Nature

a lizard yarn…

Predatory instincts work on an interesting dichotomy – stealth builds upon the slowest of movements and translates into a narrative of high speed leaving hardly any space between the transition… with the agamids, ‘tis the slow, tentative footsteps contrasted with a ferocious tongue, a tentative rustle between the bushes, never hastening when in attack… for …

Nature

On monsoons and mating rituals…

As the sky grows overcast, ‘tis time for the shrill, raspy chatters of Baya weavers to fill up the tree tops, yet another one of those elaborate and enchanting courtship rituals of the avifaunal kingdom… the seemingly fickle constructs of grass it calls a nest swaying at the slightest of breeze yet sturdy enough to …

Mountains, Nature

On blues of the blue sheep…

Himalayan Blue Sheep, Ladakh, J&K, India

Quite literally, the blue sheep lives on the edge… marvel many a folk at the sheer nonchalance of the caprid in the face of vertical walls… yet ‘tis a rather ironic quest for safety, for even the most exceptional climbing skills or large herd numbers fail to get them out of that twitchy demeanour – …

Art & Culture, History, Mountains

On royal animists… Sun Temple, Katarmal

Katarmal Sun Temple, Almora, Uttarakhand, India

A temple is a kernel around which settlements, permanent or temporary, are spun… across history and religions, they have laid the ground rules for civilizations, defined the contours of culture and cradled the arts… one might say it comes at a price though… an opacity of belief and conviction beyond which societies offer little incentive …

Art & Culture, Mountains

on water of the woods…

Naula, traditional water system, Uttarakhand, India

the way we mistreat water more or less defines the way we mistreat the gods, cleaving away the elements to deprive divinity of its roots and imprisoning it in a seclusion that can leave even the most devout stymied at times… yet one feels that this thought is more of an urban construct, as a …

Mountains, Nature

on gluttonous meadows…

Meadows of Devi ki Marhi in upper reaches of Kalihani River valley, Himachal Pradesh, India

come the cusp of rains receding into autumn, those mountain meadows are a sight to behold… while the rest of the senses are trying to figure out the nitty-gritty of navigating through the chaos beneath that seemingly innocent carpet of green… the outdoors from a macro perspective prefer dressing up conservatively for most part of …

Mountains, Nature

on avifauna and the mountain…

Common Hoopoe, the avifauna of Kumaun Himalayas, Ranikhet, Uttarakhand, India

what does the mountain seek from a bird?… music for one, since most of the other fauna seems too preoccupied with wrapping its mortality into complex layers of camouflage… the avifauna is smug, teasing the wayfarer into rummaging through the thickets for a glimpse of the song… simply on the dint of its ability to …

Mountains

on mountains and seclusion…

Cloudy sunset from mountains near Asurbag Top, Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh, India

mountains make their own weather, goes the old adage… what it forgets to mention is that they keep it too… only letting the last vestiges of moisture tumble downstream… in a fiefdom determined by relief, the environs are pristine and breathtaking… yet they exact a price, these pinnacles, for bestowing one with the true liberation …