Perspectives from the Himalaya

Little Voices

As the buck moon wanes, Little A, filled with emotion and mortification, stumbled for words to express the absence of empathy in humanity. Squatting in moonlight, streams of tears flushed his sticky cheeks. He had witnessed the cold killing of his extraordinarily large tadpole, at first mistaken as a fish, ripped apart by deft and nimble fingers as little as his. He was vehement to…

The Rose Moon amidst Monsoon in the face of Lockdown

It was 2 am. A shard of moonbeam sneaked through the window and shed her light loud on the covers of the bed. I lay awake, quite sure it was the rose moon enticing me to accompany her on this warm night. I accepted her invitation and ambled to the balcony. Greeted by the rosy glow of her perfection and her play on the snow-capped…

Cloud Story 10: The Hunt for the Mysterious Gummy Bear

It rained relentlessly for 4 months, 4 days, 4 nights and 4 hours. There were periods of drizzle where the people living in the blue metal roof houses came out to clean the shed of their buffaloes. Other times, the sky crumbled into fury storms and out of the east came hailstones thundering and banging on their roofs. A plague of lethargy took hold in…

Cloud Story 9: Entanglement of JK Rowling, David Walliams & Studio Hari

Whilst watching news on TV that subdued evening, Spot, Grizzy and the Lemmings learned that their captured friends had been flown to China and were caged at the Beijing Zoo under the watchful eye of the army. As yet, there were unresolved debates amongst the people of China on the fate of the dinosaurs. Meanwhile, an auction had been set up for the highest bidders…

Cloud Story 8: How to Untie your Belly Button

It turned out that the town Professor Goat lived in was at the fringe of Nutty Hill, Canada. Finally reunited, Arlo, Spot and Spino decided to accompany him back home. As many young readers may know, Nutty Hill is also home to Grizzy and the Lemmings. Spot, Little A and Big A had watched these hilarious animations on youTube together, many a time grasping their…

Cloud Story 7: Joyride of the Leeches (delectable!***)

Sun was in a foul mood, brooding in fury. He blazed the blue mercilessly, drawing moisture from earth to sky, so much so that, the leeches which had frenziedly soaked up all the water from the monsoon rain were sucked magnetically upward with the process of evaporation. The people living in the blue metal roof houses were usually not bothered by bizarre occurrences in the…

Saying the Unsaid: An Act of Interpretation

I am what I make of myself. In an attempt, to interpret life as it is. The story could read differently tomorrow. I could wake up to see life more beautiful than I did today, or bleaker than the night before. Which is why it has taken dawns to write, re-write and revise this post. I finally understand that writing is an act of interpretation.…

Cloud Story 6: The Tree of Books in Pluto

Mr. Musk was excited like a little bleating lamb at the sight of his Shooting Star hovering over the viewing platform of the great red oak tree in the dreamy landscape of Pluto. They roped down onto the thick branch that wrapped its arms around the platform. Arlo, Spot and Spinosaurus were ecstatic from being back in their tree home. The fragrant string of flowers…

Cloud Story 5: Musk Shooting Star Express to the Rescue

Satellites floating in orbit around the planet have made internet connection in the remotest places of Earth impeccable including the gargantuan Himalaya. Just like a string of pearls dotted across the night sky. When the carriage reached the top of the shaft, the doors opened from above, to reveal a charcoal canvas of twinkling stars. They felt like a dot in the Milky Way. Only…

Cloud Story 4: The Bum Cloud Hovers over the City of Yeti

The formation of the bum cloud, a heavy brown mammatus hovering at 3000 meters, was a ghastly sight. It was dotted with dark lumps and curved around like a buttock. A strange, foul whiff lingered in the air, nothing like they have ever encountered. The wild flowers wilted away. The marmots retreated into their deep burrows. Caterpillars crawled to the underside of the leaves that they…

Cloud Story 3: Earth’s gigantic Tower of Chocolate Ice-cream

In a heat wave, unusual things brew in the Himalaya. The lopsided, snowy mountain that looked like a fatty, swirled milky ice-cream with a tender curly tip began to melt into the Oh-No Valley. It started with a droplet. Then, a drop. Heavy plops. Then, a drip. A dribble. A trickle. Like a faucet left carelessly unturned. The blazing sun continued rising high, the gradual…

Cloud Story 2: The Roof of Glitter and Gold

Arlo, Spot and Spinosaurus were thrilled to discover that Big A and Little A had moved to the Himalaya. It meant that a new adventure was at hand. Arlo and Spot climbed up to the pinnacle of their treehouse in Pluto, a little wooden platform assembled on the highest branch of the great oak tree to catch the next shooting star that was due in…

