Baltistan, India, Jammu and Kashmir, Laddakh, Pakistan, Photographic Stories, Road Journals, Save the Birdman of Kashmir, Tales from Rural India, The Great Himalayan Road Journey to Baltistan
Comments 102

Life and nothing more- II

Continuing from Call of the Now, for the Great Himalayan Road Reunion.

: ँ :

To Srinagara, to zojila, to Leh, to Hanle, to the land that invoked my spirit, beyond the Indus, towards the Karakoram, to the parents of my children in Turtuk, to the man who flipped, to all the treks that lead to mahadeva and Gaura; to the top of that Himalayan mountain where the first tyre burst, to i don’t know what pass that came after where hundred’s of horses ran just to take left, and we took towards sky.

Stone laden river bed that kept us moving on a conical mountain all afternoon, many called it a road. Through a broken bridge, through the ditches connecting another ditch on the World Yoga day. To stopping in front of the snow, and drinking it. To dipping in the coldest river Tirthan, to filling stomach from the river Chandrabhaga. To standing all night under the milky way. To crying for my parted child, to buying eyes for Rasool bhai. While laughing at others, while laughing at ourselves. While stopping before every loop to the mountain up. Omni made it.

I need to save each penny

The river that didn’t remember me. The river that once belonged to me, never belonged to me, still leaves for Pakistan. The dancing carrier. The melancholiness of the petrol fumes over six days. The questions. Never answers, or may be for the special village. The acid that turned the land green. The music. The fatwas. The absconding Yakhs. The yelling Donkeys shouting out loud for love. As most bicycles left us behind, our omni made it across the Ma-ma Pass – Tanglang La(5,328 m/17,480 ft) and then the Papa pass- the Khardung La(5,602 m/18, 380 ft), the highest motorable road in the world. But always carry two people to push the omni through, we needed many only once.

For me this was a path-breaking and a heartbreaking journey. In one way i excelled beyond my expectations of holding onto. In making decisions, and in waiting. In changing tyres before time and making boats row straightest. In breathing with the wind and hearing over listening, and not just to humans. But at the same time fell short the moment i met the eyes of the people i once took care of or actually they took of me extremely, in an alien land which i always felt mine even before i had heard of Woodie Guthrie.

Rasool, my eyes of Kashmir was unwell beyond pain. The two nights that i stayed with him this time were mostly filled with tears and helplessness as he needed immediate care. He made me think of the possibilities or rather the directions that one man sometimes must take.

For me this journey was like going in the depths of my heart’s womb, like looking in the mirror of life, looking at oneself through so many eyes that have known me but inside them they are changing, like i am changing in me and none, no one can even say or do anything about it.

For now, I must leave with some images from the journey as sometimes diaries can be painful to read, stretching this soulful time to live a little longer, just like the flute of Krishna, which must be heard like it were the shores of Jamuna.

Also read : One night at the India-Pakistan Border


  1. Hallo Narayan, how deeply moving your words are, with breathtaking photos. Thankyou for sharing. Again you give a gift to all who pass by, bless you dear one. Peace and love from Oz.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Hallo Gary, i am telling you plan a journey to the himalayas before world crumbles. Please.
      My gift are your words always 🙂 thank you gary for being you.
      Nara x

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Narayan, what an epic journey and what beautiful lands and people! And on a Omni! Going to the highest motorable roads where SUVs are advertised for toughness!

    The hearts paths are not always strewn with flowers, so visiting them can be bitter sweet. How many get to travel on those paths though? You are blessed.

    Those pictures are amazing, truely so, of lands we might not see otherwise. Serene, beautiful, heavenly. Sitting down to eat in that cold desert with nothing but emptiness around, and then getting crowded in by a flock of sheep, your pictures give a great snapshot of the life out there for people who might not feel that cold mountain air ever. And the last picture is just unbelievable!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Deb, your understanding of the world is as special as your views are, honest and right from the heart. Have you planned a journey to this part? If you havent then i must coax you as this would be one lifetime gift for the daughter. And i will help to sew it better.

      And to tell you if one have friends like yourself, blessing can be felt. truely. This journey was an experience on many levels, and a test.

