Have you ever thought about packing your bags and moving far, far away from jam-packed streets and blaring horns? Have you ever dreamed about settling down in the midst of nature, enveloped in a cloak of serenity? Bindiya Murgai, a Counsellor and a Mindfulness and Digital Wellness Coach, thought of the very same things. The difference is, she followed them through.
Bindiya, apart from pursuing a career in filmmaking, had explored her interest in Buddhism and spirituality in the Himalayas. She firmly believes in mindfulness, meditation and inner wellbeing. Nearly 7 years ago, Bindiya and her husband, Raj Gopalakrishnan , Founder of KOGO trips, decided that they’d had enough of the unending grind of city life. They had a pact – come what may, they’d leave the city before they turned 40. So, finding themselves drawn to the quiet charm of the Nilgiris, they took the plunge and moved to a quaint little farming village called Thambatti. Tucked in the midst of the verdant Nilgiri hills, their home is postcard-perfect, complete with pretty lawns and a kitchen garden bursting with herbs.
Chilled evenings spent at their home in the Nilgiris coupled with some wine and cheese
Of course, moving to a new place filled with new faces can be disconcerting. But not when you’re in the Nilgiris. “People here are very warm and hospitable and take everybody into their fold. If you know five people, those five will introduce you to 25 more! Suffice to say that once we moved to the Nilgiris, we couldn’t keep up with all the lunch and dinner invitations!” reminisces Bindiya. Sure enough, from treks to social visits, from gala nights to club dinners, their social calendars were soon packed with activities.
Friendly neighbourhood hospitality aside, the natives of the Nilgiris are also extremely empathetic towards animal and human safety. Bindiya remembers having set off for a walk towards the forest one day, only to notice that all traffic on the main road had been brought to a halt, to allow a baby snake to safely cross the road. People had even stepped out of their vehicles to egg the little snake on! Both gentle towards and appreciative of the beings of nature, the locals here are thoughtful, caring and immensely helpful, making a move of this magnitude far easier than it would have otherwise been.
In fact, Bindiya finds it peaceful to live and work in a place like Thambatti, where nature’s bounty is still well preserved. The internet issues that are so prevalent in cities are all but forgotten in the Nilgiris, allowing Bindiya to practice via video calls and conduct webinars, hassle-free. An early riser, she watches the sun climb up the sky each day from her pristine lawns before meditating and getting in an hour’s worth of exercise. Through the day, she works hard, checks on the estate, writes and conducts mental wellness sessions with her clients before winding down with dinner at 7 pm. What’s more, almost every meal that they consume has some fresh ingredients from their kitchen garden!
In their spare time, Bindiya and Raj, who’re both adventure enthusiasts, enjoy riding a bike through the hill station’s picturesque lanes, making pit stops at quaint little eateries along the way. They also enjoy hiking or trekking along the enchanting forest hills, often stumbling upon exciting undiscovered routes. At the Nilgiris, there’s always a beautiful little surprise waiting at every corner – for those who are willing to go find it.
So, if moving to the mountains has always been your dream, think about Bindiya, who dared to jump and believed that in doing so, she’d fly. Hers is a story that is both heartwarming and inspiring. It shows that a little faith and determination are often all you need to take that one giant leap. Bindiya followed her heart and it led her to the Nilgiris, where she found comfort and solace and a wonderful home to call her own. So, listen to your heart and see where it leads you!