Three stones came home with me. The largest is from Kailash - perhaps the same kind of stone, though I picked it up on the final day of the k, when you no longer see the mount. The others picked me up. The smooth round stone comes from the shore of Manasarovar, not right by the water. Others in our group were bathing in the lake so sacred to Hindus, reaching down to pick up a stone as they did so, like believers.
I thought it would be frivolous for me to take part, so I sat at some remove from the shore (and from the others). There this little rock found its way into my hand. And the jagged brown one smiled up at me as I was waiting, not without trepidation, for the helicopter at Hilsa, the barren border town where the rolling horizontality of the Tibetan Plateau meets the sublime but forbidding verticality of the Himalaya.