|Phobjikha valley in Wangdue|
The resplendent beauty of the majestic mountain, however, paled in comparison to the surreal magnificence of the Phobjikha valley. At the height of spring, the valley was still grey. The vast grey expanse stretched as far as eyes could see. The small stream that meandered its way through the valley sparkled in the morning sun. Grazing cattle dotted its marshy banks. From the far end of the valley, a lone crane called out loud and clear before it took wing. No cow lowed. No herders bothered them. All was quiet and peaceful until some wood cutters started their work on the fringes of the valley. They sent the blaring sound of power chain saw across the peaceful valley. It went on for hours on end harshly drowning the sounds of chirping little birds that continuously fluttered across the valley floor.
The lone crane sent out another ringing call and flew over to a different spot. By and by, the monks of Gangtey Goenpa came strolling across the length of the valley and waded their way through the marshy area. They tripped across by a small pond. A gentle breeze rippled the surface of the pond, and on the gleaming surface floated a plastic Pepsi bottle. Nearby, there lay a few feathers of the black-necked crane and near it some more bottles. The modern junk food garbage had found its way even to the heart of the vast valley. Waste can soon be a problem in that idyllic valley like in other parts of the country.
At one corner of the valley, a Hummer SUV made its way away from a tent. Near the tent, a plume of smoke curled up into the still air. A tipper truck laden with logs groaned its way after the SUV. A group of young monks, who were trying to put one another down in a game of shot put, clambered onto the truck as it stopped briefly. They precariously, but happily, perched themselves on the logs as the truck wobbled into movement.
Towards the late afternoon, the sky was overcast and it drizzled. The sound of power chain saw stopped. The farmhouses sent up grey plumes of smoke as they burnt aromatic leaves to sanctify the air.