What the hills long to say?

Encroaching upon every square feet that they could prey their sight upon, humans suffer from this chronic illness of marking ownership on everything their lives touch ― from designations following their names to salutations prefixing them.  There, however, remains nature, elusive and yet so present, wild and yet riveting in her charms, reveling in its wantonness.

You just can’t own her. The wild is too proud to be tamed.


Oft I see hatchbacks wearing ‘Raid de Himalayas’ stickers. Futile marketing gimmick. Neither men nor machine can raid Himalayas, you don’t conquer mountains – you only bask in their sheen.


collect moments not things, What the hills long to say

What the hills long to say?

Hill stations, wildlife sanctuaries, and all that’s now marred by men were once meant to be a retreat from the worldly noise until it became too crowded to be anything, except the victim of its tourists. All this must have left Kipling uneasy in his grave.

“The true smell of the Himalayas if once creeps into the blood of a man, that man will at the last, forgetting all else, return to the hills to die” ― Rudyard Kipling

Hills humble you, poets and travelers know it, tourists don’t. Tourists need company, travelers don’t.

These voices that I hear have no face. At times, they come like hazy lights dancing at a distance to the orchestrated noise of screeching tires and blatant honking. Oblivious or ignorant to the speed limits, they charge through these otherwise sleepy roads as a runaway prisoner. Many a times their headlights wear rabbits and squirrels in its wake.

There's more to this world than just people, you know.
There’s more to this world than just people, you know. – Calvin & Hobbes

What the hills long to say is clear and present, plastered on the marginalia in bright red and yellow,  perhaps it’s time to dwell upon tapping the mushrooming hotels, resorts, home-stays, camping sites and think of replenishment instead of revenue.

Perhaps the only vice these escapades long to renounce are humans.

Himalayan dog
As long as theer are hills and hounds, there’s hope for humanity… ~image courtesy Priya Joshi

In the Himalayan slopes villagers tell tales of how a mastiff would ignore the stones hurled at him without the faintest growl if you had once patted him with love. He chooses to remember the caring touch that once was, ignoring the grim today. The wag of the tail however is now but, gone.  The forests belong to the wild first and humans are but visitors who shouldn’t outstay their welcome.  Who knows if one day the mastiff realizes he has had enough.

Bring your wantonness
and your pain
loneliness
soaked in the rain

Bring your poems
and your prose
barren pages
tucked-in rose

Take these ferns,
pine cones,
Rhododendrons
take the memories

But please
leave not,
your beer bottles and
cigarette butts.

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The wait

And how long must one wait?

An hour, a day, a week, an entire lifespan? Ask Laika, the dog who waited to be brought back home. Ask Hachiko who died waiting to see his human once again.

Dogs play this game of waiting better than human lovers. Cornered in a room, all through the day, just to see you back home.  And waiting by the road just to seek a piece of bread or waiting for a kind pat, a loving voice to call their name…

The wait poem

The Wait

And in another land
there may be
by the shore
or at the sea
or in the valley
of the bees
another loneliness
quite like me.
So I wait
as the world fades
and its only the page
which listens to me.

Himalayan Marmots Ladakh
Anandroop playing with Himalayan Marmots in Ladakh.

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So said a wise old dog…

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Castles crumble, walls wither away but it isn’t over till you know the hymn by heart. Waiting isn’t such a bad idea, after all.

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