Every few days I am drawn to my Ladakh album like a bee to her hive.
You wouldn’t know brown had so many shades unless you have a good look around the Leh Valley.
But, all these shades give way to pristine white snow as you go up the world’s highest motorable road towards Khardungla. It turns from brown to sprinkles of white, on to thick dumps of snow all along, even on the carriageway.
It becomes progressively difficult for tyres to tread along steadily. The driver stops in the middle of stark wilderness, and you ask why?
That’s when true ingenuity of these locals kicks in. Out come bags of lose dry soil (sometimes they are collected too from mountain walls if not shrouded in layers of snow). And to your amazement come out big strong chains,shackles, iron tethers, whatever you may want to call them.
They are carefully wound and tied around the tyres, and then a carpet of dry soil is spread for 10 odd metres. Once the stage is set to the driver’s satisfaction, your wagon chugs along, stereo breaking into a happy song from the swinging 70s..