Mountains, Nature

on druggets…

Meadows of Bhadpal, Dhauladhar Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh

…How does the Meadow-flower its bloom unfold?
Because the lovely little flower is free
Down to its root, and, in that freedom, bold…

William Wordsworth, A Poet! He Hath Put his Heart to School

Meadows are perhaps the most common pre-conceived imagery of a beautiful landscape… the gently rollicking undulations of grass inspire ballads on beauty and romance, as painters sway their brush and the poets ink their quills, echoing calls of freedom or raging submissions for deliverance… for those meandering in the mountains, meadows are a buffer, an oasis as one emerges from the complex trudges of the woods on towards the domain of snow and ice, signalling the end of tree line, and the beginning of erosion at its primal best, and vice versa…

Meadows near Chippi, Parvati Valley, Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh, IndiaMeadows near Chippi, Parvati Valley, Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh, India

They come in all shapes and sizes, these meadows, some occupying large swathes of a horizontal tapestry that range from infinity to infinity, some tucked in rather uncomfortably between steep gorges, as if hanging on to the mountain for dear life… some bask in all the glory of sunshine from dawn till dusk, while some sulk like a brooding teenager, denied access to sunlight by the parent rock… 

Meadows adjoining Satsar Lake, Jammu & Kashmir, the Himalaya, IndiaMeadows adjoining Satsar Lake, Jammu & Kashmir

Yet all that glitters is not gold — or green, if you may — these dominions of moisture and vegetation, twixt their seemingly smooth façade hide many a craggy undertones ranging from terra firma play acting like banana peels to knee deep quagmires… a joyride can turn into a slush through biomass — both floral and faunal — in just a couple of minutes, and the dreams of gliding over green tops can be mischievously tripped over by the weathered remains of a boulder… not to mention the time when it rains and rains and rains, and one scampers around digging water channels around the tent to escape from the merrymaking of a thousand excited rivulets, not sure whether to curse the clouds or muse ironically at a rather degenerated utility of the ice axe…

Meadows of Asurbag, Tirthan Valley, Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh, IndiaMeadows of Asurbag, Tirthan Valley, Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh, India

But they can be forbearing as well… conjuring up firewood in a cave for the exhausted pedestrian or flooding the canvas with a cacophony of flowers for the exasperated soul… if there is one trump card that nature has to expose societal redundancies and lure the human back into its fold, it’d undoubtedly be that green meadow peppered with the bovine…

Meadows near Vishansar Lake, Jammu & Kashmir, the Himalaya, IndiaMeadows near Vishansar Lake, Jammu & Kashmir

Musings on meadows… landscapes from Western Himalaya…

Author: Parth Joshi

Allured by the outdoors, the author is made up in parts of that quintessential lost soul wreathing under the pangs of biophilia in a desk job, a wannabe elegist mostly ending up in dungeons of poetasters and an optimist waiting for the senility of the modern world to fade away while sampling shoots and leaves. In saner times, he has a keen interest in areas pertaining to tourism, history, agriculture and climate change, especially with respect to historical interpretations, emerging technologies and future livelihoods. An avid trekker, runner, cyclist, birder and photographer, he is more often than not found gloating over anything hinterland, on foot or over computer monitors, and fantasizing solutions that can foster inclusive growth and sustainable livelihoods for communities at the grassroots.

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