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Showing posts from 2016

The View From Without — Kashmir

Its nothing short of tragic when someone used to Delhi smog finds breathing in Ladakh difficult.


But this tragedy befalls the bikers on Leh's roads frequently — when the aging diesel Boleros and built to last (instead of being environmentally frugal) army trucks, in their struggle to mount the inclines of the hill roads, fire plumes of tarry smoke right at the bikers already struggling for breath in the rarified air. Thus, the last leg of ride to the historic Alchi Gompa felt doubly refreshing as I left behind the truck-riddled NH-1 which continued to meander along the Indus river towards Kargil on its way to Srinagar, and turned left to cross the iron bridge that connected the highway to the ancient village of Alchi.


The mountains on either sides of the bridge on the Indus funneled the wind into gushes as strong as the violent river underneath. The helmet's straps struggled against my chin with each gust that swayed the bike away from the imagined straight-line in the middle…