Introduction

This chapter tells us about the Bactrian camels found in Ladakh. A young girl called Sama gets to know about these camels and meets Moosa Ali, a boy who has a camel calf with him. He tells her about Bactrian camels and how special they are.

Characters

Sama– a young girl whose father, a doctor, was transferred from Srinagar to Nubra valley in Ladakh

Dixit Dolma– the person at whose house Sama and her father were staying as paying guests

Moosa Ali– a boy with a camel calf

Sama’s Conversation with Dolma

Sama’s father, a doctor, was transferred from Srinagar to Nubra valley in Ladakh. He asked his daughter to spend her summer vacation with him in Nubra. Both the father and the daughter stayed as paying guests at Dixit Dolma’s house. Sama and Dolma became friends. So, Sama asked Dolma to tell her something about Nubra.

Dolma asked her if she knew that Ladakh is a desert. Sama was surprised. Dolma said it is known as a cold desert. Sama said she was thrilled to know that she was enjoying the magnificence of one of the most beautiful cold deserts of the world. Dolma said that one more speciality is the camel in Ladakh. She added that she would arrange a meeting with Moosa Ali on Sunday.

Sama was very curious to know who this Moosa Ali was. On a bright Sunday morning, after enjoying gur gur tea and Mukh Mukh, Sama and Dolma left for Moosa Ali’s home.

Sama Meets Moosa Ali

Sama was surprised to see the camel calf with a boy. Dixit Dolma said the boy was Moosa Ali. After exchanging greetings, Dolma asked Moosa Ali to tell them something about the Bactrian Camel. Moosa Ali asked them to come with him and his camel calf to his village, Diskit, where a group of wild Bactrians was present.

Sama said it was great to see the camel calf clinging to Moosa Ali. Moosa Ali said he had tried to find the camel calf’s mother many times, so that the camel could join its herd, out moral duty. Dolma said it was very happy with him and treated him like its mother.

Moosa Ali said that these days one rarely found harmony between man and animal. It seemed that the two could not co-exist. Trespassing into the animal world deprived the animals of their habitat. 

He said that the population of the Bactrian Camel was also declining currently. It is found only in Mangolia, China and Ladakh (Nubra) and the number of wild Bactrian Camel was a few thousand worldwide. However, the good thing in Nubra was that they were increasing in number because of the man-animal relationship. It was a symbiotic relationship – a hope for the wild Bactrian Camel to survive and grow in number when it had otherwise almost reached the brink of extinction.

Dolma said Moosa had tried to reunite the camel calf with its herd but could not find its mother. So, it would stay with him. Moosa Ali replied that yes, the camel calf was his companion and the two of them would face the hard times ahead of them together.

Conclusion

Ladakh is a unique place, a cold desert which even has camels. The camels found here, Bactrian camels, are endangered. However, their number is slowly increasing because of the great relationship men and animals have in Kubra. This shows us the importance of men bonding with animals, just as Moosa Ali does with his camel calf. There must be harmony between man and animal to make the world a better place.