Beauty and Goodness

A Lakeside road in Nainital

My childhood was spent in the beautiful Himalayan Town of Nainital. Aside from its bewitching beauty, there was something else in the town that was even more valuable. The lives of most people were filled with simplicity and goodness and that added to highly stress free and happy atmosphere. It seems that goodness and beauty are frequently two sides of the same coin. Unfortunately this town has not remained so with time and commercialization of the modern age.

In later years, I have lived in many parts of the world for education, work and living but never found the same level of goodness prevailing. An increase of greed, lust, anger, jealousy, selfishness vitiates the atmosphere of any town or village and destroys this sense of peace and happiness. When a mind is obsessed with a desire arising out of greed, anger, lust, jealousy, pride etc it has obviously no space or capacity to enjoy the many joyous wonders life has to offer without asking. Only a town or village was mentioned in this paragraph and not cities intentionally because in large impersonal concrete jungles that a city is, that is a given fact. One may not survive in such a jungle without fear, suspicion and selfishness perhaps and have no energy for a full life because of it and also because of the noise, pollution, lack of greenery, lack of sunshine, lack of fresh air because of traffic and sewerage lines, crime, an impersonal neighbor, cramped spaces and commuting.

During my childhood my mother’s sister in law came for a visit to our home in Nainital. Unfortunately she developed a medical problem and needed expensive surgery immediately. My Father was then away on a army assignment in Nepal and although he sent enough money every month to keep us well fed and comfortable there was just not any surplus money for the new medical expense. However, my mother (her name was Nand Rani or Nando for short) had a set of expensive gold bangles that married Indian women wear often. She rushed to Bura Bazzar (the marketplace) in Nainital to sell these immediately to a gold smith and raised enough money for the operation that was carried out successfully. In later years some relatives have talked about the deed as if it was a grand sacrifice but in those days and in that town it was considered an obvious thing to do i.e. to help out a friend or relative in need if one could with ease. In later years she acquired many more gold bangles mainly gifted by my father after he became wealthy and some bu her children e.g by me on her 50th wedding anniversary, and she used her bangles to help others when an emergency arose including a couple to me when I ran out of money and got into difficulty after exhausting my money and interrupting my job to build a home that I presently live in. There is a photo from it below.

White Roses in Ashok's garden in Jaipur

Recently when I compiled a book that has many stories of Himalayan mystics (Nude besides the lake and The Babaji Affair) that have this town as the background it included the prevailing ethos of the town as Iknew it from my childhood. Those who read the books loved the stories but many remarked that the goodness of characters in the book was perhaps unrealistic or fairy tale like. However that is how it was and that is what is needed to make a town or village stress free. In later years I have tried to achieve the same sense of peace and happiness in other places by increasing my communion with nature and becoming very selective in social interactions. One may commune with nature in a forest or countryside but some such is possible even in a home garden. It is amazing the number of birds and bees that will visit to sing for you if one has a few trees and flowers around one’s home.

For a wider view of the Nainital Photo and more pictures of Nainital check out  
For the spirituality of the region and more pictures see    
For the book - The Babaji Affair - see an older post


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