Perspectives from the Himalaya

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 trickle of snow ensued. Just like how a stalactite kisses a stalagmite. A soft heap of white began to gather below the valley. Whilst this formation continued, the melted chocolate from the yak sack was now flowing like dark bronze magma. Fate be told, the bronze goo began to flow down into the soft white. The effect of two liquids, when come together, blended and swirled in unison, metamorphosed a marble-like pattern.

At the same time, the mighty Northern wind came knocking at the door of the Oh-No Valley. The rising heat in the valley got caught up in the passing icy wind. The hot and cold created a tremendous vortex around the valley and encouraged the bond of the two liquids. A cataclysm of purple geraniums, pink azaleas and berry notes plump with the sweetest nectar, were swept into a vertical whirlwind. When the wind finally dissipated, the heap of snow, chocolate, wild flowers and berry notes had transformed the Himalayan landscape into epic-ness.

And there, in that brief magical moment of creation was the planet’s most gigantic tower of chocolate ice-cream ever seen.

On following the trail of the rolling dinosaur, Spot and Arlo finally found Spinosaurus, still dazed from his tumbles. Reunited, they headed towards Mardi River for a wash. As they came around the bend of the trail, there stood, unexpectedly, that incredible towering formation of ice-cream glistening in the sunbeam, obliterating everything else in their view. Plated cosily at a bowl-shaped intersection, just like the most luscious kind of dream that one could possibly crave for in a heat wave, the creamy tower invited all into the valley. At the same time, it was also an obstruction to their trail.

“Oooh I would be delighted to clear the trail for us!”

Without hesitation, Spinosaurus laid his long jaw on the ground and shovelled his way through the ice-cream. Spot made a dash for it but realised it was too cold to hold ice-cream in his palms. Arlo peeled two pieces of bark from a nearby cinnamon tree and handed the smaller piece to Spot. Both gleefully spooned their fills as they walked through the tunnel of ice-cream that Spinosaurus was paving for them. Everyone was in a very happy place.

 “Spinosaurus, you need to slurp towards the east. That should keep us on track towards the Mardi River.” Arlo said as he checked his compass.

“He is tunneling through like a boring machine!” Spot exclaimed.

“Well, he hasn’t eaten for a full day and that is a big deal for a spinosaurus,” added Arlo.

About two-thirds of the way, Spinosaurus could eat no more. He nosed the ice-cream to the side, his pace slowing but determined to get to the end of the creamy tower. When they finally got there, frozen and bloated from that Arctic-like experience, they laid down to rest. They noticed that the ice-cream was beginning to thaw at a pace, perhaps a little too fast for their comfort.

“We have to move on. There could be a stream of chocolate ice-cream soon if it all melts.” Arlo said nervously, getting to his feet.

Momentarily, they began to feel really sick in the tummy. Eating ice-cream of such incredulous proportions had dreadful consequences. There was rumbling and tumbling in their tummies, and no one was in a happy place any more. They were almost at the Mardi River when they had to use the bathroom by the bushes. Their bottoms were on fire whilst they puked out the rest of the ice-cream. After washing up at the river, they noticed a strange phenomenon.

The melted chocolate ice-cream was evaporating into the sky.

They could see tiny specks of brown gaseous molecules floating up from the Oh-No Valley. The fury of the sun was escalating the speed of the brown molecules. Condensation was occurring as they reached a piercing height. Perhaps a cloud was forming.

Indeed, a brown cumulus cloud it was!

“Oh no! We need to find shelter. What if that cloud started raining chocolate ice-cream! I don’t think I could eat or smell chocolate ice-cream ever again!” groaned Spinosaurus who was still recovering from his mad gluttony.

They followed the Mardi River in the hope of finding a settlement.

Not too far away was the Yak Village tucked snugly from the banks of the river. When they got there, there was a gathering of yaks and naks in the midst of a seemingly heated debate over whose milk had the most significant trace of wild flowers in it. Arlo, Spot and Spinosaurus were only too happy to help as they eyed the abode in the middle of the village as a shelter from the looming cloud. They offered to be judges in deciding whose milk was best but agreed that it had to be done indoors. So, everyone retreated into the abode.

Then a knock was heard at the door. Spot opened it and there stood a dazed and muddled looking mountain goat with a pair of crooked half-moon spectacles perched on his nose. It was Professor Goat who seemed to be recovering from an overdose of chocolate.

