THE MAN OF CHITRAL
Written and translated By Joaquín Albaicín, Spain
Joaquín Albaicín is a Kalo (Romani) writer born and settled in Spain.
This article was published by the Spanish leading Daily ABC: 29 Aug 2002
to the assertions repeatedly printed in the last days by the Spanish media,
barmanu -name given in the region to the elusive creature pursued by Magraner-
does not properly mean "hairy man", but "big man"
in the sense of "strong" (bârâ manûsha in
Sanskrit, baro manush in Rajasthani and Romani...).
As legend has it, to see a yeti carries bad luck, unless the sighter is a highly spiritually developed person. Such was the view of Hillary's brother in trouble during the rise to Chomolungma. Tenzing Norgay's nephew suffered by this reason seven years of bad luck. This belief makes unavoidably to look at the Western superstition that ascribes an equal period of misfortune to those who break a mirror.
Perhaps to meet a barmanu is in some way equivalent to reflect oneself on the surface of a mirror, implying a face to face meeting with an aspect of one's inner reality for which not everybody is ready. Here it has to be reminded the story heard by Chatwin from a man who had hunted a yoshil in Patagonia: the man who had killed it realized, horrified, that the creature owned the very same facial features of his brother, deceased some days before.
It is told that Jordi Magraner never reach his goal to see one of those anthropoids, forest spirits, lost links or troglodytes whose traces he searched for. He just heard twice their howls in the denseness. Maybe, in order to express a conclusive ruling on the nature of these Himalayan shadows, the expeditions should include a musicologist, a Marius Schneider able to decipher the quality of their moan, to put together cryptozoology and musicology.
The lamas from Rongbuk, the last monastery where the mountaineers took their rest before undertaking the assault to Everest, after Mao's Red Guards demolished it, painted on one of its walls a fresco representing Irving and Mallory falling from the peak, lanced by the spirit guardians of the summit.
somebody will soon compose a romance thanks to which Jordi Magraner´s
name will permeate from now on in the musical memory of the mountains
he loved so much.
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