      Thank you for your words dear Deb, means a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As with part one, the extraordinary richness of details and facts of the journey the author undertook reads like something from ancient travelog. The roads, rivers in the Himalayas are described so vividly that you almost believe to be taking the journey yourself., except you would need the stamina and strength of a young man, who can drink snow, bath in the icy cold rivers, push Omni. change the tires, and travel up and up, almost reaching the sky. Perhaps the title should be: “How to be Super Human”?
    I think it has to be something to do with Yoga as it is universally credited with so many benefits. It is the story that can be read again and again, and the author have to be congratulated at creating another masterpiece that will make India a favourite destination for the world travellers.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are the kindest. India will never be famous until your golden feet arrive here on one of the coasts, in the temple where Swamiji lived with Guruji, in the room where Ramanujam stayed, where Bhaskara practised astronomy, and not until where all the fruit trees will live together showing a way of life to the children, much to the elderly, may be. It is you and not the world travellers any more!


  4. KK says

    The vivid descriptions of this extraordinary journey in both parts mesmerised me. The way you traversed the difficult roads along mountainous rocky terrains is incredible. The spectacular views and awesome pics stand testimony to it. Enjoyed thoroughly this captivating piece. Congratulations !!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for taking us along with you on your beautiful journey to the most pristine places of India. Your words, emotions and pictures simply transported me there. Thanks for sharing and taking us along. Stay blessed Narayan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Radhika, thank you for writing this, even for myself is mesmerizing to know that the essay could take you there. Thank you for writing dear Radhika.


  6. Your photographic essays are always a journey to the very soul of life. This one is no exception. The open sky and the colours within this panoramic worldview gave me so much joy. Narayan, your work this time pleasantly reminded me of NOMADLAND.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. By now I read twice and the pictures add so much to the impact of the story, keep on writing like this, Narayan, and you will become another Tagore!!!
    Thank you from all armchair travelers.


    Liked by 1 person

    • haha, Rosa, you know it. Have been there seeing over the man and the mountains, that some can literally take the weight of the world on themselves 🙂
      This was huge, and made me walk up to it across the national highway just to touch it, to seek its blessings.

      Wishes to you, morning from India.
      Nara x


  8. Spectacular pictures and word Narayan.

    These lines spoke to me:

    “The river that didn’t remember me. The river that once belonged to me, never belonged to me, still leaves for Pakistan. The dancing carrier”


    Liked by 2 people

    • How wonderful to have you Cindy, i hope you travels have gone well and that your rhythm, your yoga is taking you to better places in within.

      Thank you for writing, always is a pleasure to have your word in. Yes the river was very special for me as it was the first time 10 years ago i was making a bond with such a body.

      My wishes, and morning from India
      Nara x

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh thanks Nara and lovely to visit. All is going well as I continue the dance of life. 💖💖💖

        You’re so welcome. what a lovey experience for you. Much love my friend and thanks for the wishes. 💖


    • Cindy, it is always special to hear from you and when you affirm the work so eloquently yourself. Thank you. You must plan someday a visit to the Himalayas. Really.

      Morning from India
      Nara x


  9. By chance I have found your blog. It is my good luck. You have written all about true path. Through your articles, I will gain knowledge, encouragement and peaceful State of mind. In-depth knowledge you have shared for us.
    Great 👌
    I have to devote time in your site.
    Regards 🙏🙏

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hello Arun, delighted to meet you and it is lovely to know you and the purpose you hold. We are one in it.
      As you say the one in me and the one in sun are one, i abide by it like i do to Mother Gayatri.

      It is my pleasure to have you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much Narayan ji for your nice lines. Yeah, our purpose is same. Me too abide by Mother Gayatri. I realised the power of MAA Gayatri since my boyhood, after the thread ceremony.
        Namaskar ji🙏🙏🙏

        Liked by 1 person

        • Pranam. It is wonderful to know that Arun ji. May i ask where do you live in India? And if you are still with any job of responsibility after retiring?

