Sunday, 30 June 2013


as I often do, saying to myself, but there is no CAUSE for it, I'm just being lazy, I should work more and harder, I don't deserve my rest, etc, etc. If I question it too much, I end up depressed, which is a sure sign of something done wrong. when I am depressed, I dislike myself, everything I do, and everything my life is. It is no way to live. fortunately, I recognize it right away and take necessary steps to make amends. yesterday, for example, I stayed in bed all day reading Ramesh Menon's first tome on THE MAHABHARATA. Yes, it sure helps to have a book to help you rest. It has been many, many years now, but I rested with Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie, great rest aids. I didn't go for a walk, or do any yoga, but got a wonderful massage, and slept again. This morning the blue whistling thrush is singing away her song and regaling me as I sit on the sofa in the library, looking out at the waters roaring with sunlight amidst all that ancient green.


By the way, the photo of my kissing the whale is on my face book page, too.

When I am up here in our home in the forest, I rarely go anywhere, since there is so much to do by way of writing/research, but occasionally I go to Jibhi, a couple of miles away, to do some shopping for fruit and vegetables at the two funky shops whose storefronts are full of shriveled old produce while the good, fresh stuff is in baskets at the back. When I get there they don't mention about the good stuff till I ask, hoping they will be able to unload the other stuff first. But now they know I don't settle, so they bring out the fresh veges in handfuls when I arrive. I love my rare visits to Jibhi far more than my trips to the supermarket in the US . . . I meet other people, chat, look at the dogs and the puppies, and come back laden with goodies. It is a social affair, and I love the ride to and fro along our lovely river/stream, the Hirab, and all the ancient deodars on its banks.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013



Yes, this picture is exactly what it is. I am kissing a whale. This happened in February during my Baja trip. If you want to know more about it, ask me, and I will tell you.

Okay, I couldn't find the one where I am kissing the whale but will look for it and post it, too.


I know, I know, I dropped out, fell out of the bottom of my obligations, not to myself, but to others, something I have no problem doing when my life demands I pay attention to my state of body and mind. I have been tired after the hike, did not want to recollect (go into the past, for more and more I stay in the present, my joy), and want to say only a few quick things about my peak experience then move on to other things: The flowers, oh my God, the flowers! whole gardens of them, God's garden that you have to make a pilgrimage to see. all our little attempts to make our gardens seem puny in comparison, but always in our efforts we try to imitate nature; Camping is essential to get back to the basics of life -- only a few possessions, not even a house, a rudimentary kitchen, rolling rotis on a stone,   no change of clothes, just underwear, the open sky and beauty, beauty, beauty. I am very empowered by the climb, feel young at heart, unafraid, and willing to go again next year, post 65. But the thing I was really struck by was on returning how luxurious and beautiful our house seemed to me! I couldn't get over it. Even the nature outside our windows was so exquisitly lovely! I was delighted with my Le Crueset pots and pans, and of course, ah, the bed with clean sheets on it!  Perhaps that is the aim and goal of going away, to return home!

Payson still hasn't sent me pictures but in lieu of them I am attaching one in my next post, nothing at all to do with Lambri -- an amazing photograph of a marvelous experience

Monday, 3 June 2013


surprisingly, I wasn't at all tired when I arrived at the campsite. Himmat made a wonderful dinner of daal and chawal and we crawled into our tent to sleep. I had thought I would go out like a light after the  exhausting climb, but no, I couldn't sleep. The tent was on an incline and though i kept pushing myself up, I kept sliding down to the bottom of the tent. The next morning after breakfast Payson and I went off for another hike up the meadow carpeted with buttercups and tiny flowers I did not know the names of, to the edge of the forest where yet another meadow began. There were two stone huts made by gujjars who come seasonally to graze their horses, sheep and cows. I could go no further and sat down surrounded by dwarf bearded irises so lovely that just to see them was reason enough to climb the peak.  when P sends me the photos he took I shall post them for you to see.  

Sunday, 2 June 2013


Lambri Peak (12,5000 feet), visible from our mountain home, is a place that has beckoned to me for 10 years. I still recall my first vision of it: the sun had set in our village and all was dark except the peak, like Parvati's two breasts, lit up brightly, glowing warmly in the cool night air. Payson has been up there eight times, almost yearly, and this year, yes, last week in fact, I went up there, too.

It was the most challenging thing i have done in my life. At almost 65 I doubted I could do it. But on an impulse, the weather being good, I said, let's do it. We packed for two days -- Himmat, our all around man, master hiker, cook, guide, packed all the tents and food and on Wednesday the 22nd of May, we started up.

the first hour was the hardest, and when we got to a steeply rocky incline past the village of Sajwaad, I was so tired i was beginning to lose my balance. we stopped for half an hour and ate our breakfast of aloo ka paranthaas and karelas which Raju had made for everyone the night before. Four people took up our gear of tents, sleeping bags, food, and there was enough food to go around. I ate and drank my sweet tea, sugar flavored with tea leaves, in silence and we started again. My left arm started to hurt and I said to myself "f----, I'm going to have a heart attack and then they are all going to have to carry me down!" But I persevered, resting frequently. I was so grateful I had brought both my hiking poles and that my boots, though old, were comfortable and solid. Though I was told by Payson that we would come to a place that wasn't a climb but an easy zig zag, we never came to it. it was straight up and up through no distinct path in the forest. I lay down at one point but was uncomfortable, my whole body sliding down the incline. there was no level ground to rest. a few times I thought, I'm not going to be able to do this, but I persevered. when the oak forest began there was some respite in the heat but none in the climbing. we climbed for seven hours straight, and towards the end I was groaning in pain and was certain that Himmat and Payson had lied to me about how far it was. Just when I thought we had arrived there was another hill to climb -- and no gentle, rolling hill, these. When Himmat told me we had arrived I didn't believe him. But there, over a peak and down the mountain were our two tents, all pitched by the party that had preceded us. Our campsite was by a tiny little rivulet flowing in its stone basin.

More to follow.