Far, far away: watching the last sunset over the village

Photo by Stephan Eicher

As we looked upon our last sunset over Chopdiyal Village, the vibrant hues of brilliant orange melted into each other. We thought back to the impact this trip made on us. 

On the first day, we woke up to suffocating heat and the screams of village babies.

“Aghhhh,” everyone groaned in chorus. 

Lazy and unmotivated, we dragged ourselves out of the stifling air of the tent. We were briefed about how the trip would focus on “broad adventure” or sustained interaction in an unfamiliar environment. 

Despite my early skepticism, the trip truly was engaging. We witnessed first-hand the strict regimen required for life in a village and the labor involved in the production of our food. 

The Chopdiyal Village trip was a chance to connect with nature. Our group took advantage of the opportunity we had to appreciate the different aspects of nature. As we walked through the towering trees, rays of light shining through their branches, we listened to the sweet melodies of the birds. We could smell the fresh dew, still resting on the leaves. We felt a tangible bond with nature.

Photo by Stephan Eicher

Photo by Stephan Eicher

While we sat on grassland and quietly observed the rich earthy hues of the trees and the melodic chirping of the hummingbirds, a wave of calm swept over us. 

Later that day, we had a session on astronomy, during which we got to see two planets; Saturn and Jupiter. That night was special because as a group, we all felt an innate connection with nature. We were exploring the vast cosmos with people we grew close to. 

One of the most insightful moments in the trip was a trip to the local school, where we learned about their strict regimen and multitude of talents. We were given the opportunity to draw with them and see firsthand their multitude of talents.

Photo by Stephen Eicher

Looking back at all these memories, I really missed the time we spent with each other while playing cards, group talks, and the point where we lay down on the floor, letting out all the tiredness. 

I came into activity week with a generally negative attitude. But things took a turn for the better. Most of us really enjoyed the activities we did and living the village life. We were really glad to visit the Chopdiyal village and we had a lot of takeaways, we learned about the strict regimen of village life and the exhausting labor; more importantly, we fostered a deep personal connection with nature. 

The light streamed through the clouds on the last sunset. The soothing aroma seeped into every fibre of my being. The tranquil breeze softly caressed my face and I was glad. The warmer colors bring a richness to every hue; emphasizing the deep browns of the falling leaves. The birds’ hum and the cicadas chirp a farewell to the departing sun. The air is lighter, as if all the blood and sweat suddenly dissipated from the atmosphere. A warm luster of brilliant gold hovers over the gentle mountains. Everything grows quiet. Cool mist hangs over the thin air. After a hard day of back-breaking labor, the tension releases from my bones. The fragrance of dense vegetation relaxes me.

I’m going to miss this place.


Rushita Paladugu and Ruhani Verma contributed to this article.

Arnav Kumar is a staff reporter for The Woodstocker

Edited by Dhrubhagat Singh

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