The Desert is a great leveler


Buffalo Carcass

The Desert provides. The Desert consumes. And you do not get to decide this. The Desert decides.

I photographed this Buffalo carcass on my 4th day of my trek across The Thar Desert, Jaisalmer, India with the Youth Hostel Association of India [YHAI] back in December 2014.

I had set to cross the entire Thar Desert on foot. The 40km trek was divided between 5 camps. Our Base camp was at the Border Home Guards. Low flying aircrafts and Indian Army personnel were a common scene here. It was an honour to share space with the Indian Army.

As is custom, I looked up the Thar Desert on Google before my trip to gather some more information useful for my trek. I stumbled upon many images of the sand-dunes with the camel in the foreground and the sun setting at the backdrop. Those pictures looked magnificent. I was inspired.
I started the trek from the Base camp towards the 2nd camp at Kharara. On day 3, I reached Sam sand-dunes camp and upon reaching there I proceeded towards the sand-dunes with the photography gear which was a couple of meters from the camp. I wanted a similar picture that I had seen on the internet. It was time. The Sun began to set. I stayed alert as a Sniper waiting for the perfect moment to get my perfect shot. Alas! The Sun set was hazy and there came no camels in the foreground to form that perfect silhouette that I was longing for. Disappointed, I dragged myself back to the camp.

On Day 4, I left the Sam sand-dunes camp to go to the further camp at Sudasari sand-dunes. It was a 15km long walk in the Desert. To be honest, it got boring at times as I could not spot a single living soul as far as I could see. Of course, there were Goats but then Goats aren't interesting. As I walked, I saw something lying on the ground. On reaching a bit closer, I realized that it was something motionless. It was a Carcass. A buffalo carcass. My heart sank. I wondered what must have happened. If the Dead could narrate stories, they would be the best-sellers.

Isn't it amazing that you don't get to see what you actually wished for, you don't get to see the view that you longed for from the day the trip commenced and instead you stumble upon something like this which changes the way you think and makes you grateful even for a glass of water that someone had once offered and a pound of food that you last ate. It makes you realize that Life is more than mere temptations and luxuries. Something like this reminds you to be humble and be content with whatever that you have.

In my bag-pack, I had a book "“ 'Highway on my Plate' which I had bought to guide myself through roadside eating in Rajasthan. I took one look at the book and another at the carcass and left the book beside the carcass admiring the irony that I just witnessed. I thanked the Almighty under my breath and marched forward.

Written by: Sushant Kanchan

Son. Brother. Friend. IT Engineer. Fitness enthusiast. Software Tester. Photography enthusiast. Dog lover. Sushant is 29 years old and was born and brought up in Bombay, India. He currently is working as a Team Lead – Software Tester with J.P Morgan Chase & Co.

Photo Credits:

Header: Wikimedia Commons
Buffalo Carcass: Sushant Kanchan

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