This is a nice picture of my good friend Tane Singh the major of Khuri, in the Thar desert. Tane is a great man, who has changed the fate of the village for so many people. He introduced a health post, built new class rooms and made sure that the teachers stayed back in this remote area and did their job, which is no mean feat in the far off places in Rajasthan. While traveling to his place in 1994 he dressed up his camel in this regal finery to have a picture taken. Another time he was missing from his placed and I was told that he had gone to Jaisalmer to defend some village people in court. A noble man in all aspects and proud to be his friend.
From Afghanistan to present Myanmar thousands of nomadic tribes roam the Thar Desert and the foothills of the Himalayas in search of fields to graze and small jobs. Viewed often with suspicion the they live a live at the periphery of normal society. In the colonial period, the British created a set of notions about such groups that echoed European ideas about the gypsies. They listed such groups that posed a ‘threat’ to settled society and introduced a legislative measure and as a result nearly 200 such communities stood ‘notified’ as criminals.
The Gujjars are buffalo, goat, sheep and cow herders and move trough the southern part of Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Crossing the river in Tibet was done in 1992 be a Yak hide boat serving as a ferry. The feet got wet, but the other side was reached safely. Tibet was in those days one of the greatest adventure destinations on the planet with so many unknown Elements, like no fuel available, landslides, flat tires and so many other obstacles on the way. But to me Tibet is till date one of the finest places to go to, as the nature is simply stunning and pristine. The high altitude might give some short breath and at times a headache, but this is offset easily by the most beautiful landscape one can dream off. So if you have not been, then go there!
Ottamthullal is a type of performing art from Kerala. The art form was created during the 18th century by legendary Malayalam poet Kalakkaththu Kunchan Nambiar. Ottamthullal, over the centuries, has a single actor, donning a green make-up and wearing colourful costumes and reciting the thullal lyrics , all the while acting and dancing himself.
This is what we saw, when we reached the holy Mount Kailash! After days of bad sleep, head aches and horrible roads, we finally reached one of the holiest places on this planet. The energy surrounding the place was mesmerising and and very intense. Pilgrims camping by the shore of Lake Manasrovar were happy and seemed filled with joy to have reached this holy place. We (a small group) felt greatly privileged and touched to be allowed to witness such calm reference and the incredible beauty of the place. An adventure that turned into a true pilgrimage to the SELF.
This picture was taken from the tibetan plateau on the way to the holy Mt. Kailash. In 1992 the journey took at least 30 days and all the equipment and food had to be carried by jeep and truck to reach the shores of Lake Manasrovar. From there it took 4 days of trekking to surround the holy mountain.