When I am typing these words, I can view the snow-clad mountains right before my eyes. I can still hear the gushing sound of the river in my ears, I can feel the cold wind. Yep, that’s the impact it has made on me.
I had been to 15-day trekking camp with a group of over 50 people in the Himalayas along with an organization called “Outward Bound Bharat”. Our final destination was Kafni glacier. But, even though the destination was the coolest place I have ever seen, it’s the journey up till there, is something that has made all the difference. As I try to jot down my experience, I feel, “Why did it all have to end so soon!”
Firstly, I encountered the feeling of being really far away from the house. No! Not because of the physical distance. But, due to the fact that all you get to know, when you are amidst those mountains, is that “Now, you are on your own, no matter what!”
We began our 104 kms long trek (Read again: Hundred and four kilometers trek!) at a place called Tsong. I can’t call it a village because all that place had was a small shop…the only landmark. As we started heading up through he hills and valleys with those BIG rucksacks on our backs, I felt, “Hey, where have I come? What am I doing?”
People normally get paid for carrying luggage from one place to another. And here I was pushing myself ahead with so much of weight on my shoulders, even after paying a huge amount of money. But strangely, I didn’t complain, I moved on.
And then, even though I was so tired that I was unable to put a single foot forward, the view almost took my breath away…. I stood there facing those huge mountains, some green, some brown, some white with snow & I was left spellbound.
The vastness, The greatness, The magnificence that the scene offered can’t be described here, in words. I have heard people say that when you stand facing an ocean, you realize how small and tiny you are. But this is not what I felt.I saw before my eyes the Nature in it’s true and pure form. Though I was far away from my home, I felt being really close to it. That was the moment when I thought, ”To come to the camp….is one of the wisest decisions I‘ve ever made!”
Later when we had completed a huge part of the trek, our Sir declared that we had a 1km down trek to one of our rest houses situated at Dhakuri (about 2,700 meters above sea level). My legs were aching so badly and I was clearly able to hear the sound of my own fast and deep inhalation. I was unable to make out how much distance we had covered or how much was left. Just when I was rushing down on my toes down the road between the thick green forest, I remembered the lines from a famous poem by Roger Frost:
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
I have always doubted my physical strength since childhood. I was never sure whether I could do something that needed a lot of physical strength. Thus, at that moment when I was losing the confidence in myself, when I wondered about will I make it till the end that day…I saw the faded view of Dhakuri getting clearer through the space between those huge trees, I practically ran up till there!
I was so overjoyed at the fact that I had made it, that I was helpless to control the tears rolling down my eyes. Though I quickly wiped them off to make sure nobody had seen them, I definitely had learnt my lesson that day.
I heard the little voice in my mind repeat the lines:
You never can tell how close you are.
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit.
It’s when things seem worse,That you must not quit!