Mountains

Mountains and distant colours…

Markha valley, Ladakh

Mountains are rock anyway, one ponders, tottering down scree or tiptoeing over moraines or simply raking up dirt off village trails… concocted by vomiting volcanoes or tectonic tantrums… hard rocks, brittle rocks, rocks weathered down into soil and rocks chronicling the passage of deep time… rocks are the tortoise to the hare that is water in the realm of the elements… unlike the water though, their cycles are confined to the terra firma… the earth spews them up, breaks them down, and conjures them up again…

Grim mountains - Kalihani Pass, Himachal Pradesh, India
Kalihani pass, Bada Bhangal, Himachal Pradesh

Dry and barren define the edges of mountains, where rocks abhor company it seems, wanting to brood in the inescapability of their fate… trying their best to prohibit life and almost succeeding save for the resilience of a handful who find a way around the inclemency… life, in these climes, announces itself in bright colours, breaking the monotony of their dreary progenitor, claiming the bragging rights…

Descending into lush mountains from Tiara Glacier to Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand, India
Tipra glacier, Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

It starts with the flora, and flora begets fauna… the cold, sulking rocks are no pushovers though, conspiring with their brethren, air and water, to make life miserable… and thus the boundaries are drawn – geological, altitudinal, seasonal, metaphysical – a barrier between the inanimate and the animate whose existence one is so uncertain of… for the animate would’ve come from the inanimate aeons ago… chemistry became biology, in a way…

Scree in mountains, Parvati Valley, Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh, India
Parvati valley, Himachal Pradesh

For the hiker, the sight of colour in the distance is hope… after the tribulations of meandering through lifeless landscapes, one sees comfort beckoning in the distance… the gregarious grass, the stoic trees, chirping birds and buzzing bees… ‘tis a familiar jamboree, making the suffering to get there tenable…  

Descending from Nichanai pass, Kashmir, India
Nichanai pass, Kashmir

Yet once in the comfort of this colour, ‘tis the mountains one left behind, those domains of the inanimate, that tend to communicate only in dead silence or howling winds or persistent precipitation, that seem irresistibly alluring… ‘tis in between these seemingly contrasting desires maybe, that the animate is trying to find its inanimate roots…

Markha valley, Ladakh
Markha valley, Ladakh

Musing on mountains, hiking in the Himalaya

Author: Parth Joshi

Mountain lover ⛰️ | Hiker 🥾| Runner 🏃‍♂️ | Cyclist 🚴 | Photographer 📷... allured by the outdoors, the author is a quintessential lost soul craving nature while suffering in a desk job...

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