How do I begin this? Truly how?
When I set out for a trek in July, I had no idea what it entailed, neither the trail nor campsite nor anything except that I knew I wanted something challenging, something that would physically and mentally test me, and my undying love for the Himalayas that keeps me going again and again.
Pin Bhabha Pass – When I read these words now, it is completely something else to me, not just the mountains but the people I met along the way. 13 mates who were equally crazy and passionate about the mountains along with a zany poker faced and brilliant trek lead with a big heart and even bigger hearts in the entire kitchen and technical team. Pardon me if I am getting overwhelmed writing this because I still am, even now. It’s been 10 days since I finished that incredible journey, it feels like another lifetime and yet it feels like we have all known each other for years..
I need not say more about what the world went through last year and what is happening right now and humanity as a whole continues to surprise me, least when one expects it. Kindness when we need it most, compassion when it shows itself in the most gentle way, and I experienced it all on this journey.
They say, Mountains show it all, they strip our masks, our facade, our decades old conditioning and lay it bare. They say, ‘Here you are, a soul with no shiny glossed out splendour, you are raw and open, now what can you do about it? I faced every emotion possible in this trek, some I expressed, most of it in my heart it lies, packed like a soft precious bundle, protected. And every day, every hour I saw what can happen when people come together with only one purpose- to get lost within, to lose every sense of control, to be joyful, to be emotional, to laugh, to cry, to be there, just there.
And as Akshay our trek lead and team mate quoted George Mallory’s retort to a question, “Why did you want to climb Mount Everest?” He simply said, “Because it’s there”. And believe me folks, that one line guided us all as we went through the trek, hanging above us like a silver lining. Carrying years of struggles within us, our hopes and trials, and knowing there was always someone next to us lending a helping hand.
So for the first time since I started blogging all my Himalayan treks, I can say this is also the first time I experienced what I did in this one. It is like a Halley’s comet, rare, if you are lucky enough you might get to experience it once a lifetime, and I did and I sure hope all of you who are reading this will get to experience it once.
A journey that started from Chandigarh, Shimla to Kafnu ended in Manali with all our lives changing quite a bit with our perceptions and I experienced what can happen when the human spirit rises above everything you have been taught and conditioned to.
To be continued tomorrow.. For sure! Keep reading 😊
Stay light, stay happy!