Our car was nearing Khab, a small village at the point where the Spiti river meets the mighty Sutlej river, while on our way back from a long visit to the Spiti valley. We were driving through some of most treacherous roads in India in my Alto (a small 800cc car). I was on the driving seat, concentrating on the road, which wound along a narrow gorge far above the Spiti river.
Suddenly a Chukar (Alectoris chukar) ran down the hillside, crossed the road and paused at the edge. The car was slow and I managed to stop it without startling the bird. Although we were quite close, the Chukar stood very still and looked back at us enquiringly. I bought my camera up very carefully and managed to take a photograph before it jumped off the edge of the road and glided down to some rocks far below us.
I have seen Chukars many times but this sighting was very special. Even today I can see it in my mind’s eye, standing at the edge of the road and looking back at me.
This painting is an attempt to capture that image and share it.
The Solitary Chukar – a painting
Acrylic on Canvas 15″ x 18″
Closeups of some details of this painting.