By Laura Garling

Global Gateway India

We have been in Bhimtal for 10 days now and I’ve been trying to pinpoint why I love it here in Bhimtal so much. Having come here from spending 8 days in Delhi and Amritsar where we went to awe-inspiring place after awe-inspiring place, such as Humayun’s tomb, Jama Masjid, the Golden Temple, the Lotus Temple, and much more, and having endured all of the travelling that goes along with that, anywhere we can feel any sense of calm and grounding is welcome and refreshing. However, I’m convinced it’s much more than that.

Perhaps it’s because now I can say that when I’m in Bhimtal I hike through the Himalayas to get to class (even if that might be stretching the truth just a tiny bit). Perhaps it’s the fact that the lakes, trees, and general small town attitude reminds me of home. Perhaps it’s that my host(grand)mother in Bhimtal, who insists that we call her Granny, is one of the coolest people I’ve ever met and how I learn something new every time I talk to her. Perhaps it’s how we drink the best chai I’ve ever tasted, sometimes three times a day. Perhaps it’s all of the fascinating things I am learning about South Asian religions and Indian politics. Perhaps it’s all of the amazing people I get to experience all of these incredible things with, and how I can’t wait to see what they all will accomplish next. Perhaps it’s all of the above and more.