Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Magical Land

Everyone said Spiti was a beautiful place. A place that would dazzle the eye and soothe the soul. No one warned me about how it would seep through my pores and get permanently etched in my imagination. And certainly, no one prepared me for the people who live there. The true meaning of the word ‘Sonder’ came into existence in Spiti Valley.

Everyone I came across, from a local to a visitor, from the very young to the very old, from the settled to the nomad… every single person had a story to share. And that, more than the mind numbingly brilliant scenery reached in and grabbed my heart. Hence, the people of Spiti will be the first in a series of posts. A jumble of words, images, expressions and feelings. Sometimes unstructured, but always poetic because its people deserve it and the place commands it.

I could only manage some pictures. I missed clicking snaps of:
The ‘Amchi’ –local medicine man (practitioner of Tibetan medicine also known as the Amchi System of Medicine)

The ‘Chouwa’ – local shaman who fed us yak cheese and tea in his house and then proceeded to try and answer our questions on our past and future

The Garhis – nomadic sheep herders who move from one terrain to another based on the availability of food for their herd

‘Angdui’ – Our local guide who teaches in a local school and is capable of cooking up a storm
Vishakha, a Mumbai girl who runs the Himalayan Café at Kaza

Siddharta, an ‘almost nine-year-old’ boy near Dhankar Monastery who loves math and who nodded sagely and said, I had to study hard to get past grades I, 2 and 3. Now I am in grade 4, I will have to study harder.

 Should post the next update in a while. Meanwhile, I will wallow in a state of semi-existence.






Thursday, July 21, 2016


We have been talking of graveyards and ghosts
Of the mysteries and the intangibles
Of fear and dark thoughts

And I somehow end up thinking
Of you, 
who left too early
And of you, 
who left it for too late
But most of all,
I think of you
Who didn't know you were gone
And I wonder
About what could have been
If our places were swapped
And I cannot but think
You think it too.

Monday, May 16, 2016

That elusive future

Wrote this way back in 2003 and strangely, future is still being as elusive as ever.

Across the distance, far far away
I view my future
Sitting on the highest branch
Of a mango tree

It stares at passing birds
Wishing on falling stars
Dangling its legs fearlessly
It weaves my tomorrow

The other day it hung upside down
I missed a heartbeat
A smile lifted my shoulders
My future steadied itself

Sometimes it has company
The animals, the stars… the others
Nothing seems to affect it
As the wind continues to blow

I waved to it today
Hoping in vain to catch its eye
As it plucked another cloud
To make a warm quilt

I tried crying out its name
Sent a message in a vinegar bottle
It chooses to ignore me

Doesn’t it know it belongs to me?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Doing right is not always easy

For years and years I put the memory of this place behind
And avoided its people.
For years and years I tried to get over one incident
And one person.

And now, after years and years
I volunteer to go and meet those very people in that very same place.
Because it is the anniversary of a question
And it is time to let go of baggage.

I wish I could say I was being brave.
I wish, I could be.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Finding a purpose

At 18:
I wish for a career that would let me fly

At 28:
I wish for a career where I work work work and grow grow grow

At 38:
I wish for a career that would let me fly

The twenties were clearly about misplaced aspirations.
Oh wait, forties are just around the corner. What are you going to bring me?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


She: I see animals in the clouds, shapes in the rocks and faces in the gnarled roots of trees.

He ticked on special wing, padded rooms.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Parenting is another name for karma

Every time I start to yell at my girl
For not getting up on time
For not cleaning up after play time
For not eating right
For being sassy
For being rude
For whining

An ever present elder nods sagely and informs me, this is how you were when you were younger, imagine how your mom must have dealt with you.

Whoever said Karma comes back to bite you on your ass, I do not like you.