Mountains

The man on the top…

Saketi Top, Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh, India

Spotting a wisp of romanticism, or the divine, in the cold gust of a glacial wind takes a sarcastic imbecile, or the blessed benign… the rest have the customary defence of mumbling cuss words through the parched parchment of a throat… despite the kaleidoscopic nature of human dispositions, the elements — when in an insistent mood — try to coalesce all into a singular, scalar, way of being… which brings us near the mountaintops then, and the man clasping on to their vision…

Why is the man trying to get to the top… ignited by the evolutionary spark of curiosity, or instigated by biophilia… driven by adrenalin, or consumed by the slough of despond… burying fears, or confronting demons… seeking answers, or digging up new questions… 

…for the rivulets brood in an icy linger, the scree is anything but cooperative, the moraines are as always moody, and the spirit of adventure is having a rather heated debate with the department of biomechanics…

Who is the man inching towards the top… an explorer, or an escapist… a consumer, or a consummation… a preacher, or an atheist… a poet, or a poetaster… a modern day pragmatist, or a rather apologetic procrastinator… a recluse, or the refuse of societal fabric… 

…countless metaphors might be ascribed to the spires staring into the face of the their mighty massifs, yet trudging up along their contours leaves one longing only for air…

What is the man on the top… a trepidation, or a triumph… an idol, or an idiosyncrasy… a live wire, or the dregs of some lividity… a signature of the tree line, or an elegy of the crevasse… a hedonist, or a hermit… an opportunist having tricked the weather, or a strategist having carefully laid his siege… 

…all in all, after all the fiddling and juggling with these word clouds… the man on the mountain seems to be an experience, one that resembles a tree… expanding like a root at the base, gathering nutrition, and some resolve… the route is the trunk — uniform, monotonous, rigid and hard… leading up to that zenith, a zillion thoughts shooting out like branches, fruiting into that sense of achievement, or the despair of the return route… it is but a sum of parts, the disposition and its dissents… seeking reasons for the circuitous nature of being from the mountain…

Trudging up towards the top of Kalihani Pass, Himachal Pradesh, India
The man on the top is a brooding ballerina, skirting across crevasses while pondering over the nature of existence… Kalihani Pass (~4,800 mts), Himachal Pradesh

 

Top on Mini Pangarchulla Peak, Uttarakhand, India
The man on the top is all about beseeching to the almighty, for he knows the job is not even halfway done, and the way down is always scarier than the way up…Mini Pangarchulla summit (~4,300 mts), Uttarakhand

 

Khandedhar Top, Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh, India
The man on the top is sometimes relieved, when a backbreaking climb on one end reveals a cakewalk of a descent on the other… Khandedhar Top (~4,000 mts), Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh

 

Near top of Zaj Pass, Kashmir, India
The man on the top keeps waiting for others to catch up, for their sake, and for his too, for desolation reigns supreme when the ice is hard and the winds are on a song… Zajibal Pass (~4,000 mts), Kashmir

 

Top of Stok Kangri peak, Ladakh, India
The man on the top is hardly an atheist, for ’tis is not the divine that drives him up, but the coincidental peace treaty between the elements, coupled with the thin air, that makes the man transcend… Stok Kangri summit (~6,100 mts), Ladakh

musings on passes and summits across the 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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