TIME IS THE ONLY socialist now left dividing itself equally. This socialist is the main constraint in producing the Himalayan Journal every year. To cope with its idiom of equality for all, members of the HJ team have to perform a perestroika of their life; with work, family, hobbies, climbing and HJ.
But, as always, it is a worthwhile effort. The great climb of Lhotse by Tomo Cesen, ascent of Bhagirathi HI west face, traverse on skis across the great Karakoram glaciers, attempt on Masherbrums, defeat on Nilkanth south face, following Dr J.B. Auden's routes to Mana gad and climbing Swargarohini are some of the inclusions here which are timeless records. Of the articles received in various shapes and sizes, some were 'Horrible, but Honourable' as you put them to shape. But you cannot change a word from the 'Chaos' created by Saunders (they don't give Boardman-Tasker prize for nothing!). But many, specially, the Indian articles, were so long that after the 'amputations' M.H. Contractor was moved to write an epitaph, or the plea of a harassed editor:
SPARE US THE BULK
Adjectives and superlatives galore
Their numbers grow even more
O! What a bore.
There's no need to be cute
About the much-trampled route
That was trodden by many a boot;
Keep it short,
or face the editorial brute.
To reduce this varied bulk for posterity luckily we have a team. Some old hands like Shailesh Mahadevia (looking after the all important business matters) and Arun Samant (whose sketch-maps are an integral part of the HJ) continue, while new help is created as the time (or the lack of it) takes its toll. Above all there is M.H. Contractor, a confidant without whom it would be difficult to venture into this realm of timeless words. My thanks to all of them.