Still fresh from the beautiful sunrise we saw we made our way through the never ending expanse of the Bugyal. Colours of browns, greens were filtering the bugyal in the most beautiful way. This was more than a Bugyal.. This was something else.. Like a no man’s land untouched, untethered, wild and free, so free from the muck humans had created elsewhere..
The air was cold, crispy and a certain pull towards it, it was beckoning us to explore further, to go deeper into its realms and feel it all inside you.
We kept trekking wide ascents to feeling so tiny to what had surrounded us. Yes people were talking, babbling, laughing and what I truly wanted to tell all of them was, this is exactly the moment for you to be in total silence, to totally grasp the moment you were in, this was a homage to everything God has painted including us as a true artist… But yes everybody has their own way of enjoying it, and maybe someday a few of them will fully understand what it means to be still, within the self and to be silent… We hear and talk so much back in our real lives, it was time to stop clicking and start experiencing being there.
We reached a point where the mountains and clouds seemed like it was one with blue and grey hues and what a feeling it was, I had tears in my eyes, and not wanting to show it in front of everyone I made myself scarce by walking ahead, I was not completely in the front nor in the middle, I was at a space that was completely my own, and that’s a beautiful feeling.
As dawn came alive it is then we saw how magnificent the bugyal was, endless, eternity, infinity, that’s how it was.. We were going to be further up and further away and then the moment came, to ascend and walk on the longest ever trail with bugyal on either side. The sun had come up and the meadow’s ever changing colours were showing up in full bloom… WOW! JUST WOW!
Behind us was the mountains with its blues and greys hanging a pale shade and where we were, was a complete contrast with bright bugyal shades and colours! What was this magic?
Khush was excited and talking all around making sure the group was ok. He told Pradeepbhai that Darshan and Manisha should walk ahead for a change and I walked with Darshan for sometime. I asked him, so is it worth it? He had no words, he was in physical pain, limping and clicking at what he was seeing in front of him. As he put it in his own words, so far the previous days were like a bent up ‘Maruti car experience’ and he was searching for ‘ An Audi or Mercedes experience’ 😊
He just kept nodding and trudging on. He didn’t give much credit to himself but that day and the next day I saw that he had a lot of inner strength in him. He might have seemed like a pragmatist and the whole group only got to see his funny, jokes and accents side, the funny man with remarks that you laughed at. But what I saw was a strong guy, who faced a lot in life and took everything in his stride. For all his views, he was not someone who gave up on anything. Even if it meant leaving it all, a home, a city, a country and start life all over again, he would do it.
We were walking on the ridge, the longest walk ever surrounded by magnificence on either side and after some time I went ahead with Atulbhai who was in the front this time with Manisha, Abhishek and Devraj. Manisha spoke about the stray pup they had adopted, her love for dogs, Udaipur and her work life. Abhishek as usual was in his element regaling us with his stories.
We crossed ascents, streams, rough terrain under sunshine and at the same time we could see the clouds enveloping the entire terrain on one side. It was sheer magic.
Devraj finally came onto his own, there was a transformation in the past few days. From wanting to being in the front and racing he was truly taking his time, to be still, to be quiet, to pause and enjoy every moment of it. This sensitive kind boy was becoming a man, I don’t know how to describe this but after talking to him very closely I could see the stuff inside him. It is not easy facing what he faced at a very young age, what he experienced all these years.. I can’t say more except that Devraj was not the same guy he was when he started the trek, he came into his own in every way, to stand up for himself without losing the kindness he carried with him.
After the ascent, came the descent walking through wet grass and slushy mud lands and just like that suddenly again.. an even wider expanse opened up! What was this magic? As I looked back I saw the fog, the mist covering the terrain as the others were coming. It was such a moment to relish and experience it.
Once the whole group came, out came the cameras, the phones went click click click with laughter and chat. I took a few pics but truly I didn’t want to click any with people in it or myself in it. The naked eye can experience so much than a pic. Then Ram said, I don’t see you clicking pics like me, smiling I said why do we need to? Look around, our eyes are enough. It was a moment. To know that there was someone out there who thought like me. And let me tell you that the climb and excruciating trek to the summit top or the highest point of the bugyal with Ram was one of my most memorable highlights of the trek. More on that later..
Khush mentioned that there was a private group that was trekking Brahmatal, Har Ki Dun, a couple of other treks, Gidara bugyal and all the way back to Bhangeli base camp in one go! Wow!! Their stuff like baggage and food materials was neatly kept aside under a rock. It made sense because who would steal them really?
We had to make our way ahead, way ahead and then Atulbhai pointed us to a mountain top that seemed so enigmatic, intimidating and impossible saying we are going that side! It meant we were going beyond that! These past hours itself seemed timeless and we had been trekking non stop in the expansive bugyal.. There was more to come..
To be continued.. Meanwhile take a deep breath and enjoy the pics my trekmates clicked, it will make you gasp I assure you ❤️