My journey after covering the lush green eastern part of the country took me to the beautiful South end, to a land caressed by the ocean, a land of elephants,
where there are mountains, seas, rivers, waterfalls, jungles and what not- the slender strip of land has been showered with the blessings of Mother Nature
Traversing the tranquil landscapes of the land squeezed by the ocean, I went to a realm rich in heritage, a place with numerous number of ancient Dravidian temples
made of honey hued granites, embellished with aesthetic kaleidoscopic art.
After spending a month exploring those bygone architectural marvels, I went next to learn Rock climbing from an ancient city or rather ruins and boulders of an ancient city.
I wanted to stay there for 3 months, but the temperature there was too much. It’s not that I can’t be under the sun; I was always under the sun when I learnt a bit of surfing from the Eastern part of the country- good old days of warm sun, yellow sand and blue waves.
But that was different, maybe it was the humidity.
Then I had the sudden wish to see the muscular, deep chested beast famous for its impressive dark thick mane- the manly king of the jungle.
I had seen the Tigers and Rhinos, but never a mighty lion and off I went, the journey that helped me set foot on the loose beige sands of the alluring endless deserts.
Ohh…I forgot to mention one thing- trains!
I loved trains, especially the ones that were routed amidst the green jungles, which went through the hearts of those reddish green mountains via a series of long unending dark tunnels
Then it was the amazing Gurudwara, an ancient sacred temple that stood amidst a tranquil pool. One of the most peaceful places I have ever been to, where I met people who redefined the meaning of compassion.
I worked or rather lived there for a long time. Mornings were spent in service and during the evenings I would just sit with my legs immersed in the pool listening to the ancient hymns as the sun take its leave from the crimson red sky.
It was an entirely different kind of happiness. The serenity while sleeping on the arabesque patterned marble floor, under the sacred arches ascribed with golden letters could never be matched.
And I finally surrendered before the Ancient mountains, eclipsed by its stillness.
Fell in love the moment I had my eyes on those jagged, snow shrouded mountain ranges. My selfish sweetheart- the mountains demanded my presence, she knew I was for granted.
Months spent traversing her mountain trails, skirting glaciers, striding on knee depth snow searching for the breadcrumbs of wisdom. Takeaways were countless- Stronger will forged out of warlike environment, new friendships, especially with the climbing gears that blended in like an extra limb!
Art Courtesy: Himanshu Jani, Emrich Office, Anton Fritsler (kit8), Thomas Burns, Arthur Wu, Alexandr Lune, ranganath krishnamani, Andrey Prokopenko, Nina Limarev, Cassandra DOUX, Benjamin Olive, Akshay Raghavan, Beret Graphics