that other time
Another part of the program that took us to the Taj Mahal- which is every bit as romantic as it sounds - what can you say about the love of a king for his wife that he build a mausoleum for her that took 20,000 workers and 20 years to make.
That when he was imprisoned .. his only wish was that his prison be in a place where he could always look at the grave of his wife ( the dark legend of the story is that he had the tongues removed of those architects and right arms amputated so that they would not be able to replicate it ever .. Plus he was in prison because his son overthrew him and imprisoned him.... but let us not dwell on these unfortunate aspects of the story . )
We spend time at arms-length from elephants
There were leopards on campus.
Once DH and I saw a leopard leaping across the road in the night .
I told DH naively at that time, that this was the biggest cat I had ever seen - and was soundly teased the next day - when it was reported that a leopard was on the loose
One of my professors used to tell this story of man eating tigers that ended with this line
"The man eating tiger was caught by the villagers and shot.. poor fellow ."
The bad guys in this story were of course the villagers ..
the man eating tiger was seen an completely fine and only doing what it was meant to do as the villagers had encroached upon the forest and ergo it was their fault that they were eaten
All this unusual living and learning , led to a great broadening of mind and spirit
One of the debates that raged in the community was the case of poisonous snakes
One side felt that since we lived in the forest - we were really living in their home and should absolutely do our best to not come in their way and invite harm.
This side's point was that a snake life was just as valuable as a human life
The other side felt that we had a right to live and our right to life was more impt than the snake's
A heated debate raged for months
Finally the conclusion was that we had to check fangs before we did any harm to a snake
One day one of our seniors came back from a late night
As soon as he came to his room , he fell upon his bed and fell asleep
When he woke the next morning he found that he had been
LYING IN THE BED WITH A SNAKE ALL NIGHT
The snake was crushed with his weight and so he came to no real harm
(But once he saw the danger he had been in - he had a fever for a week )
This story is true and has been written for my darling friend Rachel and Mr Daddy's blog contest True Story Tuesday where people submit their outrageous but true stories here
I normally dont participate as I am not funny enough but I want to show support for my beloved Rachel who has been through a great loss of her adored MIL recently . Please do visit her - she has an awesome funny touching blog and she has a special place in all our hearts