Sea, mountains or the plains.

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They say there are two kinds of people, sea people and mountain people. As I have not explored the sea-side much as compared to mountainous areas I am presumably a mountain person. Considering that I live in the plains, I should may be, be a plain person(unintended pun), but I have not come across the term, so I will stay with mounatin person.

When one thinks of areas close to seas one’s imagery is mostly gleaned from old classic tales of pirates, treasure hunters and explorers. One conjures up images of stormy seas, distant light-houses, rum drinking sailors, and distant ports with exotic names. Mountains on the other hand make one think of dark mists enveloping tall conifers, a lone cottage atop a hill reflecting a warm light, driving down a dark mountain road with the headlights of the car darting from trees to bushes to road, or a group of old friends reminising in front of a fire-place in an old colonial style cottage.

Plains might make you think of endless steppes of Central Asia, Mongol warlords of the medival era scurrying westwards to conquer Europe, or you might instead think of the bitter retreat in the same direction of Napolean’s armies from a cold Russia. Or you could imagine the various battles fought in the vast plains of Panipat in Northern India over the most coveted land in the world, India. Or from a more personal perspetive, the long, sapping summer of the Indo-Gangetic plains, followed by the liberating rains to be capped by a most balmy winter.

The goegraphy of a place to a large extent determines the nature of its inhabitants. The Goans for example are a fun loving people who have taken to the sun, the surf and the beaches in a way that makes them very happy and content. No wonder it is a land of music, feasting and carnivals. Mountanous people on the other hand are more cirumspect, insular and hardy as their lands are partly inaccessible and eking out a living has been tough historically. One will find that they make good soldiers and their music tends to be plaintive.

Plains are really the cruicibles of civilsation. All the great civilastions of the world have been in the plains beside might river systems. The Egyptians, the Indus valley civilsation, the Indo Gangetic plains and other major river systems have given the world the major religions, the finest art forms, cuisines, architecture and systems of education. Truly plans are where people have historically poured in from all the regions to trade, to study and to settle down and to contribute to the advancement of human civilisation.

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