All posts filed under: Jammu and Kashmir

Man’s search for meaning

When I returned to Ishbar that night, Shiban seemed speechless. But Dr Kaul looked at him with satisfaction giving an expression like “then he has seen.” And soon the moment came to explain to him what he had seen. We sat around fire, while waiting for the food to arrive. Open your ears, said Dr Kaul 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. Last, those in the north like ourselves, who cried out while they ate other men, were the waters. When the collective sound of chewing filled 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 …

The day of the U-Turn

I offered Cynthia Tea. She said “I am sorry, I am still not Indian’ and asked me to come up and look at the lines on her table. The table had a beautiful map. And this map sounded fulfilling. It had the river Indus, a path that will leave the road behind and lead to a narrow canyon. I must take that. And walk for an hour or two to the village of TAR where Cynthia’s best friend lives, in a cave like kitchen, where Ibex’s and snow leopards come sometimes to say hello. I left. In between late and very late. Almost not sure. Not excited. On my Himalayan. but something felt missing the whole day. More motivation! No. What had I thought and where am I leading myself to. The path seemed contrasting in my head. And Just before getting close to half the way to Chilling, I u-turned from a gorgeous bridge over Zanskar and rode back like I wasn’t riding. Faster, anxious as one gets after getting a temporary focus, on …

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 …

Bird Man of Kashmir

Even though Rasool’s favorite rooster died of old age but his death wasn’t natural. The biggest virtue just before death he could acquire was patience. Yet he remained curious as a crow. He was a fighter cock and the last fight he will be remembered for was with the biggest cat who would swim every crossing Dal from the main road. She would come and eat the chickens. He injured her in the stomach but in fight lost one of his shoulders. In the following days, four other cocks came from a nearby farm and almost killed him. He was blinded in one eye and eventually lost all his confidence and started walking strangely due to the absence of an eye. But he will live through the summer and the moment he started looking like getting healthier. He was found upturned in lake one morning. Rasool had six sheeps, twelve ducks and six hen and their hundreds of children, and twelve swans.  The swans who were loved by all, and who had acquired many names …

The Last Resort

Atul and I met in 2010 while filling our bikes at a petrol pump outside Leh. It would be easy for me to say that he gave me magic. A magic that built dreams. I lived in that dream, a few of us. We witnessed it together. A year after I met Atul. It was Teach to Learn for his organization Karmabhoomi – This year in July we had gone for an Omni journey to Hanley. We pulled over at Leh for a few days. We were meeting Bhai, Atul. – One lazy, cold, leh morning when Atul me to come along for a visit at his dream resort. It was called The Last resort I had visited this place before years ago. When it was unknown. Like Reaching a measure, or when becoming a process of leaving. It was a place that makes you only. I now remember looking at horses that kept crossing the homeless river. There was a bell inside a Buddhist temple, which kept feeding a language to the wind. Later we …

In Omni to Hanley

Starless night winter Old Donkey barking at the new comer To zojila, to Leh, to Hanle, to tso moreri, to i don’t know what pass that came after hundred’s of horses ran to take left, we took towards sky- a concrete river bed on top of a conical mountain which went all afternoon. Many called it a road. Through a broken bridge, through the ditches connecting another ditch on the Yoga day. While laughing at others. While laughing atourselves. While stopping before every loop to the mountain up. The dancing carrier. The nostalgia of the petrol fumes over six days. As every bicycle left us behind. Our omni made it across the Rohtang. But always carry two people to push it through. We needed many only once. On the road with Omni | July 15.