Location: Phuktal Monastery, Zanskar Valley, India
What is your name? Veer Bahadursingh Narula, but my nickname is Angad
How old are you? 26
Where were you born? Amritsar, India
Where do you call home? Amritsar, India
What is your religion? Sikh
What is your impression so far of this place? Hmmm… I really like the people, they are very clean. It’s my personal view that they should be doing meditation. They are just saying mantras and to me that’s incomplete. It’s the most beautiful and powerful monastery I have ever seen. I see a good scope in the school considering it has only been open for two years. I also feel that the classes have to increase and they need a good Buddhist philosophy teacher and an English teacher and a teacher who doesn’t drink.
What have you learned from this trip? Hmmm…I have learned a lot of things… I’ll start with Rishikesh, where I learned there is an alternate reality. It’s different to the objective reality which is more at the molecular level, that you can see with your eyes closed. This is how my trip started in Rishikesh, but then I went deeper into it in Gangotri.
Then I learned Vipassana, it was a ten day course, where you cannot speak. I didn’t meditate before, it is very difficult but it is very logical.
Also, I learned a lot at Rainbow Gathering. I learned a lot about the value of nature and food and how the material world is bullshit.
After coming here, to Phuktal, I am very sure there are two realities but I also know we need to keep the two balanced. I would say that ahhh…it’s best if you’re living for yourself, even when you’re helping others you should be doing it for yourself, you do not expect anything in return – this is the shortest way to happiness.
What are you most looking forward to? One, for sure is, to go deeper into molecular reality and try to experience God. Others would be to survive in minimal conditions, remove all the fears and be more adventurous. And to make travelling a profession and work a holiday. Finding a soulmate.
What made you leave home? I realised this last year, in December, when I was in Egypt. I just felt it somehow that I had to leave everything and travel. I was in Egypt again this year and had the same feeling but stronger. I had no answer to why, I just knew I wanted to travel.
What do you miss most about home? Food
Would you describe yourself as lost or found? I would say I’m a happy lost guy
When we met, we were polite and awkward like all new friends. I knew I liked you, but I didn’t understand you. You were bright, colourful, full of life. I was hesitant, shy, self-conscious. You were always busy, sometimes it felt like I was in the way, but your smile reassured me. You fed me, food and experiences I had never tasted. Flavours I long to taste again.
You reminded me of a simpler way. You were detached from possessions but dependent on nature. Sometimes you opened up, you spoke of your pain, your loss, your sorrow. I listened. You were hot and cold, sometimes it felt like you were angry, like you were testing me. But I learned, behind that intensity was a calmness, an inner peace, an acceptance of the extreme emotions you feel.
I hope we will meet again, and like old friends we will embrace and reminisce of that time we first met.
Location: Arugam Bay, Sri lanka
What is your name? Joonas
How old are you? 25
Where were you born? Finland, inland and further inland
Where is your home? Finland but maybe more New Zealand now
What is your religion? Kind of , pretty much believe in karma
What have you learned from this trip? Better surfing, I’m glad, satisfied with my surfing. I’ve learned to keep going, keep doing what I’m doing. Surfing and travelling it’s cool. I’ve learned to look at things from a different angle, like looking at the locals and their lifestyle. But most of all having new experiences teach you how to deal with situations better.
What has been the highlight of this trip so far? Full moon surf for sure & the Whiskey Point trip (a 12km bike ride in the pouring rain) and all the good surfs I’ve had and good chats I’ve had with people.
What is your impression so far of this place? Really good, a place with such strong opposites, but there are good waves, mellow, cool people. The biggest thing is meeting new people travellers and locals – really positive.
What do you miss most about home? I don’t know, in Finland there is not many things, friends and family. Friends in NZ and the NZ summer
Would you describe yourself as lost or found? Yeah both, definitely you can always learn something more…50/50…not lost, more found.
Learn more about #meetthelostandfound here
Pulling, dragging, floating, we wait.
Warming waters and shifting sand forms the mood.
You hold the answers.
Speaking in dreams, you guide us.
Smokey winds are unpredictable and ever-present.
Striking the clear skies, the thunder is deep, like a distant memory.
We know our place.
The full moon outlines faceless shadows.
In the darkness we find familiarity.
We are the black rising mounds.
Location: Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
What is your name? Tuomas
How old are you? 27
Where were you born? Finland, Nokia
Where is home? Finland doesn’t feel like home, it hasn’t for at least 5 years
What is your religion? None
What made you come to this country? Because of the jungle. Surf of course and jungle fever.
What is your impression so far of this place? Maybe 4/10 or 3/10 that’s all I can say…tuk tuk drivers, the gay tuk tuk mafia
What have you learned from this trip? Ummm….How to do nothing for a long long time
What do you miss most about home? Nothing (referring to Finland) that’s for sure…My grandma, but she died 4 months ago so nothing. The New Zealand summer
Would you describe yourself as lost or found? (Laughs) 60% found 40% lost. But it’s up to the day…maybe more found – 70% found 30% lost.
Learn more about #meetthelostandfound here
His boss doesn’t know his name. He cooks, cleans and builds during his 14+ hour days.
He is 64 years old. He has two wives and seven children. He goes to sleep at midnight and wakes at 4am. I saw him make his bed on a table. The same table he had served dinner on earlier that evening.
He wears the same checkered three-quarter pants every day. I saw him wash them under the tap, he wore a sarong while they dried in the sun.
He smokes bidis. He drinks ten cups of tea every day. When he takes a break, he sleeps upright in a chair or watches kungfu movies in the house.
He persistently offers drinks and meals to guests. In between cooking and serving dinner, he entertains guests by playing the drums and singing. He accepts a cigarette or a small glass of arrack in return.
He is thin but strong. His skin is burnt from the sun but he is resilient in the heat. I have watched him but will never truly know him.
His name is Abdul Wahub.
In Sri Lankan culture ‘Uncle’ is used to refer to older males as a sign of respect.