Photostory by Sourabha Rao
The sickle moon is a soft scatter behind the dark, rootless clouds that float above the jagged mountainline. On a stream here, moonlight spills generously but shatters and splinters incessantly without making a sound, stirring the waters with practised silence. The cold, numbed sense of monotony that had lurked back in the city is slowly unfreezing and it’s exalted interruption for the mind. But not everything about being in the mountains of the Himalayas is romantic. The temperature is expected to fall as low as minus three degrees Celsius tonight, for one, and the cold had already seeped down to the bone last night even at seven degrees. Maybe it’s very easy to talk about ‘insignificance’ until these mountains make you realise how difficult it is to abandon oneself to the idea of it in reality.
There’s something very poignant about travelling at these great heights where the winds howl and howl and howl but the mountains and valleys remain deaf and mute. These mountains and valleys look like age-old scars of the earth’s violent struggles to become what it is today – the only home for all life. There is hardly any harmony between the mind and the mountains right now and their indifference is unsettling. The Milky Way up above, which is gloriously visible to the naked eye, is unsettling in its cold indifference. Stars. There are just too many of them to be true and it’s so beautiful that it’s scary. Each of them darts a burning glance and the daze is only dispelled by the tall trees and the grave, drunk darkness beneath them. One dreams into a secluded emotionalism deep within oneself and no radical thought stands its ground strongly in the mind. This is inward journeying, and all the paths are unfenced, to make it reckless with urgent vitality.
This tent, inside which I write this in torchlight, trembles in these wailing winds. Winds. For now, it’s unclear if they are angry at the apathy of these mountains or surprised at their persistent soberness or grieving for their lonesomeness.