The title may at first glance seem strange, really strange. I mean how a Himalayn Monal, a Purse and a Dog could have any connection whatsoever. But believe me they do, these three together make for something that I (or anyone reading) could not deny being a miracle.
First of all what is a miracle, as per Oxford a Miracle is “An extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency. “
The turn of events that link the Monal, my purse and the Dog exactly fits this definition.
It was my second and final morning at Tungnath. Early in the morning I went to Ravanshila, and apart from making some beautiful Monal shots, witnessed a quiet and serene sunrise, away from the loud and maddening rush at Chandrashila. Meditating and sitting in silence (alone), observing a sunrise/sunset is something that everyone, in my personal opinion must experience.
Ravanshila as a place is highly underrated and very few people (if any) visit this beautiful spot. Although one cannot see Trishul and Nandadevi from here, the experience here is unparalleled and quite different from what one has at Chandrashila.
By the way if you haven’t been to Chandrashila for a sunset, please do (winters especially). The sunset from Chandrashila (personally?) beats the sunrise on any given day.
So as I was very leisurely hiking towards my hotel in Tungnath, some 150 feet or so below the road I saw this beautiful Himalayan Monal feeding on an alpine pasture. My first thought was wow this is beautiful, but I already had taken some beautiful close ups in the morning and decided to skip doing the extra work here.
I took another couple of steps and thought that maybe, just maybe I could make a habitat shot. Frankly these guys are very shy and I wasn’t expecting much, the only reason I went for the shot was, to just go through the motions and satisfy my guilt of not even trying.
So leaving my bag on the path, I got on my hunches and began to slowly, very slowly approach him in a non- alarming way. I took a shot at every step, and was pretty confident he was going to be off in no time. However, for some reasons unknown to me this guy was pretty comfortable to me. Although he had a sharp eye on me, he was never alarmed and oblivious to my presence, was feeding very comfortably.
He got so used to me, that after some time he totally ignored me. He was feeding all over the huge pasture, and I followed him wherever he went. After about 30 minutes or so, this guy went below a ridge which was beyond my capacity to negotiate and I stopped following him.
Very content and satisfied, I walked towards my bag and as a habit checked my pocket for my purse. Guess what, it wasn’t there. I immediately knew I had lost it while I was following the Monal all over the pasture. Now if you have been to Tungnath or any alpine pasture for that matter, you know how huge they are. All my happiness vanished and the only thought i had was, how on earth am I going to find my purse? My purse contained all my ID cards and money, and I had to find it. Desperately for the next 20 minutes I scanned whatever of the bugyal I could, but couldn’t find my purse.
I was almost about to give up hope and call my shop waala, when there came 2 dogs. The dogs had accompanied some trekkers from Chopta (as they always do). For no apparent reasons, one of the dog got down the path and came straight to me. I cuddled him and with whatever emotions I could, literally told the dog in Garhwali and Hindi the following.
“Brother I have lost my purse, my purse contains all my money and id cards. I have been searching it for some time now and cannot find it, could you please help me find it”.
I was just talking to the dog to console myself and was in no way prepared for what happened next. The dog walked away from me, my eyes following him. In less than 30 seconds, he stopped and very casually looked at me. Two feet and I literally mean 2 feet from this dog was my purse. I had crossed that area before and for whatever reason did not see it earlier. More than happy I was shocked, my head reeling with whatever had transpired in less than a minute. The dog then very casually walked up the path that he had come from. It was as if, he literally came to help me search my purse.
He came to our shop some 15 minutes later. I did not miss this opportunity to feed him (and his friends) with lots of biscuits.
I don’t know what you think of this, but for me this is nothing less than a miracle.
P.S.: My Purse is light brown in colour.
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