Year: 2021

Welcome To Heaven: Stories From the Line Of Control that May Enlighten The World– VII. Final

On the Great Himalayan Road Journey to Baltistan, today is the showdown, the final journey continuing from Call of the Now- I Life and nothing more- II Road will tell you- III Remember me with a Lotus- IV The Gun Mountains and other Gods- V The Wait of Baltistan- VI : ँ : — It was more difficult to reach here than i had thought. To an extent I was only one night away from leaving it all and going back home. A whole day had gone in repairing Tyre and servicing this vehicle in Diskit, the same valley that hosted gypsies once, ancient travellers, porters coming from Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan carrying opium and other magic potions to the cold desert of Hunder; a stop that they still talk about as the Silk road. This was the ancient Silk route, and from here you either go up to Mongolia or find your way to the Tibetan plateau into China. I took to Baltistan. “And had Turtuk not pulled me in this one time, I may …

The Wait Of Baltistan: Remembering Love and Lessons While Teaching in the Border Village of Turtuk – VI

On the Great Himalayan Road Journey to Baltistan, the final journey continuing from Call of the Now- I Life and nothing more- II Road will tell you- III Remember me with a Lotus- IV The Gun Mountains and other Gods- V : ँ : As i sit to write this final chapter, many memories from my journey that I first took eleven years ago arrive. Vivid. Bringing a state of spiritual alertness. An all round high, more out of oxygen levels shelving by the night, at that height. Breathing deep. I wasn’t able to stop my popcorn like popping soul at the sight of the Himalayas. More so I felt young. Carrying freedom in my eyes as I was being taken care of for months and if I wanted to, for as long, to only teach. Incidents, accidents; new kind of trees, new crops, thin air, cold wind, white walls, narrow streets, mountain dogs, brick lanes, chants, monasteries, Tibetan flags; the mountain life; that air of newness like teenage romance, lived shortly. As a week …

Yogmaya – १

It was sudden. A day of change. Something shifted. Paradigm. Light. Its been months that I had known where to look yet It took time to find. Because it had already found me. It was in my hands and sooner I became it. In my search for the permanent, in this land which once was ruled by the snakes. Forest. In the name itself, energy resides. I reached Yogmaya. After months, without telling even my own self. The moment that child arrived I packed my bag, took my documents, opened the door and started walking towards her. As if she called on the eve of her birth night. It was five thousand and sixty eight hundred years ago. 5068.  From today starts Nine days of Worshipping the mother. How will you do it?I will take the help of Fire.    When she calls, the time subsides. Last evening, I was brimming with energy. I passed through the mausoleum and Mehrauli felt like a foreign country. It had been long I thought i was looking, rather …

Knowing Gandhi and Learning from many Mahatmas

Today is Lal Bahadur Shastri’s birthday. The second Prime Minister of India, who was rather killed/poisoned on his visit to Tashkent in 1966. He had gone to sign a peace deal organised by the US and the USSR seminaries, UN security members with Pakistan’s Military Leader Ayub Khan after the war of 1965. The deal was signed in the evening as the Peace Pact failed. The next morning, he was found dead in his room. For days, months and years that commenced and kept passing by; it was less strange, rather maddening that no one ever asked for an inquiry, no one protested, no body looked for proofs or questioned the circumstances of his death. Death of the head of a nation state was accepted as mere fate. He was a sincere and a firm leader. He did not shy away from going into war with Pakistan in 1965, that was pushed on him merely a year later he took office; and only three years later, after Nehru’s historical blunder when China opened fire and …

Truth, Evil and the Sun

When we reached Gopeshwar that night, Gana seemed speechless. But Neel looked at him with satisfaction giving an expression like then he has seen. We sat around fire, while waiting for the food to arrive. Open your ears said Neel and he began speaking like reciting an over practised hymn. The men in the east, he said, are trees; those in the south are flocks of animals; those in the west are wild plants. And those in the north like ourselves, who cried out while they ate other men, were the waters. When the collective sound started filling the air, he started explaining about eating. The act of eating is a violence that causes what is living, in its many forms, to disappear. Whether grass, plants, trees, animals or human beings, the process is the same. There is always a fire that devours and a substance that is devoured. This violence bringing misery and torment will one day be carried out by those who inflict it. Pouring milk into the fire- every morning, every evening- …

At War, with the truth. With Afghanistan and her Killers: A photographic Essay of Twenty Years

I wasn’t really planning to write anything, after The Sins of America any more of whatever turned out in Afghanistan as there seemed no point to keep poking but it all changed the moment i saw a video of the US secretary of state Antony Blinken, who while facing the toughest grilling of his carrier remarked that “they inherited a deadline, and did not inherit any plan,”. It angered me to say the least. World’s strongest, resource filled country actually had no plan for 20 years. And it is safe to say that they have no plan to deal with anything under the sun, leave China; I do not think anymore that anyone of us will ever get to know anything about the origins the Corona virus. The funniest part is, that those terrorists who were once on the UN blacklist, were carrying millions of money on their heads, the deadliest of human killers have become great again. Google Mullah Baradar, the Taliban co-founder is now on this week’s ‘Times ‘100 most influential people of …

The Sins of America

Things have been volatile in our part of the world. Unsettling, as what happened was not conceived well before or rather this only was the peace deal. The Peace deals that started taking shape of some form during the Trump era, without any allies on the table; of all not even India who for last twenty years singlehandedly built almost everything for the Afghan nation- from the roads to schools, to their dams, to even the Parliament- this was never what the Indians were working for and it has shaken the trust the allies had on them. As every other being thought that the Taliban would be given a fight, tall talks of resistance by the afghan forces were given, President Ghani talking about winning the final war against the battles that Taliban has won fled just like the US Army, quietly in the night. Biden talking about the inevitability of Kabul falling, or it not being the rerun of what happened in Vietnam, rather it is the worst what will take shape in the …

The Gun Mountains and Other Gods -V

On the Road to Baltistan, continuing from Call of the Now- I Life and nothing more- II Road will tell you- III Remember me with a Lotus- IV : ँ : Before we reach Turtuk, Baltistan; it was important to dedicate an essay only to the journey. My travels that saw me traversing through these dangerous, rough and meditative landscapes that over the years helped changing me, even my cells. For many years this road has been my road to inner work and of the outside world, and i imagine one which taught me best how to discern. This National Highway that runs from Srinagar, Kashmir to Leh is called the NH Delta- 1 and is the most important road that joins the valley of Kashmir to Laddakh. La that is ‘a mountain pass’, and ddakh is the ‘King’- this land that is the king of the mountain passes, running along the mighty river Indus, parallel to the most active, volatile border in the world, the Line of Control with Pakistan. Ever since the partition …