The Final huddle and to Rishikesh – Part A

That afternoon we arrived at the guest house at Tapovan, the journey was done, the trek was done and with it comes a bittersweet feeling.

It just about started drizzling as we rushed to unload our backpacks into the guest house. Rooms were assigned and we three gals got a luxury room with a wonderful view until some water connection burst out in our bathroom and started flooding the room! We rushed to pick our backpacks and moved into Shiva & Mahesh’s room who assured us they didn’t touch or mess up anything there and it was as good as new. 😊

Priyanka, Chandra and I had hilarious moments as we went into a laughter riot post that. The owner of the guest was pissed drunk and as our room got flooded, Nishant rushed in and said no matter what just don’t interact with this guy, he is super drunk. But what happened left us rolling with laughter!

So this guy walked in trying to talk to us and we were mum except our Chandra who innocently replied saying I don’t know Hindi. That was enough for this guy! He was perplexed as how come she didn’t know Hindi and asked her as to where is she from? And our Chandra can’t keep quiet can she? 😊She again replied, from South! So much for not talking anything. And poor Chandra got a fan and admirer then and there! Priyanka and I kept laughing throughout our lunch session because wherever Chandra was going, the man with stars in his eyes and a big smile kept following her just hoping she would give one glimpse, and was he disappointed when Chandra didn’t even acknowledge his existence 😂

How much I teased her for this along with Priyanka commenting full on, Chandra sportingly took in all our jokes and the moment she would see him, say YUCK! with a grimace! When we had our debriefing session, this man actually butted in with some random Hindi shayari( poem) which am sure was trying to impress our gal, but it flew over her, forget Hindi ‘poems’, Chandra said what the hell was he ranting about in Hindi anyways?? 😂

The session was heart rending and it was the final one and as Nishant put it, the last time ever where the 18 of us including our amazing guides would be like this together in this life. It is so damn true isn’t it? We would go our separate ways and in the end we knew we would not be in touch with everybody all the time.

Everyone spoke their heart out and for me the most special was when Nishant said that he missed his mother.. He cried at Pangarchulla peak thinking of his mother whom he had not spoken to for 12 long years and now that he thought of it, it was over such a trivial matter, was it worth it? Family is important and when I say family, it’s not just blood related, the family that you create and make along in your journey of life. That was my biggest takeaway from the trek, to never take family for granted.

In all my treks I have seen, there will be one or two that you will connect/ stay in touch for life, it might sound too blunt as I write this but it is, atleast it is for me. In every trek I went to, I formed a bond with a couple of them that I knew would stay put, always.

My best buddy Bhim whom I met in Deorital Chandrashila trek almost 6 years ago now is family to me. Ditto with every trek I did, just that one or two which goes beyond just being trek mates/ Instagram posts or random things shared on that WhatsApp group. After sometime what happens is total silence in the group and you know it’s time to move on.

I could meet Krupa again at the guest house, and we had good time to catch up on our respective lives over dinner. She gave me a head start about the Warwan valley trek I was about to do in August. She told me it’s all about resilience and will power for that trek , how does one ‘prepare’ for that truly? It’s in you or not, and when it matters most, you either do it or not, it’s all circumstantial isn’t it?

The next morning we started off real early at 5 am to get to Rishikesh. It was the same tempo with the same driver Neerajbhai. Over songs, conversations, and silence we made our way to Rishikesh. I share a picture below that I clicked as we waited for our breakfast. That moment for me was sitting with my family. For that moment, that hour, it felt home, with family.

I recall so many funny moments during breakfast. Super hungry crowd waiting for Parathas and horrible chais swith John, Aussie boy’s comments on it!

Nishant got down en route, he had to get to Lohajung and lead another team, another trek and as he said goodbye I saw his face, very emotional and shrugging his head, it was done, another team bond for those 7 days and life defining moments at Pangarchulla that made us into one entity as a whole. And it was all over now.

We don’t realise in this process what our Trek leaders go through every week, to get attached and then gone before another one comes. It’s emotionally overwhelming and also taxing on their hearts.. Because they are not in this here for ‘money’ or a career, they are a different breed that left the comforts of mainstream life and stay here in the mountains for months. Frazzled relationships, emotionally very sensitive, and it will take a big toll on them.

I tell this because I have seen Krupa and what she told me she goes through every time. It is a lonely life up there with people around you, constantly changing, new faces, bonds and then forced detachment. I remember my TL from Rupin Pass trek, Himanshu Thapa whom I call Zen Master who quietly detached himself the last two days to get a grip on his emotions because that’s the only way he could move forward. ❤️

Pritish had said his goodbyes to us at the guest house as he would move onto something else, A sensitive 23 year old with an old soul, that’s how I would describe him and yes may his kind of tribe increase!

Our Baba too said goodbye to us as he would travel where the wind blows and camp for another week. His wife was joining him.

We were finally in Rishikesh, back to noise, back to the sea of ‘humanity’ back to everything we were away from the past one week.



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