my proverbial grandchild, who describes his experience at the valley of Parvati as closest to being at ‘home’, managed to convince me to visit there to initiate a book we have been planning for a while now. while i’d love to highlight the challenges the journey threw upon me, the importance of acknowledging the sheer magnitude with which the beauty of the mountains and the river and snow and trees and locals hit me certainly negates the same.
even as a dedicated and certified yogini, my fitness levels to endure and face the mighty peaks of Himalayas can be described as cute, at best. of course, stamina and flexibility are two different things. but with hopes of glittering mountaintops that would quite wonderful fill my city-polluted lungs with a little bit of fresh air, and starry eyed dreams of star filled skies, shooting stars and the works- all for the sake of inspiring some art and poetry- i set off. Visiting three different places in the valley over the course of a week, the stay was a short and cruel one yet it seemed to take the mind to the infinity that comes with nature.
the first day i seemed to lose my star sapphire ring i hold very very dear (acquired in Goa, undoubtedly in my top 3 places to be and a place i hope to live someday).I have found it now that i am back to the wretched city air. Meeting a few wonderful people who came along, we headed to the village that has been doomed to popularity for its strain of a herbal product. Malana was every bit as intriguing and complex as i’d imagined, fantasies of it ruined though because of tourists looking for cheap thrills. to those looking for mother nature’s blessing with plastic and disposable income at hand, in return for blue skies and fresh air, tinged with utter disrespect and wastefulness- I send all of my (dis) regards to you. A short walk up the hill behind, towards waterfall to Thosco ensued the next day, a journey where i was on the edge of life/ cliff upon snow and crawling, freezing my behinds and putting my zen mode on, praying later for the safe return of my fellow trekkers and chatting with someone about life et all- all this in the span of an hour max- I tell you time is no measure for intensity!
Then came the evening full of conversations and biting cold- we were too cold to move and by the corner of a trunk where there were mattresses i found myself wrapped up in blankets galore. having read/shared ‘Hotel Nirvana’ by Harold Norse on my Beat Poetry collection- with the 19Euro or so spent and purchased from the one and only Shakespeare and Co, Paris- the moot point of the visit being touched upon by lines by Norse- Shiva- the I within being God himself.
Malana is a strange and curious place. Inhabitants believe themselves as a pure race of Aryans, most refusing to even touch outsiders. Intrigued by the physical features of the women (and men) there, I also encountered young children with the special product ‘cream’, a particular child with rastafari colours on his hair throwing snow upon us from a house up top.
We headed to Kasol the next day- stopped by a bunch of fools, guardians of the state, monopolisers of violence- which was quite an amusing thing. Atop old Kasol, the breathtaking views, the river, snowcapped mountains and trees of pine and others.. I must continue on another post to speak more of the experience.