Sometimes you must do something that is adventurous or at least near adventuresome! You must never let the spirit die within you. It is just one life and one must live it as best as one can. I somehow connect to Nature in a way that I hear its voice, I see its hidden beauty and I hear its song!
So with two friends I ventured out one lazy afternoon and travelled in car overnight to Manikaran, the place famous for its hot spring and Gurudwara. We took turns to drive and a not so comfortable, but still great under the circumstances make-shift bed in the SUV in the rear was my bed for the night. Lights, stars, passing trucks and street lights kept me mostly awake but still I was in bed! One must be grateful for small mercies.
At 4 am we parked in the parking at Manikaran and slept till 7 am. By 8.30 am we were at Tosh, a village nestling in pristine beauty and caged in the simplicity of a mountain village life. The welcoming views were just breathtaking.
The peaks around Tosh Valley Village were covered in snow, except where there was enough sunshine for the day. It was December and it had still not snowed, thanks to global warming! I kept on looking with the wonderment of a child at the snow peaks around the glacier: Papasura, White Sail, Angduri, Pinnacle and Devachan. Two names definitely English, rest looked like given by the locals. Thanks be to God that no name changing spree by a self-seeking politician had affected the charming Parvati Valley. Let the names be as handed over to us by Time. After all, it is a layer of history upon another.
But, where was the Village as a whole. I looked back from the glacial peaks and saw a Himalayan village that almost called out to me to discover what lay hidden.
Tosh villagers have opened up homes for home stay with basic facilities and there is always a room to stay. Of course, in such scenic surroundings one tries to choose a place to stay with a view and so we did.
As I ventured out in the village in the morning hours I found facets of life those are unimaginable in city environments. First of all, there was pleasantry and simplicity in the air, which is a rarity in a city these days.
A small boy hanging out on the grill of his home’s balcony was a picture of inquisitiveness and innocence.
Signboards often reflect the educational level of the place and its marketing skills. But, who cares for English and presentation when all you want is good wholesome food in an inhospitable terrain.
The Solitary Reaper
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
It was cold and head and ears had to be well covered. Lunch was at a Cafe which served hot Dal and Cauliflower vegetable, which we ate more than we normally did. When the cold is biting you from everywhere, hot food is more than welcome!
It was time to relax and forget there was a worry in the world. People say that foreign tourists come here for the hash. World’s best hash is grown nearby in Malana.
Evening fell and what was a rocky mountain turned into gold! Such was the effect of awesome Nature!
My friend was brave enough to sit in the balcony during the night for some time and watch the stars. He found the night sky so romantic and clear, the stars nearer.
The flora at Tosh is Himalayan Blue Poppy, Iris, Marigold, Primulas, Buttercups and Balsam. They say you can once in a while see a brown or black bear. The rest of the sky is ruled by Lamagiers, Bull Finches and Rose Finches.
Next morning it was time to go ahead like travellers usually do and leave the visited place like a happy memory in the minds eye.
Distance: New Delhi to Toas by road 560 km; Route: Delhi-Ambala-Surendranagar- Roopnagar-Kasol-Barshana- Manikaran-Tosh.
Trek: Tosh to Kheerganga
WO DUAON KA ASAR HOGA…
Sandeep Silas ‘deep’
Wo duaon ka asar hoga, to zaroor mera hoga
Khuda ke samney mera sar, yun hi jhuka hoga
Wo dil jo mera hoga, to zaroor dhadakta hoga
Khuley aasman ki tarah, wo bhi simat-ta hoga
Wo khwaab subah ka hoga, to zaroor sachh hoga
Aftaab ki mauzoodgi mein, wo chand nikla hoga
Wo kis kadr mujhey chahega, uska noor kaisa hoga
Wo anjum-sabaah, nazuk mizaaj, paak ruh hoga
Wo shabnam ki tarah hoga, to khamosh barasta hoga
Bikhar-bikhar kar rom-rom, wo zaroor khilta hoga
Wo nagma-numah hoga, to saaz ke liye jeeta hoga
Sur aur lay ka roz, dekho, khushnumaah milan hoga
Tutey huey sitaron ka phir, koi naya jahan hoga
Wo ‘deep’ gar jala hoga, ghar-mandir ka hi hoga
Copyright: Sandeep Silas ‘deep’
(Written: Delhi; November 16 & 17, 2017)
This is the state of mind of many people. They go #forward in #reverse…till you realise they are being towed by #negativity!
(Khushboo by Sandeep Silas ‘deep in Saada Khayal; Vani Prakashan 2009)
Once again a gust of wind brings your fragrance to me
The same world of your poise, the same happy-go-lucky attitude
Your scattered tresses, your melting down in my presence
Before me, the blossoming of your body, like a bud
Shining stars visible in those wistful eyes
Nobody ever saw, such scenes of heady intoxication
Where do I hide the sparks, those fill my pores
My madness is visible in all directions
Let somebody, touch and feel me like a butterfly
He too shall fall like a drunkard inebriated with your odour
Time kept on shrinking, become drops of feelings
Neither I came to know, nor saw, sat I with closed eyes
Now, every breath brings to me your aroma
Let all my life pass in the shadow of this moment
The halting of hesitant conversations on my lips
The winds changing suddenly with the season
I could not understand you my beloved, though I knew you
But, the scent of your body I inhale with every gust of the air
(Translated by Sandeep Silas)