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Ladakh Diaries Part 9: Lamayuru

Lamayuru is one of the most ancient monasteries in Ladakh, the oldest surviving structure dating to the 11 th century CE. What makes this monastery particularly fascinating, is its location, amidst what is today called the “moonscape”, for the spectacular natural rock formations, which truly are “out of the world”! As per legend , there once existed a huge lake in this area, populated only by the Nagas (serpents). It was prophesized that there would be a great monastery built here. This prophecy came true when the great acharya Naropa (756-1041 CE) arrived. He emptied the lake, meditated for many years inside a cave, and built the first monastery here. The present structure is a new one, built around the cave where Acharya Naropa is said to have meditated. This legend seems to fit well with the geological formations seen in the area, which suggest this was a paleo-lake, which disappeared around 1000 years ago. Lamayuru is about 130 km from Leh , and the Indus River flows along th

Navaratri Day 4: Faces in the Crowd - The Tightrope walker



Tender feet..
Wearing pretty anklets...
They should be busy running around, playing...
Yet, 
They walk a tightrope..
Literally as well as figuratively..
Balancing themselves on the rope of jute, 
as well as that of life..



I am no poet, and calling those few lines a poem would be doing an injustice to poems, but I couldn't help but pen them down, while I wondered what to post today for Navaratri. I couldn't post anything yesterday, since I was out all day with friends, and we were at Kala Ghoda when we saw them.. the tightrope walkers. 



They are folk artists of a kind too, and their art is fast dying, in this fast paced life where we have no time to stop and see them perform. I have seen them recently only in rural areas, so it was good to see them in Mumbai, for a change. 


And yet, even as I watched them, I wondered about the girl... and her parents. They lived in Panvel, hailing originally from Chhatisgarh (as they told me), and evidently managed to eke out a living from their skill. The young girl seemed to walk the rope effortlessly... even as her mother hovered, and held out an arm protectively...



She was a spirited girl, insisting that she had never, ever, fallen off, and to emphasize her point, knelt on a plate, and showed us that she could walk across the tightrope even in that position! 



My Navaratri posts are usually about some form of the Goddess, her temples, or the festival, but looking over my photographs, thought this was the right thing to post - after all, she embodies the very spirit of the Goddess we pray to, doesn't she? 



The only question is - Do we look at her the same way as we do the goddess? Do we treat her with the same respect, love and admiration? She certainly deserves it! 


Comments

  1. Yes, I was about to write that you are a poetess!!

    It was interesting to see her walk on that rope & what all they have to do to earn the livelihood. A little Goddess!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautifully captured and well narrated... Feels proud of the girl, yet sad too coz she has to earn bread for her and her family at that age...

    ReplyDelete

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