After leaving from Saga city of Tibet Autonomous Region for a while, I saw the beautiful sky and the yak herds along the way that seduced us to suddenly stop the car to capture the atmosphere without a second thought.
The Tibet iconic road which connects each rural city didn’t cooperate with us much. It doesn’t have the shoulder. Then, our priority concern was always a safety. So we had to find a wide enough space for parking on the roadside to unload our filming equipment but, again, it wasn’t easy to find a nice spot.
The eagerness to capture those sceneries won over my physical fatigue. I decided to leave my team behind and went out alone. I walked slowly to make sure I had enough oxygen to fill my lung. Until reaching the edge of the road, it was much higher than the pasture. So, I had to climb down there carefully.
The area is surrounded by barbed wires as a declaration of someone territory that gave us a clue for not trespassing in. Instead, we used the camera angle to film the mountain and the yak herds in the same frame without stepping in an area that we weren’t allowed to.
While we were preparing cameras, I felt someone approaching from behind. It was a strange Tibetan woman in worn clothing, aged around 40. She stared at us at close range that’s enough to give me an uncertain feeling. What was her intention by the way? Good or bad? We didn’t know.
I said a word to her to sound her out. Hello?
She replied back with a language that I didn’t know. So how could we communicate when we speak in completely different language? Suddenly, she leaned over the camera’s viewfinder while our cameraman was taking pictures. That seemed to make her understand that we came here to just take pictures.
That was an improved sign, of course! We were on the same page now.
The communication without any word had begun.
I tried to ask her where her land is by pointing to the land we were standing and the next land plot. She nodded.
Then I pointed to the further plot. She shook her head. She must be the owner of these two plots. At least she seems to be friendly enough. I tried again to ask her where she lives by pointing at her, doing the sleeping gesture, and then point to the far away land. She shook her head and pointed to the other side instead. Her face was still covered with a smile. That’s the time I decided to bring out my phone and touched her arm to do some selfies together.
Here it is! The body language can speak hundreds of words.
After I finished our selfies, she brought her old phone with the black and white screen out from her pocket and tried to take a picture from her phone but it didn’t work out. I still tried to find a way to communicate with this stranger by pointing at myself and told her my name. Then I pointed at her, hoping to get to know each other’s name. This time I didn’t receive any response from her except a smile.
At that moment she suddenly grabbed my wrist and took me out from my team. While we were walking across the road, I could feel her gentle warmth from her rough hand. I slowly climbed down from the roadside to the field with her help and care. We couldn’t go fast because the oxygen level was quite low for me. She led me to the barbed wire, through tall grass, and over uneven stones, until we reached a fence that appeared to be a route. She dug under the fence and put her hand on the barbed wire not to touch me. In spite of uncertain doubts about where were we going, I still kept following her steps along the way.
The further we went, the more distance I was away from my team. The idea popped up in my mind. What if she lured me into some dangers? How could someone possibly save me? Simultaneously, another thought came up in my mind.
Believe in your feeling, you will be alright.
Two strangers were walking hand in hand in the midst of the brown meadow. Sometimes, I felt that I stepped on wet ground that we might stumble upon protruding rocks.
It felt like forever until we came close to the yak herd munching grass. Finally, I saw a gigantic black fur creature with shiny horns that represented an Alpha traits of the living being.
There it was! I thought this might be what she really wanted to show me. But when I tried to stop she still handed me passing by the yak.
Then, she released my hand and rushed to a tiny yak with fluffy white fur just like a cloud. Her eyes shined brighter than I have ever seen. She beckoned me to see it closely and pointed to my phone.
I took a picture of her with the little yak. Then, she pulled me closer and pointed to my sunglasses. It seemed like she wanted me to take it off before we took a shot together.
After all, since we got to know each other I had been always wearing sunglasses and she couldn’t see how wonderful feeling I had through my eyes.
I had never thought about friendship could happen without a single word.
A journey from Nunthiwart Samosorn Producer of Tipitaka