          Thank you again
          Narayan x


          • Pranam Narayan ji.
            I live in Kolkata.
            I was employee of AIRPORTS AUTHORITY OF INDIA. Retired on December-2018.
            I am not engaged in any job. Rest of the life I would like to devote myself on gaining WISDOM, knowledge through ancient sacred scriptures. Currently I am studying Upanishads and modern science ( quantum physics and biology). Would like to write blogs on the same subjects.
            Thank you so much.
            Regards 🙏🙏

            Liked by 1 person

            • You are at a beautiful curve of life Arun ji. It is an absolute delight to read from you and how well your desire is to learn more. I hope to keep reading from you and your works here.

              My wishes
              Narayan x


            • Thank you Narayan ji. Studying Scriptures are necessary,at least at the fag end of life.
              Prasthana-traya: 1) Upanishads (10 Principal Upanishad),2) Bhagavad Gita, 3) Brahma-Sutra. These 3 constitute prasthana-traya. I found WISDOM here.
              Thank you for your inspiring comments 😊
              Pranam ji 🙏


            • I completely agree Arun ji. Like you i have a desire to start only reading our philosophies, texts once i get done with some important projects. I feel there is no need to read any other book(almost) once this comes in life.

              I adore and respect your sense of doing and achieving things. Thank you so much Arun ji.

              Narayan x

              Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you so much Narayan ji 🙏
            Together we can learn more 😌
            Together we can contribute more to the society. For good cause, we will spend time. That is my motto. I am in my Vanaprastha stage. I have found that you have lots of potential and you are contributing same to the society.
            I have high regards on you.
            Thank you so much. Stay blessed always with family and friends ☺️🙏

            Liked by 1 person

            • I am trying to sustain all what i can Arun ji and will try what nature will ask from me, i am just treading the path mother nature will show. Thank you so much for your blessed words. Thanks again.


            • Very good 😌
              Continue your journey. Mother nature will love you as much as you can receive. I wish if I was there with you. Will wait for your next article 🙂
              Namaskar 🙏

              Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, Arun ji you are right. Only once i will expand my heart mother will expand hers even though she knows everything already but wants us to work for it.

              We will meet some day Arunji and i hope we work on some project that is for the people someday.



  10. I am just in devotional tears reading your purpose n journey of life dear Nara. You are very special n your purpose is blessed by God. Keep moving n sharing. Most of the words penned from your great heart has touched my heart in a devotional way. Stay healthy n take care. You have the power to make the world travel along with you. Ofcourse many have traveled thru you in this post n the acknowledgement they penned is the proof ❤🙏

    Liked by 2 people

    • Suma, there is nothing else that i can convey and write other than thanking you. It is wonderful to see through you as much. It is a pleasure.

      Accept my wishes
      Nara x

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy to see the pictures of your adventurous trip dear Narayan 🙏❤️🤗 Wishing you happy and safe journey.


  12. Fantastic Photography.
    Wonderful description of the journey.
    Philosophical lines.
    Excellent post. It appears that I am also among those who are present in the photos. I have visited Sikkim. Sites are similar.
    Thank you so much for sharing with beautiful photos. Would be happy to meet you someday ☺️
    Regards 😊🙏

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Wow, I enjoyed reading your words, and you are correct-the photos really help tell the story. Fascinating photos, and that last photo is a beautiful ending to your story here. Thank you for sharing 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Surendra Sharma says

    This is writing at it’s best. Narayan you are on your way to be one of the greatest travel writers. Please keep at it. Thank you for taking me along there

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This must have been such a memorable trip. one that will remain close to your heart forever no doubt …and the pictures are simply stunning and totally capture the beauty of the place and simplicity of the people….and last pic is just 💓💓💓💓💓


  16. Narayan, I just would like to thank you for having described this absolutely extraordinary excursion, shown us all your great pictures and I love Woodie Guthrie!:)


    • Martina, delighted to have your words here, you are heartily welcome, with woody guthrie on my mind, i cannot sit on chair to start with, it is those landscape that his voice, his compositions take me to.


    • And thank you again, for this excursion was more than it as it has never left me like the word excursion would suggest. Children of these villages along the road were something i have cherished more than playful evenings with.

      Narayan x

      Liked by 1 person

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