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Posts Tagged ‘mountains’

Tuesday morning

February 22, 2012 2 comments

“This is the H Line to 18th & California. Stand clear, the doors are closing.”

I held on to the handrail, and the train jerked into motion. As it turned under Colfax avenue, I was thrown slightly off  balance and held the handrail tighter. I did not fall, but my eyes opened in reflex. The train went on slowly, and came to a halt at the traffic light. Beyond the fence is the community college’s parking lot. Usually it is at least half-full of cars, but on this day it was strangely empty. Snow had covered most of the grass and walkways – it was a sea of white.

And right through the maze of parked cars and accumulated snow, a man was walking his dog. He was not an urban resident – he had a scruffy beard, and a backpack that towered a foot over his head. His back was bent under the weight, but his step was firm. As he reached the end of one parking aisle, he stopped, took off his backpack, and said something to his dog. His dog woofed, and the man smiled back.  As they spoke with each other, I noticed his clothes. He seemed to be wearing some grime-covered military surplus gear; his boots reached halfway up to his knees. The left leg of his trousers was neatly tucked inside, but the right  one was out. It didn’t bother him at all – perhaps he hadn’t even noticed.

After a while, he looked up to the sky for a moment, put on his backpack and started to walk again. This time, his shoulders were square, and he had a spring in his step. For a few moments, his dog had to trot to keep up with him. Then he turned, and disappeared behind a building.

I don’t think he was a homeless man. I would prefer to think that he was a man of the mountains, one who makes his living off the land.

Yes, it sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Living in the mountains in a small log cabin with just nature to give you company. Reading a book by a rustic fireplace, and foraging the forest for your own food.

But that’s what it is, really – just a romantic dream. In reality, none of us urbanites would survive even a week in a jungle.

But if you were given the chance to find out, dear reader, would you try it?

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The Mountains, Gandalf!

August 12, 2011 1 comment

Pune is my “hometown”. While I’ve spent most of my childhood outside it, Pune still has a special place in my heart. The small lanes, the candy shops surrounded by the milky fragrance of home-made sweets, the wooden balconies in the old parts of the town – it’s something you won’t find in many towns these days.

But what I love the most about Pune are the mountains. When I was a kid, you could see them from almost any part of town. Today, the concrete jungle is stealing the city’s soul, but there still are a few major streets from where the mountains are visible. Oh, lest I forget – once you step outside the city’s limits, there are mountains everywhere. Pune is right between them, after all.

So nine months ago, when we landed in Denver, a small part of me was pleased. Of course, I never wanted to leave India, but at least I was in a place surrounded by mountains.

The Rocky mountains are visible from anywhere in Denver – including my house. And if you want to go hiking, they are hardly a two-hour drive.

It’s a nice feeling.