With a strained voice, Professor Goat asked, “Could I please take shelter here? There is an indistinguishable cloud looming above and I have just had a very bad tummy.” Spot said nothing, pulled the goat in quickly and slammed the door tight. The thankful goat slumped in the corner and lay quiet rubbing his sore tummy.

The skies turned dark. The chocolate cloud seemed to be hovering over the Yak Village. The yaks, astonished by the sight, popped their heads out to catch a better glimpse. There were only two windows and one door in the abode. All the yaks and naks crammed together through the three openings, heads up and with gaping mouths.

Thunder rolled. It sounded like a grumpy groan. They heard heavy drops of rain on the metal blue roof. The yaks and naks with their gaping mouths, astonished at the sight, now tasted the first few droplets of the chocolate rain. They licked and slurped and grunted in delight. In excitement for more, the yaks and naks tried widening their mouths but realised they were stuck. None could budge.

Whilst the yaks and naks gulped the chocolate rain, Arlo, Spot and Spinosaurus had anticipated a potential preposterous-ness that could occur with the herd of gaping-mouths. The gluttony of ice-cream would strike again and they knew the consequence were going to be ugly. They started to dig a tunnel through the earth floor in preparation for an escape from the yaks’ abode for they could not use the door or the windows! But when they surfaced at the end of the tunnel that they had dug, they found themselves still within the vicinity of the yak abode. By this time, the yaks had consumed copious amount of chocolate rain. The trio knew time was ticking before horror strike. They dug another tunnel, this time towards the east and was sure it would get them out. After much hard work, the trio popped up only to find themselves in the butt of the two grumpiest yaks in the abode, who had had enough of the chocolate rain but could not get their heads out of the window.

By this time, the chocolate rain was creating havoc in the tummies of the yaks and naks. There was a disturbing sound of distressed digestion, a kind of rumbling and grumbling echoing in the abode. A smatter of smelly runny diarrhoea from a bloated nak was heard and smelt. Then the same effect on another yak, and another, and another, striking like fallen dominoes was turning into a horror stage. Diarrhoea had started flowing into the tunnels that they had dug and the end of time didn’t seem too far. They were going to drown in yak diarrhoea!

Spinosaurus was getting nauseous and pursued plan B. He swirled his tail into a tornado effect, picking up speed like a battery operated propeller. With a momentous leap, he kicked the metal roof off its bolts with tremendous effect and crashed out through the blue roof. Spot pulled Professor Goat along, scrambled on Arlo’s back and leaped out from the top of his head. Arlo clambered clumsily and despairingly over the mud wall that was free from the sickly yaks and naks, and fell over. Outside luckily!

The chocolate cloud continued to rain into the roofless Yak abode. The anguished and disorientated yaks and naks were struggling to untangle themselves. In a state of utter distress, they finally forced themselves out. Their hairy heads were tousled and sticky with chocolate rain. The mud wall started to crumble when the frames of the window and door came loose.

The concoction of yak diarrhoea induced by chocolate rain, and more fresh chocolate rain from the brown cloud, could only spell a tragedy of unimaginable grotesque proportions. The grotesqueness was beginning to evaporate. Tiny, tiny, smelly, sticky molecules started rising up and up toward the skies, magnetised by the heat. A process of transmutation was beginning to occur once again! It looks like a diarrhoea cloud is forming this time. Slowly, but surely, taking shape of what seems to appear like a wobbly buttock, with a crack, smack in the right place.


It’s getting pimply.

And ew, warty too.

This cloud could do with an extra large pair of underpants. It is looking way too rude!

“I want to go home!” wailed Arlo with tears in his eyes. “How are we to get home now? Pluto is a dot up there so far, far away. And that yucky cloud will rain on us again!”

According to Professor Goat, the only way home at this point was to catch the shooting star at the peak of the broad mountain – Annapurna South. And he thought that it was an appropriate time to purchase an online ticket on the Musk Shooting Star Express app. He whipped out his phone from his little pouch. But, where were the 5G mobile data cards that he got from the lodge yesterday?

Another wailing episode took place. Spot had innocently toss the bunch of 5G data cards in the pool of yak diarrhoea back in the yak abode.

*Cloud illustration by Igor Zubkov*

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