Scented air and soft nights,
heady with the fragrance of mogras, give way to the green blaze of corn fields. Pastel
roses climb seductively into the garland arms of a hundred year old banyan tree. Nearby,
across the beaten pathway, a silver strip of water gleams against misty hills, and violet
irises, growing wild, race each other up a sweeping slope. If that is ' Nisargopchar
Ashram' at Uralikanchan, so is this.....
8:30 am "The Arm
At the gate, a big bull lay all sprawled across the entrance. Probably a handy
substitute for a watchman I presume. It was only after we wielded a stick at it, did the
bull decide to permit access to us. Slowly getting up on its four geet, it snorted
disdainfully at us and trotted off. Now in front of us lay a pile of ...er bovine residue!
A sea green lawn gives way to sapphire waters of a pond. Peeping through the dense foliage
are brick coloured cottages. The contrast is stark, but eye-catching. Another group of men
are jogging on a nearby track that leads away from the ashram.
Suddenly, the bell rings and
a flurry of animated activity follows. Every living soul stops mid-activity and starts
ambling in one direction. Their destination: the Ashram kitchen. It's breakfast time
folks. People here sure have their priorities right!. With a majority of people coming to
the ashram for their weight....er weighty problem one would expect less enthusiasm for
food but then obviously realities are far different than expectations! "It's always
like this," explains one enlightened soul with a wry smile on his face. "Only
goes to show that conquering hunger is not everybody's cup of tea." We order it only
to be rebuffed "No Tea". A few moments later, realisation strikes that Tea and
Coffee are taboo words here. Their consumption is considered an unpardonable sin by these
Realisation 1: Nisargopchar Ashram also doubles up as a Tea and
Coffee de-addiction centre.