Recently on my way to Rawalpindi via Lahore the sky above the Salt Range
Potwar/Potohar Plateau, captivated me. The plateau lives between the Indus and Jhelum rivers with the Salt Range on the south and Hazāra hills on the north. My relationship with those skies is maybe intuitive and emotional as I am from the plateau – but this time the clouds made me follow them for the longest of times – The reason was their sublime and eeri resemblance to clouds and skies I’d seen last year in a land in the other end of the world. When I reached Albuquerque, New Mexico last year in June, the first pictures in my phone were of the sky – like Potohar the clouds were in play – it was a musical chairs of sorts . Evolving – ever changing on loops of rythem – these sky-ponds drew new lines and created master pieces. In the recent encounter through Potohar there was a moment, when I kept looking at them till a point where I felt that I’d seen every color ever made in the cosmos. White : the existence of every color – light : the end of the beginning, the retina and the heart – it all made sense.
Potohar’s elevation varies from 1000 – 2000 feet and the Albuquerque landscape is set in a valley in the Chihuahuan Desert with the Sandia mountains on the north and the Manzano mountains on the east. The Rio Grande slits the valley on the western end with a lava field and dormant valcanos also on the west while the Tijeras Canyon opens up to a grand plateu on the east. With rivers bisecting both the geographies Google roughly tells me that they are 12,542 km
away from each other but the sky has a different story. I kept thinking of Okeeffe’s painting of the Albuquerque sky :
When I looked up here :
In the potohar sky.
Here is the sky I saw the first day in Albuquerque
Rivers that run across these skies
Across cosmic geographies, this dialect of clouds is Art…