“See we can do horse riding”.. the girls screamed. I try to ignore them as I step out of our taxi at Khajjiar.. Fat men and horses don’t go too well was what was going on in my mind. As the girls went racing to negotiate with the horsemen, Tony and I were happy walking towards the green meadows. With every breath the fresh air seems to calm one.. it was an amazing feeling.. Khajjiar was a paradise no doubt, especially with the few tourists around during the off season time we went. 20 mins later after the horse ride was over plans were being discussed of yet another one.. “ek ghanta, upar gaon mein, ghoode pe.. bahut accha” (One hour, up to the village, on the horse.. very nice). Everyone just assumed I would be a part of it. I looked at the horse. I sensed a look of terror on his face as he sized me up. Almost like someone is going to choose him from a lineup and force him to death.. “Please let it not be me”.. I turned towards the horseman.. “Mein nahin baaith paunga” (I wont be able to sit).. The guy understood my dilemma and told me not to worry.. The horse is strong..
I huffed and I puffed and I managed to finally sit on the horse. And yeah the ride was beginning to feel good. But soon, we were taking a shortcut, right through a steep slope.. there was no path as we made our way through the trees with branches brushing us roughly every now and then .. it must have easily been a 60 degree angle at some points with loose rock.. I was convinced I would be buried here.. Not a bad place though, I thought. Tonys horse slipped.. and I could see the terror on his face .. the same that was a few mins earlier on my horse.
We managed to cross the steep bit, and were back on the narrow mud road, and soon the village. Garlic fields laid on one side, and the valley on the other with the mountain range as a backdrop. Getting off was tougher than climbing and my horseman, a tiny thin guy assured me he will catch me as I descend. Catch me? “Nahin giroge.. hum hain na.. pakad linge” (“You wont fall.. I am there.. I will catch”). With the sound assurance I almost leaped off.. half expecting my saviour to lay down his life for me (that pest was no where close, and even moved few steps behind). Managed to land on the ground with one foot.. the other took a bit longer.
After the village exploration, we headed back and I noticed Krish munching away. Of Course he needs energy. A power feed. Thats when I clicked this snap. I had to keep some memory of a brave horse. Hmm Chetak would have been a better name. For those who don’t know about Chetak refer to http://www.itsaperfectstory.com/blogs/true-stories/chetak-the-brave-horse/
This image was clicked using Tokina AT-X Pro SD 12-24mm F4 (IF) DX.
Setting: ISO 100, 22mm, f/4, 1/200 sec