Holistic Living - Climb every mountain
by Life Positive
And with the onset of summers in Delhi began my arduous uphill task, the lugging of insurmountable weight (my own!), gasping for clean air, jubilation on reaching the summit-all part of a trek that began from the bottom of the staircase to my room on the first floor.
That's when it hit me. Straight on the face, literally smacking the remnants of whatever air I possessed in my weary lungs. If what I am doing now has all the ingredients and symptoms of a conventional trek, then why not do the original? Why not!
So, before any deterrent could ruin my enthusiasm, I packed the ever-patient rucksack, swung it over my shoulders and heaved myself towards the Pindari glacier.
Books describe Pindari as a 'soft trek'. Whatever that means, clearly it doesn't make a difference to one who is fighting for breath with every step. However, man is a psychological eccentricity. So, I felt reassured with this categorization and decided there were indeed chances of my making it to first base successfully.
I wasn't off mark.
But before waving the flag too high, let's go back in time and trace the steps that slowly but surely led to this personal victory. This is how it beganů
The lesson to be learnt and kept in mind is that nothing is ever the same for everyone. So, it would be incorrect to presume that my trekking companions were indulging in this uphill slog with as much enthusiasm as I was. On the contrary, Uttara explained her delayed arrival at Dhakuri as a consequence of having stopped every fifty yards for gathering energy. She even contemplated the idea of going to sleep anywhere along the trail if dusk arrived before she reached the destination. Tisha, on the other hand, decided that it was a thing that had to be done. And I simply led on, with a blank mind, without a clue to how much more lay ahead, shielding myself from the heat at first and then the rain and finally the cool stinging air.
Oblivious of anything except that I was free from the confines of city life and drunk with the abundance of open space and clean oxygen, I forgot for the first time that I had been unable to breathe till a few days before. At one point, I squatted on top of grassy mounds overlooking the world, hypnotized by the gliding eagle hardly a few feet above my head. It looked so handsome and free of the drudgery of living that I moved ahead with exceptional speed, trying to reproduce the same carefree attitude, foolishly assuming that the hills and speed are enough to rid us of thoughts that boomerang in our heads.
And so day one ended, supping on rice and pulses out of smoky utensils and watching the faraway Pindari glacier slowly disappearing as the thick mist enveloped it.
Although we decided we would go no further than Khati, we still left early in the morning. I guess, once you start it's difficult to stop. Happily skipping on a high of our success of the first day, we reached Khati in no time. Here we realized how time crawls in these parts. Only a couple of hours down the line and I felt we had lived in this village for at least a lifetime if not more.
It had to happen. Sooner or later it was inevitable that misfortune should land on someone's lap. Maybe it did because we kept thinking it would, thereby willing it in an indirect way. This time, the target was Tisha's foot. Blisters. Those horrible puffy things that squeal in pain when touched upon. And as if that was not a sufficient tearjerker, the slippery, newly rained-upon terrain tricked her into a ballet-like split. Ouch! And so we made our way through thick forests and craggy cliffs, inching into Dwali, almost 7 miles from Khati.
I have always believed that a situation can be alleviated by thinking positive and so with all my energies invested in trying to act on this belief, I recapitulated on the route to Purkhiya and left the stinging bite of the cold air in favor of warm, balmy dreams of rivers, wild horses, mountain sheep, patches of snow and hundreds of dizzily flitting butterflies.
As soon as dawn broke, we made our way to the final destination. But the high spirits came to an abrupt halt with the appearance of the first glacier. Unable to cross for fear of slipping down the miles of neck-breaking ice, we waited patiently for divine intervention. It didn't take long in coming. Two porters with three mules came to our rescue. They guided us, hand in hand, across the expanse of snow and gave us the best sales pitch ever heard, thereby convincing us to hire them-if not for ever, at least for the day.
So we sped with confidence, trotting beside the mules, edging closer to the ice-capped peaks. Suddenly, the trail changed and left us feeling small against the vastness of the meadows with their bright flowers and giant mountains staring down, breathing out the conviction that they were in control here. No man-made intelligence could out-do the fact. A sadhu sat in his little stone hut, brewing delicious tea. As if reading our greedy minds, he offered us some.
Satiated for the moment, we began the journey back home, which suddenly seemed reduced in its quantity of enthusiasm and gusto. Perhaps because the mystery was over, and we knew what lay ahead.
Or perhaps it was the sense of disconnecting oneself from the essence of life, from nature that gave us birth and into which we shall go. As I stood amongst those yellow flowers, nibbling on ice, gazing wonder-struck at the magnificent ranges, I surrendered that moment to a Power that created it all. It almost seemed like a trek into another world. There was no thought of asthma. No thought of the future or the past. There was only a here and now.
My primary goal in life is to be happy. I would also like to publish a book of my poetry, get more involved with the community. Above all, I would like to fly. I have recurring dreams of flying. I see myself in a strange world with a deep green ocean over which I fly. I was disappointed when I learnt at the age of 10 that human beings don't grow wings. Perhaps the world I see in my dreams is a place where it is possible, where I can spread my wings and soar higher and higher. Perhaps, there, I will be able to realize my dream.
Shonar Joshi, India
|HOME | SUBSCRIBE | WALLPAPERS | ADVERTISING | POLICY | PRACTITIONERS | WRITERS | PEOPLE | ABOUT | CONTACT|