A.k.a Sagar Math a.k.a Qoomaloongma. Standing tallest with perfect geometry amidst all the other irregular peaks – Cho-Oyu, Gauri Shankar… and others. Rising above a calm sea of clouds. My second opportunity to view the great mountains – this time from the skies on a mountain flight.
Barren. Powerful. Ruthless. Dignified. Scary in their silence. Devouring lives that attempt to inhabit them. Covered with snow that is deceptively inviting. The harshness is almost beautiful – and certainly very very attractive.
Compelled to pick up ‘Into Thin Air’ and ‘Seven Years in Tibet’. Pageturners – both. Find books on Nomadic Tibetans. Fall in awe with their life, their hardships, their endurance, their braving of unforgiving elements, their simple living, their smiles despite the scarcity, their faith in religion.
A dream takes seed in my mind. Like many that have come before, this one may fizzle out after the initial burst of consuming my mind. I do what I am driven to do to nurture the seed as it takes hold of my hours, and simultaneously, watch the progress as a detached observer – patiently awaiting the outcome.
The dream – to spend the winter of 2010 in the Ngari region of Tibet – living amongst nomads, sharing in their life, learning to live in hardship that I have never seen. Minus 20 degrees. Living on tsampa – barley flour, tibetan tea and yak meat. ONLY that. No bathing or washing. To go in when the roads are open in end September and then get sealed off from the world within the region after October. No way out until the winter is over.
To test my meagre store of endurance. To subject myself to punishing conditions that will either toughen me or kill me. Both outcomes are acceptable. Life, it is for living. And ‘living’ surely means experiencing a spectrum. Including the unpleasant range of physical conditions. Subjecting myself to the painful difficulty of it all, is the biggest attraction – the novelty of the physical experience should lead to personal growth…
Thinking, shows me the preparatory challenges – but at the outset, I am foolish enough to overcome the objections of my mind. If I rekindle the overconfidence of my youth, this dream will become reality – otherwise it will just die a boring death at the hands of my fears.