Musings in the cold desert

A dry, barren, grey landscape. I am wandering around. It is cold. Breathing is strained. Suddenly, I see this small dust cloud growing bigger. I try to run towards it, but I am exhausted after a few steps. The vehicle passes by leaving me behind. I shout out, but the noise from the vehicle in the quiet valley drowns my voice. I realize that it was you in the vehicle. I wake up.
I am sitting all alone, on the banks of this beautiful river. Only the soaring mountains, glowing in the setting sun, reflecting on the mirror-like surface of the water, keeping me company. Suddenly, there is a whisper, ‘It is getting cold, let us go inside’. I look up, and I see you. A warm yet fuzzy smile, curving on your lips. I wake up, again.
The place seemed to be calling me. And it seemed that you were there too.
I have wanted a ‘trip’ with you for more than twenty years now. I have felt this ‘only if’ feeling while traveling the world. I have, and I still feel this sense of everyday restlessness. The thought of this up till now unfulfilled fantasy pervades every moment of my life. The idea comes to me as often and as effortlessly as breathing. For many years, the place I wanted to get lost in with you was Ladakh. Now it is Spiti.
And it is only now that I truly understand why – why these landscapes beckon.
Spiti, in many ways, is like our relationship. Mostly empty, barren and cold yet everlasting and strangely beautiful. Often times difficult to breathe. Nevertheless, with a brilliant night sky and the stars almost at touching distance. Boulders strewn everywhere, but with brilliant hues on bare rocks. Scarcely peopled, mostly rocky, and ground by glaciers for millions of years. The soil all-encompassing – sandy, gravelly and yet rich. In the rare places where a bit of water has collected from the melting glaciers, there is a burst of green.
Does not all this seem eerily familiar?
There is a petrol pump-cum-provisions store in Spiti that says, ‘last place to fill up fuel, provisions, and water. No human habitat or facility for the next 450 kilometers’. I do not have to tell you – but only the adventurous and the lonely venture there. There are no roads in that part of the valley. The road abruptly ends in a wasteland. I know that feeling. I want to wish it away.
Let us embark on this ‘pilgrimage of the souls’. You and me. Let us start our journey in the middle of the clutter of the ‘millennium city’. And keep moving until we get lost in Spiti’s austere landscape. Let us leave behind the rattle of this shallow realm and strive to listen to the frail yet meaningful voices of our spirits. I want to see beyond the ‘you’ that the world knows. I want to experience the ‘you’ as you were crafted by nature. I want you to know the ‘you’ whom you have not conversed with in a long time. Until you were ruined by the ways of this contrived world.
Let us go through our own share of ‘vipassana’. Knowing well that we are living and breathing under the same sky, just a few steps away from each other, we should meet only once a day. Just like the rare glimpses of water and greens in Spiti’s cold desert landscape. Knowing well that we have utter nothingness around us to fill with until now unspoken words, let us not speak. For mere words are often deeply inadequate for true expression. Knowing well, that our outer forms are longing for carnal intimacy, let us not touch. For when you lay your bloodshot eyes on me, you stir me in more ways than the world will ever know.       
Spiti beckons – to let overwhelming emotions take over us, as we sit next to each other, staring into the blank bleak landscape. Spiti beckons – to teach us a lesson about the triviality of our outwardly form, and the true calling of our chi. Spiti beckons – to remind us, that you truly, only, live once…

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  1. You have the best combination of talent,skill and attitude that you portray through your amazing write ups.Enjoyed it thoroughly 👌👍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have painted the itrospection of life in a amazing way. Your style of writing and description of nature and feeling of loneliness is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

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