Shekhar Pathak through his travels and writings over many decades has presented the Himalayas, the life of the Himalayas, the people of the Himalayas, the prosperity and problems of the Himalayas in a very human way. ‘Dastan-e-Himalaya’ has been published by Vani Prakashan in two parts under Raza Pustak Mala.
Where the beauty of the Himalayas attracts tourists, the heights here draw the sages and sages to search for peace. Himalaya also inspires our poet-writers to coin new words.
Shekhar Pathak writes, ‘Himalaya Mahakavi Kalidasa’s ‘Deityatma’ connecting the two oceans and the standard of the earth or Allama Iqbal’s ‘Fasiele-Kishwere-Hindostan’ or Jaishankar Prasad’s ‘Himadri Tung Shring’ is, in fact, the backbone of a living body. , which rises from the Indus-Ganga-Brahmaputra plain to the north in various mountain forms.
The Himalayas continued to inspire poet-thinker Rabindranath Tagore as well. He traveled to different regions of the Himalayas. Wrote many of his best poems and stories in the Himalayas.
The author is also concerned about the excessive exploitation of the Himalayas in many places, ‘The Himalaya Mountains, considered the highest and most sacred of this earth, have been hijacked by our political economy and incomplete model of development.’
You also read some excerpts of ‘Dastan-e-Himalaya’ Part-I-
Great, high, the Himalayas are young and weak mountains, dominated by mythology and today’s geopolitical reality. Geologists are now beginning to know the matter inside it. The process of gradual rise of the Himalayas continues even today and the Indian plate is continuously pushing the Tibetan (Eurasian) plate. Due to this, not only the Himalayas are rising up, but many times earthquakes and landslides are also born from it.
The nature of the snow, rock, and surface or slope of the Himalayas depends on the color of its vegetation and all these make and tell the mood of the ponds and rivers. When rivers are born from glaciers in the Tathys Himalayas, it is not believed that they are innate self-sustaining natural systems. This area does not allow them to become aggressive. This is the childhood of the Himalayan river. Here we can hear the quivering of a river or its hum.
As geologists approach the ‘central crystalline’ region, rivers suddenly become young due to the challenge of rocks and boulders. Angry and aggressive. This battle of stone and water can be seen across the Himalayas. This is the most challenging age of the river. Many times the rolling mountains stop the river and want to make it a lake, but the river moves forward, refusing to be a lake or breaking the lake that has been formed.
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Humans call this fury of the river a flood and the attempt to stop the river by breaking the mountain due to geological reasons is called landslide. Some further rivers begin to settle and meet their tributaries at various confluences and such places are created in their banks, where humans can settle and do agriculture. The settlements of the Himalayas developed in these places. In Uttarakhand, they are sometimes called ‘Sera’ and somewhere ‘Bagad’.
In fact, in the plains we see an old river, battered and leaning into the memory of our maternal home situated in the mountains. From above man puts industrial and urban waste in it. He also takes out canals.
Seeing the Khankhnati river in Yamunotri behind the Taj Mahal, one cannot believe that it is the same Kalindi whose childhood was spent among the sources of snow and hot water and Sutlej was born from a corner of Raksatal located in western Tibet, when the dam was built by man in Himachal-Punjab. If given, it seems that man wants to make rivers a slave. The Karnali (which merges with Mahakali to become Ghaghara and is called Saryu in Ayodhya) from the western wing of the Gurla Mandhata mountain, led to the victory and defeat of the Dogra general Jorabar Singh in the nineteenth century at Takalakot and then by the Red Army in the twentieth century. Saw the demolition of the monasteries, and was watching the demolition of the mosque in Ayodhya at the very close of our time.
There are also two such rivers, which are considered sons. Apart from the son of Brahma in Indian rivers, Rangit is called Purush Pravah (nada). The Brahmaputra, which originates from the east of Mayum La, located very close to the Mansarovar and Kailas Mountains, and whose Tibetan current flowing at an altitude of 11-10 thousand feet, though controlled by coming to Assam, is yet to be tied up. . It took thousands of years for man to build a bridge over the Brahmaputra. Rangit takes birth from West Sikkim and merges with Teesta and Teesta himself in Brahmaputra.
The Ganges system is the biggest of all and many Indians still do not believe that the shipra, which was born from Ujjain of Kalidas, ultimately reaches the Ganges only through Yamuna, then a large part of the water of Tibet also Karnali, Kosi and Arun etc. It comes through. This is the relation of Padma or Meghna with Himalayas and beyond Himalayas.
mother is every river
The mythological story associated with the Ganges makes her a mother, although a mother is every river. There can be no river less than mother, and man is expert in doing atrocities with mother. What have we done with Ganga Mata which we have not done? Glad it still flows! Our consciousness has become so tight that we are able to find purity only from Gomukh to Uttarkashi.
Many faces of every peak
Every peak of the Himalayas has many faces, along which all the rivers are born from the glaciers spread. Then it descends, spreads in the plains and merges into the ocean. Eventually, those rivers return to their childhood, becoming monsoon, clouds and snow.
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Different socio-cultures of the Himalayas originated in different times and tried to assimilate myths and religions from different sources and also developed their own folk religions.
There are all the minor socio-cultures of the Himalayas, which, despite being unfamiliar with each other, are inter-related with each other. In this are their festivals, fairs, songs, dance, musical instruments, social practices. Somewhere polyandry is prevalent and somewhere polyandry. Somewhere widow marriage is prevalent and somewhere it is impossible.
Only man can feel the beauty of Himalayas. Those animals who live here know the taste of its flora. Birds who fly across it, they sense its height. The fish that are present in its water systems know which minerals they are dealing with. But only man has got the ability to feel the beauty here.
However, it is man who is not able to use this ability many times. Then that man cannot live and starts trampling his own mountain.
Akhara is repetitive
While reading the Dastan-e-Himalaya, one thing repeatedly passes in front of you, that is repetition. You will get to read many details again and again. Although the author has also written in gratitude about this, ‘All the articles are in the old form. Sometimes the repetition of different articles has been reduced, yet there may be repetition in many places.’
Book- Dastan-e-Himalaya Part-1
Writer- Shekhar Pathak
Publisher- Vani Prakashan
Price- Rs 595