Writing from the Mountains
Including songs for the end of 2021
My fingers are frozen as I write this to you. I’m sitting in the Himalayan Foothills in a cottage on top of a hill. The temperature has been around 3-6 degrees and all I see outside my window is white. The white of the clouds. It’s not snowing yet, something I hope it would, but it’s been raining on and off. A good sign maybe? Every time it rains, it helps the temperature plunge. While my finger are frozen stiff and I find this hard to type, I have to say I love it. I love the cold; and being from Mumbai, doubly so.
There is something about the mountains I really love. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that mountains are calling me. Nope, but I do yearn for them from time to time. There is a certain level of peace and comfort that I find in them. But more than anything, I love the silence. The silence of the mountains. It’s filled with birds, winds, the smaller human interactions of kindness and the occasional growl of an animal somewhere in the distance. You’ll also hear me sneezing quite often—but it’s all worth it.
I don’t call myself a poet—I haven’t written a poem in years. But on the first day, this erupted out of me and I’m sharing it with you first.
Silence of the Mountains
I can hear the silence Of the winter. It’s so absolute, Every word I say gets stretched Like time. The days are longer The nights longer still But we share a smile More often here Like sharing warmth Between our bodies Huddled up, hugging ourselves. I sit here by the window Not daring to open them But still watching The silence unfold outside Of the clouds waltzing past And the mountains Standing guard against the sounds Of the world. I write these words here They scritch-scratch on paper I hear the nib mark these Pages with scratches Some call words And I wonder How do I find the silence In my head? Maybe if I scratch enough Paper with my pen I too can then hold A piece of the silence Held in this valley These trees That blue sky And in the beating Of my heart.
With this I hope I am able to share a little of the silence I find here in the mountains, with you. Sharing a little bit of the mountains with you.
Last night one of the guests brought out his guitar and we had a great singalong. he played some of the classics and somehow it seemed quite apt to be listening to those old greats here in the mountains. So I’m going to recommend some of my favourite songs from three old time artists that I love. And I’ll ensure these songs are not the more famous ones from these artists.
1. The Beatles: I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who dislikes the Beatles. In any place, with any vibe, The Beatles just fit in like a glove. It’s so easy to find people who know the lyrics to their songs and we all sing along. Here are a few of my favourite Beatles songs:
2. Simon and Garfunkel: Oh, I adore Simon and Garfunkel. They have a way of capturing moments and slices of the human experience in their songs. They have been constant companions, especially in slow moving days and times of deep thought. Here are a few of my favourites:
3. Bob Dylan: The songs of Bob Dylan are pure poetry. They work as poems too, but they also work as songs, epics in their own selves. Sometimes I feel if I could only string words like he did, I’d die content. Maybe one day. Here are a few of my favourites:
At the start of the month I put together the 11th edition of our Writers Retreat—it was fabulous. Here’s a picture of the entire group that had joined in.
My iPhone 13 camera test article was published. Look here to see pretty pictures of the Milky Way (shot on iPhone).
I’m putting together an anthology of new writing alongside my friend Kavya. Submissions are currently open and we are looking for a broad spectrum of writing. If you’re interested in putting your work out there, see the details here.
There is a lot more to come in 2022. Thank you for staying along on this journey with me. Your support means much.
Until next year, Akshay out.
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