India, Jammu and Kashmir, Road Journals
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One day win and other days Out

The night was strange. It was a mix of sleeping deep and aware of some thing gone wrong.

Two weeks were over in Leh. And as I had planned I got a bike for myself from Angchuk. I wanted to have a classic 350 but after the new UT status, government ordered the bike union to commercialise all the bikes or they’ll be seized. I got a Himalayan with me. While riding down to the narrow path of lama ji lane at upper changspa, something happened; the tendon, the tissue that joins the back part of the knee just went numb. For a moment i could not lend my weight on to my left leg. As I lied in bed in the night the pain was such nonsensical that I couldn’t straighten my leg, and if i even pushed and did, i could not bend it again. Throughout night as I moved from one position to other, I could feel the weight of my knee.

Somehow i completed the task of sleeping. In the morning when other artists left I got up annoyed and in haste or subdued anger or helplessness just before i had planned everything for the journey, i sat up and positioned myself in Padmasana. All went dark. My nervous system collapsed it seemed. The whole body, from the tip of the toe to up and into my eyes either went all white or blank dark that I could not see a thing with my eyes open. It happened within 100 seconds of my waking up first thing in the morning. In the approaching winter silence of Leh, lying on my wooden bed I remember asking myself, what is happening? I breathed deep and pressed my knee and remembered RICE. Yes rice. The same knee, the same part got injured four months ago because of an idiot in Kashmir who while coming downhill on a scooty told me there are no brakes brother. yes he said brother in the end. A week in the houseboat since that incident RICE came to help.


Indus in the evening outside Leh, Laddakh

RICE: Rest Ice Compression and Elevation. I went down slowly limping and washed my face. Things gradually started to feel better.

In the kitchen Cynthia welcomed me with her high pitched morning that some birds sitting would have heard. She asked me to join with Priya over tea. Priya arrived late, as she lost her way. Anyways, not her fault, It’s no easy to reach here where we are for sure. For next three hours I learnt what Cynthia has been doing for women and disabled children in Laddakh for past twenty five years. She told me and Priya about most villages and nomadic tribes trying hard to get their kids to the best english speaking public schools who are ripping off all the pride they might have had kept in their families. When kids come out there is a race to show and be the best westerner as that is the epitome of social hierchy. And more depressingly about the status of women and the hopelessness in young girls who can’t even let anything out, any expressions, or feelings due to societal norms unlike boys who are running haywire, riding bikes, going on trekking, playing etcetera.

Talking with Cynthia opened many other possibilities of first of all, not riding to as far as Hanley, instead move around villages and tribes living under 70-100 kilometres circumference. I ll decide that after assessing what Cynthia provides me with tomorrow.

Afternoon I rode outside Leh for a bit but bike isn’t that much fun. Bullet would have been just perfect. But as they say beggars can’t be choosers.

Intuition is indicating towards a coming change. It must be right. Let’s follow the gut.

The leg behaved well after the morning incident yet the body needs to be attended to now. One key to start is: breathing deep.

This entry was posted in: India, Jammu and Kashmir, Road Journals


Hi, I am Narayan Kaudinya. And i welcome you on this journey, the Road to Nara ! I am an Ethnographer and a practicing Indologist. I did my masters in History and further learnt Sanskrit, Yoga and Nerve-therapy. At 24, pushing most academic sounding, office sitting works away, i felt compelled to know and understand the world and my country, Bharat/India. I travelled, and as it happened i took up teaching in Kashmir and further up in the remote villages of Baltistan in the foothills of Karakoram Ranges. For around three years and many states later there came a time when i felt that it was only while teaching i learnt how to laugh, to see, feel, breathe, love and cry -with children, and mostly resource-less parents in the harshest-freezing border conditions. I write, and work as a documentary photographer and Filmmaker, with numerous published, exhibited and some awarded stories. In my travels and life i have let nature lead me, the divine mother, and as a Yogin, my resolve here is to share my experiences and thoughts as honestly, and through them to blossom in everyone the power and possibility in pursuing your breath, that you seek your true nature with courage and curiosity. Here, on this road i will share my spirit, my love for nature, the elements of life that are us. And in doing so, i'll be happy to see you along.

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