Staring in amazement at a view so magnificent – I gasped for more air, from my room at Hotel Bharat. Himalayas always have been that sweet distant dream which lay untouched in the dusty corner of my heart. You day-dream of this colossal mountain range, go through innumerable insta-pictures and travelogues that it seem so close and yet so far to reach. But when the gigantic jade mountains crowned with thick rings of cloud solemnly looked down up on me, I was tongue tied and dwarfed. The stream which unabashedly hugged the foot of the mountain gurgled so loud as though laughing mischievously at my bewilderment.
I was a first timer, filled with inhibitions, doubts and fear. I didn’t know what it takes to climb a the mountain nor did I know what it felt to be on the top it. I booked the flights to Delhi in the spur of a moment, and ever since then I could hear my heart beat a little louder. It is interesting how one gets so complacent with familiarity of places and people, how we tend to get caught up in the humdrum routine life where dreams only live in the short spaces between falling asleep and waking up. But I had to give my dream a chance to live.
We started from Delhi on a Friday night to reach Rishikesh next day morning. A lazy little town just waking up to travelers. The air was crisp and cold, the scenery around us, so zen. We had a long journey ahead before we reached Govind Ghat from where our trek began. We passed quaint little townships with houses painted yellow, red and blue terraced on slopes of the mountains with the mighty river right below them. It looked like a perfect painting but you could see how difficult life there would be. When the river roared in rage, and the mountains shook in anger, these houses would tumble down like a house of cards, reduced to stones and dust. The people here lived on the edge, what we – the over civilized people – have forgotten in the comforts of a luxurious life.
As we zig zag-ed up and down the tough terrain, we saw extraordinary views of the mountains, in the backdrop of a blue sky interlaced with white clouds. A view that my eyes would get used to in the coming days. Humongous mountains waxed and waned at a distance, casting murky doubts over my mind about the feat I was to do. By the time we got to Govind Ghat, night had fallen and I had dozed off. But I clearly remember the landscape just before darkness had started swallowing the dusk. The grey ghostly sky grew somber while the mountains kept growing in size. An array of pine trees spiked up on the outline of the hefty mounds silhouetted against the sky. Cold air grazed my ears and I shivered, tightening my jacket.
Her majesty has summoned, and I have arrived at the foothills of her.
To be continued. .
Travel Details can be found at Nirvana Nomads