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12 July 2006 @ 06:01 pm
Ways of Life  
On one side, there is a wall of rock, hundreds of feet high. On the other side, a gorge, hundreds of feet deep, end of which there is an icy fast-flowing river. In the middle, there is a dusty road a few feet wide. This road is important, the life line to many on this high Himalayan country. And there is drama every day, when two vehicles need to pass each other. The drivers there need to be inch perfect, a wrong move can result in a nasty tumble down the gorge and there is no way for help to arrive in hours. Here's an example:

A loaded lorry needs to pass, there are two utility vehicles on the other side. There are at least fifteen people in the first vehicle. The lorry can't move too much since there is another vehicle in front of it. After fifteen minutes of arguing, the lorry was able to pass, only because the white colored car decided to move down the road.

The temperature was close to freezing. I was looking for birds down the valley when I noticed something large approaching me through the corner of my eye. The first look at this man was the one of amazement and disbelief. I was struggling up the steep gradient of a narrow path along the mountain with a bag full of camera gear and this man was walking up the same slope with a big load of vegetation. As he approached closer, I noticed that he was a rather old man, easily in his sixties. What's more amazing was that most of the weight was being supported by his forehead and his hand were acting as devices for balancing it and his back as a secondary support. As he passed, he smiled at me, he probably realized that I was a little shocked. I was.

Current Mood: coldcold
Current Music: Ronan Hardiman - Cry of the Celts
ZuZusuzan_s on July 12th, 2006 01:22 pm (UTC)
Wow, great pictures. Wonderful examples of how marvelous the human spirit can be.....it gives right-of-way (finally) and gives us super strength.
~time~fiery_fiona on July 12th, 2006 01:53 pm (UTC)
the reason
sikkim is so disconnected or rather protected from the outer world!

The road/rail connection to sikkim is unpredictable because of the geographical scenario! But the very same reason makes the inhabitants so warm and different from those you encounter every day!!
Nadir Hashminadircruise on July 12th, 2006 02:34 pm (UTC)
sikkim is so disconnected or rather protected from the outer world!

zactly my thoughts!

ajatajat on July 12th, 2006 10:07 pm (UTC)
You must have visited Sikkim, too ...
Nadir Hashminadircruise on July 13th, 2006 03:44 am (UTC)
nope, cbse guys ensured that kids get to know about north eastern India, by including a well written chapter on sikkim!
ajatajat on July 16th, 2006 02:01 pm (UTC)
Ah. Visit it sometime. Such a pretty place. Really really pretty.

ajatajat on July 12th, 2006 10:06 pm (UTC)
Re: the reason
You must have visited Sikkim ...
~time~fiery_fiona on July 13th, 2006 04:10 am (UTC)
Re: the reason
yes :)
ajatajat on July 16th, 2006 02:01 pm (UTC)
Re: the reason
And you are from India ?

Alikialiki on July 12th, 2006 02:24 pm (UTC)
Amazing photos.
kejnkejn on July 12th, 2006 03:06 pm (UTC)
i'm glad i don't have to commute on road like that! :-)

do you know what kind of vegetation the man was carrying and why? is it something used to feed livestock with?
Yathinyathin on July 12th, 2006 03:23 pm (UTC)
> i'm glad i don't have to commute on road like that!

Me too, even though I travel on, arguably, the most crowded roads in India during peak hour.

> do you know what kind of vegetation

Yep. Looks like it is food for the cattle, but I am not sure.
depontideponti on July 12th, 2006 04:32 pm (UTC)
a picture with a thought-provoking story attached..and I like the coincidence that we both posted about Sikkim men today! My guy was a retired police officer, with other loads to carry...yours carries a literal load on his, well, forehead.

We too were amazed at the ways of life in the mountains.
depontideponti on July 12th, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC)
I am reminded of the story about two bitter rivals, facing each other, on a very narrow bridge which would admit the passage of only one. "I do not make way for fools, sir!" said one, standing his ground. "But I do!", said the other, stepping aside.
ajat: Fey ...ajat on July 12th, 2006 10:08 pm (UTC)
Aha ! Lovely story !

Amoghavarshaamoghavarsha on July 12th, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC)
The second pic is lovely. And about the weights they carry, they really start young. Take a look here
sandykinssandykins on July 12th, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC)
delightful pic!
floopilotfloopilot on July 12th, 2006 06:13 pm (UTC)
love the pic of the man .. the load he is carrying gives the whole effect of an over-sized green porcupine .. impressive.

- beena.