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Climb to the Churdhar Peak - a Haibun by Rajiv Lather

Trail curves left and right through dense forest, always climbing. All are short of breath not used to such high altitude. Heavy rucksacks donít make the job any easier. The air gets more fragrant but chillier. On the way, a pack train loaded with supplies overtakes us. We are now above the tree line, and even though it is early summer, patches of winter's snow can be seen. By evening the temple on the peak is reached and it has started raining. The weather and the fact that journey back to the village will take more than six hours, forces us to spend the night here. Priests and their help, cook us a dinner of paranthas and hot tea. As no one is allowed to sleep inside, the visitors huddle together in the verandah. Wet and shivering our team gets inside their sleeping bags.

icy dawn
the stink of our shoes
covered in mule dung

published in 'Frog Pond xxvi:2, Summer 2003' - Copyright © Rajiv Lather 2003

 





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