Cloud Story 1: How It came to Life

How the story came to life. The New Year of 2021 took off with humps and bumps of unsuspecting proportions. Excavation works for the communal building started on site without delay, and with the goal of completing the external shell before the arrival of monsoon, for unprotected earth walls and un-tar roads are disagreeable with the incessant rain. Ironically, during this testing period, the need…

A Full Cycle: Learning the Language of Nature

It has been over a year since we moved to Astam village. This means that having lived a full cycle of how the seasons come and go, we are beginning to absorb the life pattern that unfolds itself, and appreciate how people live correspondingly to that rhythm. It is ancient wisdom, an intelligent way of living, and a quiet order that has been practised for…

January Anecdotes: Yoga, Kids, Construction

January 2009. One afternoon in Mysore, whilst riding back with Ganesh from a lunch gathering, we collided with another motorcycle whose trajectory intersected with ours and had us displaced to the ground. The incident brought about a few stitches on the knee for a lifetime memory and blistered hands that disabled asana practice for 10 restless days. On informing Guruji, he raised a curious eyebrow…

Life’s Gift of Uncertainty through a Kafkaesque Lens

Licked up in the dust and hullabaloo of Kathmandu and a far cry from the soothing lullaby of Astam village, I write with an ironic sense - of fullness. Words come humped and bumped from a place of uncertainty, frustration and disheartenment; words of transient and fleetingness; words reading disruption of rhythm; words carved out from a journey that we have chosen to put ourselves…

Autumn: Celebrating Tihar and Diwali

Wild heads of vivid yellow, orange and gold make the shape of loveliness. Dotted with lilac and violet, the starkness of colour brings to life a change of seasons. Untamed, the petite petals perfume wild intentions of overriding the green, unveiling the silence of a Himalayan autumn that is at once a lingering green and gold. Autumn with her usual flair of letting go doesn't…

Magic Seeds: Cultivating a Rural Flavour

Little A's bottom has a mysterious disability to sit during most meals. Not unless he amuses himself with pencil and paper, playing cards and with Big A thrown into the equation as he slogs through his meal. There may be a valid theory that the Italians invented pizza and pasta a good while ago to keep their little Italianos seated and behaved. Tried and tested…

Tremors Beneath our Feet

The moonbeam was a shard of stillness on a black night eclipsed by the clouds. Even when no moon is seen, its absence was felt. The distant stars burned into the void casting a haunting spree for a pair of beady eyes. The gaze was sharp and eerie. The silence was piercing, occasionally interrupted by a hoot. The plates of Mother Earth were stirred. Restlessness…

21 Boxes

Our belongings it was, once upon a timeAll 21 boxes, now a distant memoryIn transit over many monthsAcross waters to the Bay of Bengal. In a shipping container, in solitude they layAt a distant warehouse port, called KolkataKept apart between borders and mountainsWhilst a dark play hovered in unkindness. A mystery that could not be solvedDuring the terrorised reign of CoronaHence reunited we are notWith…

A Fleeting Pink

"The sky is pink!" Little A exclaims upon his first glimpse of daylight from the bedroom window."Mama, can you bring the sky to me?" he enquired, befuddled as he was. He rubs his eyes and fumbled for his slippers, treading to the outside world framed from the balcony. Sunbeams penetrated the thick pavlovian clouds casting a shimmering hue of rainbow glitter across the valley. A…

Unleashing the Unstoppable Mischief, Meowfraa!

The cat was feeling the munchies. He heard the scurrying legs of cockroaches in the apartment close by. He felt the mischievous twitches of his whiskers and knew an adventure was awaiting him. It was a wet rainy night. Perfect for a quick outdoor play with the frogs before making his appearance.In his wet suit, he leapt out from the 2nd floor window adjacent to…

Weaving Threads and Dusting the Cobwebs

Restrained by the relentless monsoon rain whilst the dung beetles roll in glee, I settled on the balcony, watching the vastness of life before me. The black birds frolicking in the dew of the trees, acquiring scruffy crests drenched in mischief. A spider floats into eye view hanging playfully on her thread from the edge of the ceiling, in search of a meal. She spots…

The song of Monsoon, Just Is.

Before dawn, in consciousness I awake.At once, sound breaks into the stillness of night.I lay, hearing the cacophony of cicadas, crickets and frogs,Orchestrating their songs of eligibility.Their volumes, rising and vibrating with the tides of the moon,Deafening in synchronicity.Chaos and madness it seems at first,But in composition and orchestration, without masterpiece,The oscillation of rhythm is to perfection.The song of millions, thunders through twilight and dawn,Pulsating…