I am a mountain baby. I grew up in a community on top of a hill. A cliff on top of a mountain is my sacred place. An borderless space to breathe, to contemplate and to rejuvenate. Some of my fondest adolescent memories are those solitary moments I sat on the edge of a mountain looking down at a small village below. At one particular cottage with a garden of yellow roses, in between mango trees. I remember the air up there was always crispy with a bit of chill. And that the village and the surrounding forest was sometimes blanketed with fog.
Now that for many years I became a city dweller I have never been at ease in the plains. If not towards the sea I keep running to the hills.
I love heights. This is at Tanglang la pass at 5300 plus meters in the Himalayas. Second highest motorable road in the world.
An oasis in the desert in Ladakh.
From the top of a volcanic hill in Coron, Palawan.
Fresh water lake on top of that volcanic hill.
Halfway Tungnath Trek in Chopta, Uttrakhand
Rummaging through a box of memories, eager fingers flipping through a set of honeymoon photographs. Eyes sighted something green and sparkling. In an instant, the heart ached with longing for carefree days spent frolicking on Coron’s emerald shores.
That untainted jewel cocooned in a cluster of islands down south of my native land. Nostalgia echoed on my bedroom walls. Of crispy laughter reverberating under Asian sun.
The mind wandered back pining for that bright morning, hiking up that volcanic mountain to swim in that verdant lake, in that green soup where swallows dip to quench their thirst at four in the afternoon.
Yearning now intensely, for cool waters caressing the skin while snorkelling in that secret cove, Twin Lagoon it is called, where salt and lake water meet painting mirages for creatures underneath.
Sighing, wishing to go diving and swimming with those kaleidoscopic school of fishes playing around a maze of brightly hued coral gardens. So ornate and splendid, a surreal world so exquisite, an encounter with mermen and mermaids would not be impossible at all.