The Silk Road

โ€‹This is love: to fly toward a secret sky,

To cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.

First to let go of life.

Finally, to take a step without feet.

Rumi

“For centuries, the great civilisations of East and West were connected by the Silk Road, a fragile network of shifting intercontinental trade routes that threaded across Asia’s highest mountains and bleakest deserts. The heartland of this trade was Central Asia, whose cosmopolitan cities grew fabulously wealthy. Traders, pilgrims, refugees and diplomats all travelled the Silk Road, exchanging ideas, goods and technologies in what has been called history’s original ‘information superhighway’.

The Silk Road gave rise to unprecedented trade, but its true legacy was the intellectual interchange of ideas, technologies and faiths that the trade routes facilitated. It’s curious to note that while the bulk of trade headed west, religious ideas primarily travelled east. Centuries of migrations and invasions, and a location at the crossroads of Asia have added to Central Asia’s ethnic diversity.

Central Asia’s high growing is dominated by the Pamirs, a range of rounded, 5000m to 7000m mountains known as the ‘Roof of the World’, which stretch 500km across Tajikistan. The Pamirs is probably the least explored mountain range on earth.”

The general route, from capitals to the villages in the forest to the mountains of the Pamirs

 

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!ncredible !ndia

Exams are coming up, and I suppose that’s some sort of a relief for me (hah! roles reversed!)
I still have to revisit my lovely Central Asia trip, but here’s some of my favourites from Amritsar while I’m sieving through my pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PADI Open Water Dive (7/8 May – Tioman, Malaysia)

I opened myself to a whole other world
ย 


A world without voices, a world without words
The first and the second and the third and the fourth feels different each time
With each one I grow a little more, I feel myself inch (just that little bit) closer towards the extension of my own potential

The first – I walked from the shore towards the calm waters, my heart skipping a beat every now and then
The drills were familiar, the shore dives were fine
We were in rather shallow waters, maybe 6 or 7m below
I have grown to place my trust in my BCD, and to remember to breathe

The Nexts, of Fan Canyon and R island

magical and quiet and hollow and loud and dark and bright and echoed and dream-like surreal surroundings – am I in a dream? Here, time slows down
Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine

Here, voices dissipate
What is it like in a world without words?


I could feel the stir of excitement as we chased after the turtle
I wanted to giggle aloud as I watched them get on the treadmill
Jeff points to the playground; I can hear us going ‘omg!’ as we fin, as we fin
Silent excitement stirring the waters
We could only communicate mainly through signs
Was this close to how to deaf feel, I thought of my sign language classes
Not quite so, since we still have the ‘ding ding!’ of the tanks
If I screamed, no one would be able to hear me
If I were to disappear, how long would it take for them to realize?
There was no sound, except for the sharp hollow inhalation, bubbles
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. We moved along with the bubbles

Sometimes I had no concept of space
Was I moving up, or was I moving down?
Without the rope I found it so hard to tell if I was descending
It was blue all around, and bubbles
My ears feel the pressure; I blow my nose as I grasped onto the rope tightly – were my eardrums going to explode?

It was about the 4th dive that I felt myself more relaxed, and truly looking around my surroundings
Observing the Nemos peeking from the corals
Ugh, what’s that brain-like thing?
ย 
(goosebumps)ย 

A school of fishes swim past me – I screamed in excitement silently as I frantically tried to take a video
I looked to my front: my right
They were shrouded in a veil of sediments, amplifying the mystic of the underwater world

A wave of warm current seeps in


We fin on, past the sea urchins, the waving anemonies, the unknown fish species, the turtle we chased to the surface
We fin on, on to our next chapter of possibilities

I love life-shaping weekends like this
How ordinary my weekend could have been, but how significant such days become


thank you for being my strength ๐Ÿ™‚








busy turtle-chasing
thanks for the memories ๐Ÿ™‚ first times will always be special
until next time, you unfamiliar waters ๐Ÿ™‚