Tag Archives: himalayas

delhi times

I left something in the hills.

This was during the recent trek in the Himalayas. I left something in the hills there. A little joy, a little love, and came back with a promise to return.
May be when I go back next time, I’ll get some of the weather back. Delhi needs it. and I emphasize, Delhi needs it.

I came back here four days back and although its supposed to be monsoon, I have not even seen a drop of water fall from the sky. Not even a bird has pissed down. Who ever in the first place decided that Delhi was a habitable place when they first started settling man. WHO?!! Its terribly hot and humid here and lately, the irritation level has been so high that getting any closer than 2 cms to even your  best friend can result in a sparta like reaction. You know like this-

“Yea we are fucking meeting after more than 2 months but don’t fucking hug me! and if you step any closer, I’ll shower you with my sweat! It’ll be sparta forevuuur!”

Yougaiz, I hope, are in a better place. Is it raining where you are? Sweet blessed warm showers like Bombay? I am longing for the smell of wet earth.  By the way, did you know that there was a word for that lovely smell- its called petrichor.

 

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Don't want to talk about it, Journeys and travels, Why?

My Himalayan Story 2012

I was in the Himalayas this summer. Trekking upto almost 13000 feet, we crossed the Saurkundi pass in the Kullu valley through an expedition organised by the Youth Hostel Association of India. From reporting at the base camp to touching the base camp again after the trek it was 11 days in all.  As we climbed and went to each campsite, nature in all its splendour was revealed to us.

The thing about the Himalayas is that never ceases to amaze you. I have been to the Himalayas before while trekking on another valley, and yet, this time again , I was moved beyond words to see snow-peaked mountains. It’s incredible to see these shimmering white all around, except perhaps a few mountains far across that have black clouds hovering above and are shrouded in fog, and you know that it’s snowing there. The fresh sweet water, the wind whispering tales of where its been, green blades of grass uncrumpled, the kiss of the first few snow drops –  everything resides within me.

The wind is young, the wind is alive.

This time, we were the 15th group to leave from the Saurkundi base-camp at Babeli and were hence called SK15. Quite funnily, my younger brother was chosen the group leader and after two days of acclimatization, we set out for the top.  I have been on such treks before, but what was extraordinary was that 25 deaf-and-dumb students from a school in Bhavnagar(Gujarat) were trekking with us along with their teachers for guidance. Spending many days with them, they taught us not just the sign-language, but many more lessons. They were always so excited to learn and really see what was around them. They accepted their handicap as a part of something god-given and never were they upset about it. I remember, once I was talking to one of them in sign language and telling him that I love to dance. I asked him what he liked, drawing?singing? To that, he indicated, ‘yes, singin. But I can’t really sing because I have no voice.’ Thats when I realized. I had become so engrossed in conversing that I had forgotten his disability. A glass shattered within me as I realized that even our hobbies have so much to do with our senses which we so often take so much for granted. They could not hear music. I was distressed. I apologized to him and he just replied saying that god had made him that way. I also realized that its stupid that I was surprised at these children being able to trek. Ofcourse they could. They had their limbs, but more than that, they had the will. It was me who was disabled in the mind, to think that this was a great challenge for them. They had conquered much more, a long time back.

I suppose some disabilities are apparent, and others are not. In some way, we all are disabled. Or “differently-abled”, as its called in the parlance of our times.

Wes once told me something very remarkable. He pointed out how they laughed so uninhibited and with so much truth, when infact, they couldn’t even hear themselves or each other. Its been more than a month since this, and I haven’t gotten over what he said.

Well, getting back to the trek. We lived in tents at each camp and got simple yet nourishing food that will give us the stamina and strength to climb. It’s always fun at these treks. There are so many different people around, there is time to socialize and yet be alone and contemplate. Everything from politics to stupid toilet habits are discussed, and a new intimacy is found. This is a comfortable one, where there is not much hope of meeting again, though there are promises. This is an intimacy , that you think might soon fizzle out with distance,and so there is also an uninhibited-ness about the bonds formed. I met a lot of fabulous people here. Aparna, Minhaj and Wes, being the closest. Ofcourse, I found out once again, that my brother is a superb guy. At one of the lunch stops, a guy came along with the local attire and jewellery that women in the Kullu valley wear. He rented it to me for Rs 20 while I clicked pictures with it on. I even held a kid (baby goat) while I posed and learnt some steps from the local folk dance from him. 🙂

In one of the camps, Dora Thatch, I witnessed a sight we only see in paintings. Up away a little above, the hill we were on was silhouetted against a deep navy blue sky. In it, was a single large planet, the shining Venus. I had never seen her so large. On the hill, we saw silhouettes of ponies grazing and bounding around.  I saw this, and such beautiful sights that I don’t have the right words to describe.

I hope my brain and my memory, can forever recollect these sights and images and people in the exact shape and shade. I don’t want to forget the details. I don’t want to forget the water’s taste. Most of all, I don’t want to forget that freedom. I don’t want to lose it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Journeys and travels, La vie, Love and all, My favourite people, Stuff I like, Thoughts/ Ideas, World

Shangri-la

Shangri-la is an  imaginary remote paradise on earth.A remote and secluded hideaway of great beauty and peacefulness. Correction : Its not imaginary.

I was just there.

A bunch of my friends and I went for a trek to the Himalayas along with a trekking group.We scaled Sar Pass at 13800 feet which over looks the Parvati Valley. The Himalayas in its quiet snow-clad peaks makes one listen to their own inner voice.Each of us had new experiences, secured new bonds and friendships, new ideas,new insights.The beauty all around , the snow,the greenery,the waterfalls,streams,the countless stars, the oh-so-impossibly photoshop blue sky and the fresh air keeps everyone in good spirits.It can make you appreciate nature and make us realize what we are loosing.It can give us answers that we have always had within us.It can make difficult decisions easy to take and accept.

Its not just the atmosphere that does this to you.Its the people around. Our fellow trekkers came from different fields and belonged to different age groups and different parts of the country.They all had wonderful qualities and love for nature.We would trek together for hours , discuss philosophies and issues that are important to us,learn from each other, support and cheer each other. We encountered some heroes too. These were the lady porters who carried the rucksacks for some trekkers.The would trek up all the way from their village way below and be at our campsite before we leave each morning.After we reached our next higher campsite, they would go back all the way again to their village and walk back once more in the morning.All this with such a cheerful demeanor.

This trek taught a lot of things. Every place has something to give and teach us.And so do it’s people.

It was definitely a welcome change from the fast never-ending circuit life that we lead in the cities.For a change , there was no 8.03 train to catch. It just never mattered what the time was. There was no cell phone,no facebook or internet, no news to occupy your mind and time.

Most importantly, there was time for oneself. To think. and the surroundings were such that gave you clarity.There was love for the world.And love for one-self found.

I made peace with myself. I believe again.

Leave a comment

Filed under Journeys and travels, My favourite people, Stuff I like, Thoughts/ Ideas, Uncategorized, World