After an evening when the rain came down in sheets, we woke up the next morning to a thin belt of rainbow curving over the mountains around, already disappearing with the morning sun. Indian mythology holds that rainbows are in fact indradanusha, the bow of Indra, the god of heaven. That morning with the world washed clean, the hills in the distance glowing with wildflowers, one could almost believe it.

Of course, by the time I got my camera out it had nearly disappeared. Go figure.

When I opened this picture up on my computer a few months ago, I played around a bit – trying to capture the wonder that tinged the moment. It felt, almost, that the god of heavens had touched this place so high in the sky – so close to eternity.

Journal Journeys: Paradise


Tuesday, 21st October, 2014

We arrive here after three and a half hours of continuous trekking: the Great Himalayan National Park. We walked under the arch that demarcated the entrance – in a fit of grandiloquent ceremony characteristic of my dear brother – holding hands. Inside wasn’t much different – a few buildings indicating the civilization that had been absent the past ten kilometers and a large signpost, but the same trail was climbing up, up, up – A side note: we are at an elevation of 2,000 meters above sea level. And now we are eating lunch on a sun-warmed rock, and I do believe this is the closest one gets to perfection. The water is bluer than you could believe. Rocks, like the playthings of some giant, lie scattered about; the river dances delightedly around them, wreathing their granite surfaces with foam. The remains of a bridge bookened the rushing brook. On one of the banks, a variegated cloth shrine flaps maddly in the winds: the gods are present here, they whistle. And at its very mouth is a waterfall, cascading, throwing with white clouds about with alacrity, with a single rainbow curving delicately over the white froth and paying homage at the base of where an idol once stood. But the deity is no longer there, and so it prostrates itself before the stones, the water, the trees, the mountains.