It looked like a gigantic beach full of enormous sand castles. So dry, what I imagined to be Afganistan. Every now and then I could spot a green clearing in the middle of the majestic mountains. So brown, so arid, so devoid of emotion I thought. Something like a relief after the muddy streets in Delhi, the exaggeration of emotions. Maybe I ll dislike it and go back to Delhi, were Manu, my friend bid me farewell in the middle of the night. Maybe is time for me to hear the call of the Mekong. But as soon as the plane landed, as soon as the chilly air hit my face, as soon as i felt the imponence of the mountains, recognised the familiar tibetan and nepali faces my heart filled with joy and all the pain, all the sickness seemed to also depend on higher levels of oxygen to be able to be felt here.
Within seconds I was found by my new Israeli friend. It took seconds for her to find me, like this randomly, she asked me a question and now we share room, trip, stories, and excitement for it all. Like me she has no plans she needs to be nowhere but within. We walked the gorgeous Tibetan like alleys and rejoiced at every traditionally dressed Tibetan woman we saw, at every colourful Pashmina, at every conversation we had with Nepalis, Tibetans, “Kashmirans”. We visited the Israeli centre, the Muslim Tibetan who sells a bit of it all, we strolled the streets with newly found german friends. As we sat around a table to have coffee and I spoke of my love for the Israelis and the Palestinians I know I rejoiced at thinking that Germans and Israeli share now the same table.
It all takes time is what Leh seems to be gently murmuring to me. Some things are just slow we need have patience but never loose faith. The most magical moment of my first day in this lovely place was to enter the enchanted music shop of this village. A young boy lets us in in the minuscule cubicle where laid dozens of different instruments. I played a guitar, he took a Kalimba, then a flute, then a clarinet, then an instruments I had never seen. he taught me to blow the clarinet I failed miserably at it. He told me he would play for us the most magical instrument that existed. i expected an Indian citar, or an unknown nepali or Tibetan instrument. To my enormous surprise he played the Didgeridoo.
Most instruments were built by his father. As he blew this Indian made Didgeridoo I thought I were in a fairy tale where a beautiful young boy could make music of all that he touched. We were all fascinated. We were enchantedely kept in this little room that contained music and people of the world. “Music is life, without it we are nothing” he explained. I smiled remembering how for the Nambiquara the flutes are religion itself. What connects us with whatever it is that we connect. In this magic place I felt like this…connected to people through time, through culture, through the creation of these instruments. Connected to some kind of mysterious force in the land of Ladakh in the silence of the morning, in the music of the water, in the mixture of these estrange and yet familiar shop. And now I must go and disconnect because here being connected through the internet seems profane, here the connections must be of the archaic type.