Thursday, July 28, 2016

When the mountains call

It's been a little more than 10 years since I listened to the call of the mighty mountains. My trek to the Garhwal Himalayan range (and the Valley of Flowers) in 2005 seems like from another lifetime. As my trip to the great Himalayas approaches with just a week to go, I scramble to my blog in search of the trek account I must have written after I came back from Valley of Flowers. To my shock, I discover that I have not really written one. I seem to have put up a post or two but that's about it. How can that be? I thought I was an effortless writer at that point in life with a compulsive need to document every worthwhile experience. Why did I leave this precious experience of the Valley of Flowers slide by?

I search my mails, other blogs I had written, Picassa albums, wreck my brain....nothing! not even a photo let alone paragraph comes up. A small comfort - I do remember seeing the Valley of Flowers photo album in a stashed away hard disk at home. But I can't believe I did not even put the pictures online for friends to view - or did I and I have forgotten where?

So it looks like the trek of a lifetime (as I must have called it fancifully then) remains just in my memories (which anyway is not a great thing to rely on!) I am left with bits and pieces of memory and recalls, like that of a washed out writing discovered in a long lost journal. For instance, I remember sitting by a stream high up somewhere near Ghangria (the town/base camp to Valley of Flowers & Hemkund lake) and recording a video of myself talking about the trek. I remember Joshimath and eating roti and onion slices during the lunch break. I remember the 'difficulty' I felt as we hiked from Ghangria to the Valley of Flowers. I remember thinking "but I thought there will be more flowers as we entered and got our first view of the Valley. I remember clambering onto a high rock in the Valley in the hopes of catching better views of far off flowers. I remember the regret and resignation I felt at my physical weakness and exhaustion and the resultant decision not to hike further inside the Valley. I remember a flower that looked like a snake. I remember the really steep start to the hike at the base of the mountain at Govindghat. And I remember standing in the middle of the flimsy hanging bridge over the glorious Alaknanda river and feeling minuscule and tiny in front of the powerful river. 

And they go on.... these titbits of memories. I wish I had taken the time and effort to capture the experience I felt in words. But well,one can't help what's gone but definitely one must learn the lesson. So, here I am, taking up the resolve, the sankalpa, to write and capture my experience of my upcoming trip. 

I hope the almighty stays with me throughout and gives me the strength, vigour and courage to take up this journey and not 'give up' or 'resign' like I did in my last trip to these mountains. Here's praying to a great start from the depths of my 'drug-induced' kind of state (floating-in-the-himalayan-clouds!!) that I have been living in the past week or so - reading about the Himalayas every minute of my waking state!

So until I write to you from the mountains, may a truckload of cheer and merry come your way! 

1 comment:

Abiya Carol said...
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