It is 3 o’clock in the afternoon and a slight drizzle is building up near Khardung village in Ladakh. An avalanche has blocked the roads and everyone is waiting in their vehicles for the snow to be cleared and the authorities to give the safety signal. Oh boy, this is going to take time.

After sitting in the car for what feels like an eternity but in reality is only an hour, I feel tired; frustrated. My feet are sore. I must get out of here. I cannot sit here anymore. I finally exit the car. A yawn. A stretch. Another yawn. Another stretch. A few nods and shakes. Ah! Much better.

I look towards my left, on the valley side of the road. There’s a stream, about 50 meters down the slope. I walk over to the bank and look down at the water gurgling inches away from my feet. A smile forms across my lips. Yes, the Himalayas are working their magic. The cool wind feels exhilarating in my hair. I kneel down and touch the water. It feels cooler than the wind. I splash some of it on my face. The water is cold. Cold, but soft. My gaze travels across the stream – to the opposite bank – to the terrain that rises again to gradually form The Mountains of The Himalayas. But I cannot see The Mountains. Their figures are draped in a shawl of white, hovering mist. My gaze continues upwards, into the sky. And then I see Them – Their crowns; towering above all else, rising through the mist, looking down upon the mortal world. And I say to myself, ‘This is it. This is God’s own country; heaven on earth.’

Until next time!


A stream in Ladakh, gurgling through rocks, mist and clouds