Chocolate mousse with scoops of vanilla.
Now I will add to it a dash of orange.
Oh you don’t like orange? Never mind. After some time , I ‘ll make it strawberry?
This is exactly what God must be thinking when he painted the magnificent Kinner Kailash range.
Cotton clouds swirl around snow capped mountains engulfing the Jorkanden and Raldang peaks.
I was in the lobby of Hotel Grand Shamba la in Kalpa, peering outside the glass , trying to identify the ‘Shivling’ in the Kinner Kailash range. What seemed a tiny 1 inch chalk-like structure perched on one of the peaks, to my eyes is actually a 79 foot Stone boulder.
The range is revered by pilgrims from far and wide, appreciated by nature lovers and is an absolute delight for photographers. Everyone seemed to have a story associated with it. As I heard these stories, I wondered in my heart of hearts, would I have one too?
Every now and then I look up from my balcony, observing the clouds lazily marching past the Shivling.
Curiously I ask Doreen what the trek would be like. She says it’s extremely tough and arduous.
By now I am absolutely certain I will have no story of my own apart from the umpteen pictures I have clicked.
It’s 7 pm and the hotel lobby is unusually silent ( courtesy the wifi password given out by Yashpal, the guy at the reception).
This is when I choose to yap away with Mr. Anil Nair, an adman and a biker who was on his way to Kaza.
I learn about his fantastic initiative of Goodwind riding (full post on that later).
He narrates his story of the Kinner Kailash. A vision of the very same mountain range and a déjà vu feeling when he saw it in real.
Another Kinner Kailash story added to the list.
On a parting note, he tells me to go up to the attic on the 5th floor from 6.05 am to 7.10 am.
I look at him puzzled.
He stresses on the time again and says confidently, “You will witness the most spectacular show on earth“.
Quite like a prophecy, I feel.
The next morning I wake up at 5. ( my body clock reminding me of the prophecy).
Within an hour I am making my way upstairs to the deserted attic.
It is cold and the mountains are silhouetted. Sitting on the sofa I mentally talk to myself.
“Now the sun will rise further up.”
“He said Spectacular show. What will that be?
The Rays? ”
“What’s with the time though?”
My thoughts are interrupted as the door opens and he walks in, smiling that I paid heed to his advice. “Keep watching” he says and those are his last words to me.
“Keep watching?” His words echo in my mind.
I fiddle with my camera, take a few pictures, contemplate going down, talk to mum, sigh and then focus on that chalk like structure, breathe and without thinking start singing Shivoham, my favourite meditation chant.
I have now begun to enjoy this solitude. Eyes transfixed on the scene ahead, at 6.35 am a cloud hovers over the mountain. Rays have started dispersing symmetrically. And within minutes the scene changes dramatically.
My hands are numb because of the cold. But my eyes are transfixed on the cloud.
The wisp is now a clot.
After a few minutes, my heart skips a beat.
The clot is now shaped in an OM. I blink and see again in disbelief.
In a crazy moment, I capture what I see just to be sure I am not dreaming.
The photo shows what I see. It isn’t an illusion.
I look up again.
The wisp is gone.
I run down to inquire if Anil has left. He has indeed and my mind is abuzz with questions.
“How did he know?”
“He was so confident!”
“This WAS the spectacular show?”
I go up to the attic again thinking just like some events cannot be explained, some questions can really not be answered.
The clouds have enveloped the mountain, completely shielding it from my view.
It is no doubt that this is truly Shiva’s divine abode. Where else can he get such tranquility.
As the wind blows in my ears and the sun shines brightly on my face, I beam from ear to ear, whispering a small thank you.
Thank you. For giving me my story.