Hi, I’m Janhavi J. I originally belong to Mumbai, and reside in one of the most happening places in the city “Bandra, Carter Road.” Now, I have moved straight into the mountains. One of the best decisions that I would have ever made is to shift my base from a place like Mumbai where I was raised and lived there for the past 26 years of my life and settling down in the mountains to start my own food venture and Homestay.
I still that day in April 2017, when I visited Himachal for the first time. The Himalayas made me feel at home for the first time. The feeling was so overwhelming that I couldn’t stop crying.
Boom I decided over a period of 5 days that I’m surely and definitely coming back to settle down here. Within five months of my first visit I planned a trip again, looked around for a house and found one, and in another 04 months, I was here in Himachal, living a life of my own and shaping it with activities that I have always wanted to do. Most importantly, living the kind of life that my soul longed for the longest of time. Let me take you through a virtual tour of what I call my daily routine at Janhavi’s.
Bird Song in morning
I wake up to the sounds of various birds chirping at 6 am. I sit beside the window and glance at my courtyard when the clouds have not gone back on top from the previous night. I silently pray to every planet and God associated with the day and seek blessings from them to make the day enriching for my guests and me. I freshen up and head to the kitchen, which is in the courtyard and on the first level for my morning breakfast and tea. I watch over the lush green fields, where my house is located and meditate over the Himalayas, sometimes talking to them and praying to them. That’s my breakfast regimen every day.
It’s such a delight for me to sit amongst and amidst nature on top of my terrace and getting a 360-degree view of the village that I live in. Totally rejuvenating. It helps me to kickstart my day with so much positivity. If guests are staying with me or coming for meals at Janhavi's, then I get busy with setting up the house, cooking or shopping in the market for the refills of vegetables and grocery.
My daily job entails meeting the guest’s requirements, anticipating their needs and accordingly making provision for it. I also pray and meditate for a bit before I start cooking. It gives me an insight into the guest's emotions, state of mind and accordingly cook healthy, nutritious food for them. I also take out time to read and watch Indian Mythology to understand human Psychology and behavior through various Gods and Goddesses, our culture and it’s emergence. These days I am also working towards revamping my space and styling it the Bohemian way.
Chai and dance in the evening
I take a brief siesta in the afternoon to function better. I wake up in the evening and quickly get on to my dancing regime. I learned a few levels in Belly dancing when I was in Mumbai and have started dancing or just freely moving in the direction of my body every day for a while before my chai time. I have had the most beautiful experience, and every day it’s different. Then it’s time for my chai. Sipping my chai amidst nature with a view of white and yellow butterflies flying over the fields in pairs along with their best friends dragonflies is a beautiful sight to watch.
Evening Chai time is therapeutic for me. From the elevation of my kitchen, I watch the clouds moving through the mountains and sometimes covering them probably playing hide and seek. I catch the sunset and capture it through the lens when the soul can’t contain its beauty.
Every day it’s a different scene and to be able to witness it so closely with its changing colors, form, shape, and patterns is something I truly consider as a blessing J.
Whenever I miss shopping in the morning, I head to the market in the evening. It’s such a nice and happy feeling for me each time I visit the market here. The simplicity and beauty of the place are made of its people. You will always find them smiling, having a short conversation and acknowledging each other. It’s like meeting my neighbors and co-residents all at once J.
The best part is everyone knows everyone here right from the shopkeepers to restaurant owners to homeowners, tenants like me, and tourists. It’s a small place with so much love and concern for each other.
When the moon and glow bugs entertain me
When you are in the mountains, the day gets over so quickly, and the dinners also get done early. That’s the secret of my energy and enthusiasm. Post my dinner I usually sit outside in the courtyard. Sometimes I gaze at the moon, bathe, or dance under the moonlight. Inhaling the fresh, cool and pure air that blows straight from the Himalayas must have increased my lifespan.
It just feels so out of this world when the bugs and crickets are croaking in the middle of the fields. The glow bugs glowing to their glory put up a wonderful show every night around my house. After bidding goodnight to the universe, I end my night with a very powerful and strong meditation that purifies me and helps me forgive and seek forgiveness to everyone that I might have interacted with during the day.
I spend my weekends sketching and writing poems and sonnets. That’s when my creative side oozes with words and designs. I had never imagined that I could do and get so many things done during the day.
This place helped me unleash my hidden powers and strength and healed and transformed me at a deeper level. The unmatched silence and peace throughout the day have helped me come closer to myself and discover who I am.
This has been the most beautiful journey for me ever since I moved to Bir, Himachal Pradesh in the mountains from the city leaving behind everything and everyone to live a life of my own.