Well, the time of change had to come. I approached Bikat Adventure to inquire about any decent (easy in simple words) trekking trip and finally fixed an information date with my school friend and Bikat’s member, Ritvij. Well to cut story short, I decided to go for the kill, change my boring and monotonous life style and brace myself for the biggest adventure of my life.
With my two colleagues, I went with exhilaration to the ISBT bus stop where we were behaving like monkeys who are left out of ZOO. Soon this monkeying around got converted in to a sophisticated talk when a stranger approached and inquired if we were also going to Naag Tibba. This stranger was going to be a fellow trekkers who had come all the way from Bangalore. This man looked serious plus experienced and immediately I felt, “crap its gonna be tough as why would some one would come from Bangalore for an easy trek and I cursed Ritvij inside my mind”.
Finally, the bus journey started and strangely I had not met any other fellow trekkers yet and definitely I was not feeling good about it. Am I taking way too much risk? will I be left with only my colleagues to talk to as others seem to have no interest in getting to know each other? All this was brawling inside my head. But still I was happy. God only knows why.
We reached the starting point of trek after one whole night of bus travel from Delhi to Dehradoon to Pantwari during which we all had a formal introduction round which I would say was awkward. But nevertheless, I got to know few more names like the guy whose life I saved when a horse was about to push him down the hill, another one who was honored with a new name during trek -sahasi, sweet little girl who came all alone for trek, a husband and wife duo, Must add here I was impressed with them, First musketeer, mustache guy who was the most notorious man I have seen with the most solemnest face, 2nd musketeer, the snoring guru, decent chap who was very quiet throughout the trek or may be he was scared of me :), a Merchant navy guy, and of course our sirjee the most impressive personality, he sketches, take pictures, crack funny jokes only after 10 in night though(after some drags ofcourse).
“When is it going to stop, Oh My God , why the hell I came here? What was I thinking?“, was all going in my head the whole time I trekked on the first day where we were supposed to walk almost the entire day towards the base of Naag Tibba Summit. We were supposed to camp that night at the base so we had to reach there before sun is out to set out camps in day light. But the tiredness and the mental torture of freezing cold air felt as close to death as I could imagine death to be. Somewhere during this time, when my body was feeling cold with the “real” freezing wind and shoes wet with sweat which was turned cold yet Somehow I was too happy to notice any of this including the sweat on my forehead.
We kept walking uphill, sweating, breathing heavily, taking pictures, cracking jokes, making new friends, It was nothing but Fun.
The last 20 minutes of first day’s trek was the hardest of all. “Please someone give me a lift or leave me alone here as I don’t wanna walk one step more”. But a sound came from behind, it was Bikat’s guy Pankaj and like a strict but sweet teacher, he forced me to walk and walk and walk. Man he would have been a strict Math teacher if not a trekker.
And I finally reached the top of that F****ing mountain where we decided to camp. But the moment I saw that view I knew my life or something inside me has changed. I know that I no more fear the tall mountains and the pain of trekking. The view from top was stunningly beautiful. Where was I? This was surreal for me. I, who just had the worst breakup of all times was travelling with 2 acquaintances and a bunch of unknown people, was standing on top of a lonesome mountain where my eyes could only see while clouds and fading sun and was about to sleep in the tents and have a bonfire night with so many strangers. This was life. yes, I had embarked on a territory which was meant for me.
After quick change of clothes in our tents, we were all together for a cup of tea in front of camp fire and that night gave everyone the much needed burst of laughter, joy and excitement. After a while when the dark was darkest we decided to call it night and went to our tents. Little did I know was that a fellow tent will give louder than a loud sound from the snoring gods.
I could not sleep and hence opened my tent on another fellow trekkers pestering and I was glad that I did that as what I saw was nothing less than a jaw dropping beauty. It was middle of the night, silence and dark blue mountains in front of my eyes, very thick fog covering the base of peak. My eyes saw something unimaginable and my heart was filled with immense peace which you probably ges after completing 2 hours of meditation.
After that I remember I could not sleep the whole night as I wanted to open the tent as soon as there is light on horizon to see those pretty saint mountains again. I wondered how they looked like now. Finally I heard the voices of few people and I opened the zip of my tent. Whats wrong? Why is it jamming? Oh ! its the snow (Yeah I was surprised- it was my first time guys).
Happy Camper, I felt happy like a child looking at the mountains. How can I describe that beauty in words. All I can say is I was shivering but felt immense warmth. Like I was alive for this very moment. I did not feel alone but instead felt complete.
Beautifully dressed mountains stood in front of me. Snow covered their peeks. A small ray of sun on top of one of the mountain. Fog flowing like a veil. It was a perfect wedding indeed – something blue something old something new something borrowed.
After a while I realized that I was not standing alone in the mesmerizing beauty and we both just stood watching the perfect play of clouds.
The feeling I had was -I don’t want to move from here. For the rest of my life, I want to be a traveler and to wake up each day with this happiness and peace in my heart.
To be continued….