I remember a conversation with an elderly kashmiri man who owned a café and a bookshop in Ladakh. He talked about the uncovered mountains (without a green cover) and low oxygen levels in Ladakh. Of course, he was comparing Kashmir with Ladakh. As a tourist, I somehow managed to get quickly acclimatized with just two sleepless nights. I was extremely lucky! Ladakh is a cold desert & can essentially test one’s physical and mental endurance. So, I could somewhat relate to what the elderly shared.
Ladakh is geographically quite close to China. You can see Indian soldiers patrol the dry- rugged terrain, dig communication lines and build roads on an elevation of 5000 feet and above the sea level.
Dry patched mountains, the Indus and a clear blue sky are all that defines Ladakh’s landscape. Human life? Yes, a few nomadic families who rear cattle and lot of military stations. You won’t get signboards while driving but the soldiers would give directions with a smile.
It’s a feeling of gratitude that one develops after seeing this side of the world. I am living a peaceful and a contented life and this is an acknowledgment for the Indian army who marvel at safeguarding our frontiers.
Children have a different level of excitement and physical energy that we adults can’t match. Trips are a good way to channelise the same energy the right way.
Children also get used to routine life and enjoy their comfort zone of family, friends and teachers. Short trips with peers gives them an opportunity to leave their comfort zone. The usual and the routine conversation change during the trips.
More or less students engage bathing, eating, sleeping without an adult supervision. Just that they have to be on time to get started for the day.
Children may just talk and just talk during trips. But, it does indicate a continuous practice of one or the other social skill. A shy student may ask you to pass salt and pepper on the table. A shy one may also find another lost soul on the trip and thus make a friend.
The attention of the students goes to the trees, huts, farms, a fox and so many other objects and thus beginning a conversation with the peers and teachers. The discourse of these conversations can be very short lived but they are worth initiating and listening.
I witnessed one student of grade 9 to be taking pictures of plums growing in the vicinity and taking few solitude minutes to do the same. The same kid spotted a scorpion hiding under a table. Now, doesn’t this tell me something about the student’s inclination inclination towards nature?
Readers, do share your insights related to the topic. I will soon be sharing sequence to the blog post. Happy reading!
This was a short journey to view the Triund in Himachal Pradesh, India. During the journey, I came across many dogs who trekked along to reach the top along with a small group of people.
These dogs seemed to be well adjusted to the varying temperaments of fellow trekkers. They become friendly with people who caressed and fed them. Never bothered to get close to those people who may be afraid of them.
They rested along with their group and if required stayed overnight near the camping site of the fellow trekkers.
These mountain dogs trekked back to the starting point of their group. This would also give them a chance to pick a new group for the arduous uphill journey.
Evolutionary scientists will attribute this behaviour to survival. The strenuous journey gives them food out of affection of fellow trekkers.
Well, these mountain dogs are social animals too. They are very friendly and reciprocating with the trekkers. The dogs pick your pace of climbing the hill. You are slow or fast they will follow you and they really deal with your physical stamina-good or bad…
If you find them trekking along with another group, they won’t give you much attention. They remain loyal to their group till the journey ends. You may caress or feed them but they would complete their journey with their own group.
It’s like these four legged creatures telling you, ‘Honey, I’ll guide you. Just follow the trail’.
There are hidden pleasures of leaving the hustle bustle of a metropolitan life and travel to a slow-paced town or a hill station. Such travel pangs are often short-lived for city dwellers. For the mundane and the cocooned life in metropolitan has also given us seamless comfort. And we seem to be well-adjusted to the background noise.
Indian Railways have been a subject for many authors, poets and photographers. They have extensively shared their experiential accounts or have given a symbolic representation of life around the railways. Cinema has also made beautiful depictions around railways and human life.
This article is just about the repertory of thoughts that germinate, spring and bloom when you begin a journey in and through the Indian rail.
Indian trains are essentially temperamental and they lead a paradoxical life. Sometimes, they give excessive comfort. Arrival and departure on time, edible food and some candid conversations with the passengers on the opposite berth.
Quite often than not are they give us journeys which are arduous. The passenger meanders from poor facility/infrastructure, excessive delays or restless fellow passengers with cranky infants.
No matter how comfortable or exhausting the journeys turn out to be, one does extract a moment of being mindful about one’s existence. The expansive scenes of our planet outside the train’s window are indeed windows to reflect that ‘I’ am just a drop in the vast universe. There I begin to feel greater acceptance for my being, my ongoing struggles and achievements. This also slowly settles my obsessive thoughts around my work, family and daily hassles. Once the train exists the self asserted ‘karma bhumi’- rhythmic and normal breathing settles in.
I can’t describe in more words. Share your experiences of travelling in an Indian train.