St.John in the Wilderness !


Well i will begin where i left last ,

after meeting all my co trainees at the office along with our trainer , all of whom came from a diverse background ,two pretty young girls from haryana ,two beautiful gujarati ladies from Mumbai,and one from all the way south, Hubli.

But, there was one thing, that i understand common amongst us and that was our willingness to learn RECBT and along with that ,i think all of us somehow needed a change from our routine lives,and at the end of the journey we all took back very fond memories and have grown in someway or the other.

so, after the introduction,we started back to our guest house  ,the jogiwara road ,i.e. the road straight down hill from the main market is very steep , it was easy for us to go down but, very tough to go up the incline,so we took another route,via the temple road.

the temple road here ,refers to the road connecting the dalai lama temple (also called Tsuglakhang temple)(i will write a seperate blog to describe the temple).

it was around 6:30 and i was hungry already or should i say i was craving for momos!!.Earlier this year when we went to Assam we could not have momos so i anyhow had to have MOMOs!!,my friends Reshma and BHavika recommended a small stall that had steamed momos and so i took it to my room and devoured on it!!

(This was my first day so i wasnt very confident to eat alone or even with my new friends at a restaurant ).

it was a tiring day so i slept at 9:30 unlike my daily routine.

for the next day Reshma and i planned to go to the kalachakra temple and the church before our workshop begun!!we decided to leave by 7 am!.i slept all excited.

I woke up all excited,this was something i always wanted to do,to explore the mountains undisturbed and not with a pressure of clicking pictures or rushing to work, i was very eager to see what this place had to offer us! i was thrilled!!

so we took off at the time we decided and went to the kalachakra temple first.

yes!! this is what i wanted ,i thought ,it was the best start we could think of.!

(i plan to have a separate blog for both the temples,so not elaborating it here).

from here we went to the main market square ,asked for directions to the church and began!(all on foot).


yay! 1 km only we thought.

But,on the hills whether it is downhill or uphill , the distance is deceptive,all distances seem farther than their number.

anyways we had allot of time in our hands and we went around looking at the exquisite foliage and mountains on our way down.


fortunately the sky was clear and we could enjoy the warmth of early morning sunrays!

the weather couldn’t have been better .

and on the way to the church i realized i was really enjoying Reshma’ company, may be this was something i was missing,making new friends who don’t know and dont judge you because of your profession,may be that is what i was missing all these years.(Being a doctor and being in the same place since last 10 yrs,at a position where all people senior to you have been there since you’ve been there or longer,and all new people are juniors,who inadvertently see you as a senior more than a friend.)(this i would say is an occupational hazard of medical profession, since our early day we are taught that a senior is always right ,so you being the part of the system tend to believe the same,feeding into your narcissism,which hampers the development of genuine heartfelt friendships)(my personal opinion). Anyways we went slow ,giggling around sharing our life stories ,our interests,our likes ,dislikes,clicking random pictures without us in them,awing together over the picturesque scenes ,we finally reached our destination.

The St. John’s Church, around 1 km from the main square (mc leod ganj) is located at the most isolated , untamed by humans place!!Set amidst the  magnificent Deodar Forest, this Church is archaic in every sense!unfortunately when we reached the church was closed ,so could not see it from inside ,But the surrounding,the location and the eerie cemetery near it was more than satisfying in itself!( at every instance i was thanking the almighty to have blessed me to come here).

As we were early there was nobody in the compound except for a man who seemed to be meditating.See this is why meditators chose this place out of all places,it is very peaceful ,and calm,my other friends who visited the other day found it spooky,But , we really loved the place.(My husband agreed with me on this ,i’m adding his version after my ends).

All charged up and happy we started our trail back to Mc. leod had aloo puffs at a bakery located near the bus stand(as suggested by one my seniors) and left for work!!looking forward to our first day at workshop.

dated:30 July 2018

Dr.Preraks account:

i was alone at home for 7 days after my wife left,though was busy with work and my small extended family here,but was missing my wife’ presence at home,so i was very excited to see her and by what i understood , through our talks over these days, she seemed happier than ever after a very long time,so i was looking forward to see her happy!.

i took a flight from Ahmedabad to Delhi and from Delhi to Gaggal airport Dharamshala, and since for this post i have been toldto focus on the church ,but the flight journey along with the local hrctc bus ride from Dharamshala to Mc leod Ganj was amazing and worth a mention( some other time).

I reached mc leod ,unloaded my luggage at the guest house and called her.She said she wont get free for a while, so asked me either to rest or see something nearby,she gave me a few recommendations for lunch and told me to see the church the first thing!(she seemed very confident and i liked her giving me directions for a change).

i am not a very ‘on foot ‘ person , i prefer travelling in cars or bullets,so asked for a taxi to the church but ,nobody was willing to go as it was pouring heavily.

someone told me to go on foot ,it was nearby he said.i thought ok let us try this for a change.

the weather on the way was all misty and cloudy i did not even carry an umbrella so i drenched,but the mountains were spell-binding and i couldnt help but be super excited to see what my destination was.


Ultimately i reached the church , it seemed all deserted ,like they show in movies,it felt like a haunted place, but at the same time was positive.

i could not see many people outside,except for two men and two dogs, i went around clicking pictures of the variety of trees and plants that were there,i came across an interesting spider web in which the rain drops were caught, the sight was magnificent .


i went inside the church and there were many people flocking the chairs, it was a sunday ,so that must be a mass i thought,i sat there for a while and came outside,clicked a few pictures nd i would let my pictures do the talking now.

St JOhns church in the wilderness



Author: woundedshrink

Hi I am a consultant psychiatrist ,based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat and I write with a hope to somehow increase awareness regarding mental illnesses and reducing the shame in acceptance

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