When I talk about trekking in the Himalayas, sometimes people ask me, “What is the point in walking or climbing aimlessly from one point to another, in rugged climate and terrain at that.” I was never able to answer that question. In fact I gave into the idea that it was pointless. During my recent trip to the Himalayas I realized why I was lost for words. Even if I tried, it would be a futile exercise. To express what it feels like to be surrounded by the Himalayas is beyond language.
I think Sheep and Goats are two of the most photogenic animals. No matter where I see them, I am drawn to them perhaps like nomads to Sheep and Goats. 😉 I find the mountain Sheep and Goats even prettier and their association with Nomads of various parts of India make them all the more interesting. I could spend hours just watching them graze relentlessly, bleat to warn and communicate and poop like nobody’s business and graze again. At the end of the session I come away feeling as if I have done hours of meditation.
With a few morsels dangling around the mouth and a lot of it melting inside it we go out and proudly, spraying the morsels that had difficulty melting, announce to the world that we are fasting and thus, fulfil our duty as responsible children. All the kids fasting in new clothes gather and talk elaborately about how we didn’t eat for 2 long hours and exchange Peanut, Rava and Besan laddus made especially for the fasting day for extra energy.
I say this at every opportunity, “not for nothing people associate The Himalayas with renunciation of the material world.” If you spend enough time in the mighty mountains, renunciation becomes a natural process. When you are up there, in the lyrics of Metallica, nothing else matters.
As a kid the very sound of market excited me, because of its association with the pleasant prospect of shopping, much to my father’s dismay. The sound of shopping still excites me and the reason remains the same. However, now that I have to pay my own bills, I reluctantly learnt to sidetrack myself by means of a camera. Hail street photography!
From one campsite to another, Annapurna Circuit is replete with tea houses. They are multi cuisine tea houses offering delectable array of menu choices. Best part of the menu and something I enjoyed the most during the trails is, a warm cup of lemon tea. For one I can thaw my hands while sipping on the tea. And for another, it was refreshing. Unlike the other trails, end of a grueling trek I retired to a cozy bed. I literally buried myself under layers of quilts and read a book, while the mighty glaciers, sometimes bordered by rustling streams, busied themselves providing a stunning view.
Royal Secret never once bucked me; he let me drive him crazy and tolerated me like a wise old grandpa. I bird-watched and learnt my first canter on him. I sympathized deeply with the other riders who fell off their horses and gave them sound advice.
Being a city dweller and coming from a place where anything I need is at a call, click of a button or Mum away, Kuveshi took my traditional beliefs on a roller coaster ride and restructured them for good.
Finally if you leave your prejudices behind and look at snakes, you’ll see snakes are pretty creatures too. You’ll find them in interesting sizes, shapes, colors and patterns. After all, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.
Snakes in India- The portrayal of snakes in India mythologies, fairy tales has fed our misunderstanding. Snakes are a vital part of our ecosystem. They are indeed angels in disguise!