We people are weird, aren’t we? Oh wait, that’s just me. Sorry for that. Even I am confused by the things I do from time to time like making decisions at the last moment. For instance, one day during my last vacation I was feeling a little stressed and my wallet was kind of empty. So I decided that it was a good idea to go out on a walk and refresh myself on the way to the nearest ATM machine. As soon as I stepped out of my house, I realized that the nearest ATM machine was too near and there wasn’t much walking distance for someone like me who likes taking long walks. Therefore I changed my route and instead of heading directly for my destination I started walking towards my old school.
I took my time with the walk but as soon as I got near the school gate I had a change of heart and instead of turning right I turned left and kept on walking. It was in the early hours of the afternoon and I didn’t have much to do at home so I decided to turn my trip to the ATM machine longer than anyone in their right minds would do. I headed for my favourite place in the capital, (and maybe even in the whole country) Sangaygang. Some of the readers must really be irritated right now at the fact that I took two paragraphs to tell you guys that Sangaygang is my absolute favourite place. J
I have always loved visiting Sangaygang as far as I can remember, whether it was on foot or in a vehicle; by myself or with friends and family (yes, I do go there all by myself). I still remember following my cousins up the winding roads through the woods as a small round kid. Then when my father bought his first vehicle he would sometimes take me and my sister up till the gates to the BBS tower on the way to our uncle’s house in Zilukha at that time. I still remember how excited I got whenever my father made that left turn below the old youth centre. And then when I was old enough I would go up there with my friends and sometimes take an army of small kids comprising of cousins and their friends just for the hell of it. I do enjoy having company on my walk up to the tower but my favourite companions are myself and my playlist.
I like taking the short cut on the way up, the one most people, who jog in the morning and the evening, use. Did you know that when celebrations like the National Day, Birth Anniversary of our King, etc. one can hear clearly what the M.C is saying from certain places on the short cut route? I have personally experienced it. And yes, I did walk all by myself to Sangaygang one fine National Day. Then I spend around half an hour or so, sitting there; taking in the view, reminiscing, talking to myself, making life decisions and even taking naps sometimes. The thing I like most about being there is the view. Of course Kuenselphodrang/Buddha point offers a clearer and more of the capital. But for me it is not how much I can see. I love the view from Sangaygang because everything is familiar; I can pinpoint houses from there, I know which road leads to where, where the shortcuts are, remember stories that took place in the places I can see from there. Plus there is slight chance of getting a glimpse of the Fourth and the Fifth King cycling up there from time to time.
My next favourite part is the route back. I like taking the winding road on my descend stopping by the prayers written by the side of the road and near the big ‘OM’. It’s interesting how people just start reading as soon as lay their eyes on writings no matter where they are written. And why not take advantage of this fact? Just reading the prayers even once is like praying itself. I am a curious person, even though I might not look like one, and I love reading random stuff written in random places and on random stuff. My favourite part of the descend is just above the entrance to the Takin park. It is part light and part shadow. It is part warm and part cold. No matter what the season is. I feel like I am in a movie or something when I walk by the trees with music playing in the background (actually the music is playing on my phone). I don’t really like it when I see the gate to the park because it signals an end to my walk.
I have been there many times now; under the hot sun, drenched in the monsoon rain, in the cold Thimphu winter. But it’s the same feeling of familiarity that greets me each time, no matter the weather or time. People might think that it should be a new adventure every time I climb up there for it to be my favourite place. Of course Thimphu has changed over time and things don’t look the same they did last year and I don’t think about the same things and it is different every time. But at the same time it is all the same. I guess as a human I want some things to remain the same and the fact that what I feel when I am up there is the same every single time, I guess that’s what makes Sangaygang my favourite place.