Tirth said we could spend enough time in Chandrashila, at least until 8 am. The weather was perfect. So we could eat our packed lunches and generally be around. There were other people too besides our group. Not much of a crowd like before is what I heard from Pankajji. I was thinking there were too many people as it is, so imagine if this Wuhan virus situation was not there it would have been chaotic I guess.
After self reflection and silences was the smiles, the laughs, the camaraderie, the fact that we all did it, not just the summit but the entire journey and truth to be told, today would be the last day of trekking. I pushed those thoughts behind, it was not the time right now.
Riddhi was beaming ear to ear, and I must tell you, this girl has some energy, happily clicking away pictures of all of us. And definitely full credit to her for the pics I posted, I wouldn’t have that kind of patience and perseverance to do that! So take a look in this blog😊
There were quite a number of bhutiyas- mountain dogs on the summit, quiet shy and unassuming, they were subjected to hostility by some sub humans who called themselves humans, so they kept their distance and only came towards you when they felt they could trust you a bit. In the cold they curled up and slept or sat at a distance. There is a beautiful pic of Tarang with a bhutiya which you will see in this blog.
Tirth mentioned Rajesh had gone down to click pictures, he always had his equipment, from his go pro to a drone. That man had some energy at 60, unwavering. As he mentioned once, he was retired and now he was enjoying life.
‘The family’ were clicking away to glory and yup till the end didn’t interact with us, well we didn’t miss them either. But their coach Naveen decided to do headstands on the edge and they started panicking! Yup the show off was continuing but what would have happened if the Himalayas decides his fate at that moment? I am sure their fear more was OMG what will we say back home to his folks if anything happens to him because of his shenanigans?? 😁
There was lots of clicking going on. Even Jo volunteered to take some pics of us. Tirth was telling us, you will never get to see those pics, it’s been six months since I have been waiting for my pics! Tirth and Jo also had a moment with them posing and teasing each other. They tried at ‘candid poses’ looking into the horizon and pointing out, all in good fun and being sarcastic.
And finally it was the group picture of all us. Being here, doing it with the grace of the Himalayas. I remember all of us hugging each other into a tight circle and shouting HIP HIP HURRAY! three times, saying our cheers to the entire team of Indiahikes. Without them this would have not been possible.
I lied down a bit, and it was still very cold with the breeze cutting through the face. I opened the lunch box not at all hungry and shared it with one of the dogs. I had lost complete sense of time. That 1.30 am walking, nothing came into my mind, I was so present. If someone were to ask me, where are you I would have no answer. It felt like I was in another dimension that a human eye couldn’t experience with his/her five senses.
I wouldn’t want to put it to adrenalin or anything else because this was so much bigger. What we cannot comprehend, we must let it be. Because at that moment I felt like a speck of dust in this vast universe, and in our limited thinking, we thought there was only one, but really, there must be so many universes out there.
Bhim was delighted for his first view of Nanda Devi, for him this was his favourite. The goddess Nanda Devi peak in all her glory and he was elated.
Slowly, it was time to head down..Did we want to go? No. But it was time. We were blessed to get a good 2+ hours at the summit which doesn’t happen often. And Bhim said something that I didn’t realise before. He said, Dude this is the first time we have done a summit! And it was true. Rupin was a pass, a steep ‘gully’, Roopkund was a lake, so on and so forth in all the treks we did, but this was our first summit.
As we were slowly making our way out of the summit, Bhim and I bowed completely to the temple that greeted us when we first reached it. I was astonished it was Ganga Devi temple! No wonder I felt that energy so much from her.
My first glimpse of Ganga was in 2017 during my first Deorital trek and my friend Pankaj and I came to Rishikesh a few days before the trek. He took me to a quiet area near the banks of Ganga in the evening and as I saw her I felt a mother’s love. A mother as she is, she showed love, tenderness but also punished her children harshly. She could be benevolent to a raging fire within. That’s who she is.
The first time I saw Ganga ma, the pain inside me was coming out, I was in a very difficult phase during that time, childhood trauma haunting me for years, a complicated relationship with my mother all my life and it was so incomplete and abrupt when she passed away. There was so much angst inside me, I forgave her but I couldn’t reconcile to it myself. But when I saw Ganga ma she cleansed me, through her I felt the love of a mother, tenderness and softness and I remember whispering to her, No I will never feel I lacked the nurturing of a mother, you are with me now.
So when I saw the Ganga Devi temple it was a culmination of everything. My heart was light and happy. She is always with me, within me. ♥️
To be continued on Monday..