We stopped at places were Ganga flowed out in tiny streams, across the boulders. “Chasme,” said Mowgli. “That’s what these streams are called.”
The water that one got to drink from these ‘chasme’ could beat your packed water any day, in terms of purity and taste. Wet shoes, bottles filled, we would continue to trudge along, after brief breaks.
There were tiny shops even at this height. The supplies for these shops were brought from the townships below, on mules. They stocked stuff for the three months of business. Considering the problems they went through, to get a packet of Maggie noodles up here, people would promptly pay up an amount that is thrice as much as what it is worth for.
Mowgli, since he was much ahead of us, had lots of time to explore the area while we puffed and panted to catch up with him. He found a wonderful secluded spot, which any photographer would have given his right hand for. All of us camped there for a while, on the banks of Ganga, in the moon-like silver sand. We tumbled over the rocks and hesitantly splashed around a little in the waters. No one wanted to dare Ganga, at least not in this avatar of hers.
Ganga was livid. She rushed past us as though she was in a tearing hurry to reach somewhere. Her persona came through the noisy waves and ripples she made. Turbulent and effervescent, like a woman in her twenties. She sees a lot of confusion around and she seeks to go to some place where this can be sorted out. She yearns to find peace. She wants to achieve great heights. She wants recognition. She wants her place on earth. We stood there watching her, in complete awe.