The Abominable Snowman- MYTH or REALITY

The Himalayan range of mountains in lower central Asia and bordering the northern region of India is a vast expanse of high mountain peaks, covered with ice and snow. A vast area of the region is inaccessible to humans. The daunting peaks and biting cold have deterred many a human to fully explore the region. Only a very few hardy mountaineers and resilient trekkers have explored a small part of the terrain and that too, the areas already known to the civilized world. As a result a vast majority of the region still remains unknown to the world. This has given reasons for the origin of many stories and myths of the region. These stories have been a part of the local mountain folklore for centuries. One such story that had got the fascination of the media and humans is the story of the abominable snowman or the Yeti as the locals call it.

The Yeti or the abominable snowman has fascinated the world for more than two centuries. Ever since the first reports of so called sightings of the yeti were reported, the whole world has followed the story with great interest. The Yeti first came in to the news when a British historian called James prinsep in his book Asiatic society of Bengal quoted one of his trekkers who had apparently seen an eight foot hairy creature with a rather long foot ,which he concluded was a big ape and nothing else.. After this came a spate of successive stories about the mysterious creature that was then called by many names like metoh and kansing etc. The early twentieth century gave rise to a sudden barrage of information or misinformation about the Yeti. The turn of the 20th century saw the coming in to existence of the motion picture industry. The industry needed sensational and fantastical stories to feed the public. The Yeti became part of the script line of many a movie. Now the fascination of the general public grew by leaps and bounds fuelling many expeditions funded by rich individuals to spot and perhaps capture the yeti. From a modest eight footer the Yeti now grew to heights of more than a hundred feet in the public’s imagination. However none of the expeditions for this purpose returned with any direct proof of the Yeti. There is still no authentic photograph taken of this elusive creature, who is apparently very camera shy and runs away from the presence of any humans. There are however a few distorted pictures taken of the foot prints of the creature which has not been proved scientifically to be that of any creature other than the ones already known to mankind. The few eyewitness accounts do not pass muster as they do not originate from trustworthy sources and could be passed off as a drunken man’s imagination or the hallucinations caused by the lack of oxygen in the high ranges.

The scientific community is equally baffled and is yet to prove the existence or the nonexistence of the creature. For all the hullabaloo of this mystery ape or human or snowman, the yeti could turn out to be a descendant of some ape like creature, who is very wary and shy of the world he does not know about or some Hindu ascetic who retired into the snowy wilderness very long ago, for some solitude and peaceful meditation and just grew his beard for want of a barber in the vicinity, one will never know. All said and done, our dear Mr. Yeti must be living in his snowy home in perfect bliss, unaware of all the commotion and confusion he has caused and totally ignorant of the millions he can make of his celebrity status. If indeed he does exist then he has every right to live his life the way he has lived so far. A life shrouded in mystery, peace and harmony with nature. A life that can only be a myth for some or very real for the some who are more evolved in the higher sense of being and existence.

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