So here we were.. All set for the Kashmir Trek where I started imagining all kinds of possible things. How am I gonna trek? Will I feel dizzy or panic when I start walking up in the mountains?
How is Kashmir? Will it give me the same feeling as how I feel when I gaze at the sea and sand?
Can I ever love the mountains as much as I love the sea?
Oh questions, questions and more.. How can you tame a restless ignorant human mind?
Setting expectations and limitations at the same time..
Imagining the future so much, and keeping the past baggage like a backpack on your shoulders and not ever focusing on the present..
When my friend suggested that since we are already in Kashmir, wouldn’t it be great to visit Ladakh right after the trek? I blankly said yes.
I had no clue about the place except that I faintly remembered a landslide that happened in the region some years ago. That’s all. My so called knowledge was only this incident about that place.
It’s funny how I associated that place with a calamity as if that was it’s sole identity.
I only told my friend,I have no agenda, no planning, no visiting this place and that place as I had no clue about it so please go ahead and plan what you want to plan, I am game for anything.
For a change, I liked this. I liked the fact that I was not going to plan on this trip. No scheduling days, no worrying about where to stay, nothing.
Being used to traveling alone and planning everything to the T all these years, it was refreshing to let go in this aspect.
Little did I realize that in this journey I would surrender and let go a lot more..
But just as the journey was nearing, life happens.. as usual..
The Kashmir situation worsened day by day and with the curfew still happening even after a month, I was really not sure about this trip anymore.
After a lot of banter, confusion, cross checking with the trek group who in spite of their assurances that they will handle it, we were not just feeling right and sometimes it’s best to listen to your instincts.
So out went Kashmir..Was I disappointed? I don’t know.
How do you know you missed something you never missed to begin with?
In the end we decided to make the whole 2 week trip, a Ladakh trip. When my friend suggested this, I asked one question, What are we going to do for TWO WHOLE WEEKS IN LADAKH?
I can still recollect his voice over the phone, Oh you have no idea about Ladakh, even two weeks are too less.
I said, OK done. We are off to Ladakh then..
So here I was, a reluctant backpacker,first time camper, first time trekker having no clue what this trip would mean and what it would offer..
I was setting myself to a pristine region that would push me, test me to bring out all that I had locked up deep inside me for years…