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 – forever looking over the shoulder, spooked by the ghost of the mountains, or the odd fox or raptor…

Himalayan Blue Sheep, Himachal Pradesh, India

As they give company to whatever shrubbery manages to hang on to the mountain slope, one can’t help but wonder at the underlying melancholy of their existence… the difficulty of accepting one’s stature of being a mere cog in the ecosystem, never being allowed the leisure to bask in the glory of the breathtaking landscapes one calls home…

The inability of fauna to reminiscence, or if it’s there, our ability to comprehend the same is rather flummoxing… something that keeps the animosity twixt science and the arts lingering… submerge unflinchingly into the monotony of subsistence which defines the rules of life or to rise above and become more that the sum of its parts…

Himalayan Blue Sheep, Ladakh, J&K, India

There is hardly any blue not is it a sheep (more a goat, goes the research)… an identity crisis that has little meaning for the ungulate, its brethren or predators… akin to political ideologies, be it capitalism or socialism, where the difference of opinion at the top means little to a factory worker resigned to his claustrophobic career, the blue sheep plays out a rather doleful tale… chewing until chewed…

Schaller would try to freeze them in his empirical constructs while Matthiessen would lend himself to being tunnelled through them to the larger philosophies of the cosmos… everyone tries to seek out the invisible evangelists the blue sheep congregate to… the violent ruts holding a mirror to religions and secretive lifestyles bordering towards the ascetical…

Himalayan Blue Sheep, Himachal Pradesh, India

The male and his dominion, the mother with her calves… rocky cliffs and swaying grass… panorama from the top or camouflage among rocks… the blue sheep’s existence may be a blip on the backdrop of harsh and wide backcountry where it etches its footprints, yet for the man, it provides the few vestiges of faunal activity through which he understands the mountains…

Musings on Himalayan Blue Sheep

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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