To prove that old- fashioned things like fresh air, sunshine and morning dew are still very hard to beat.
- To challenge the prevailing belief system of over-worked, fatigued, nerve-shaken, over-civilized couch potatoes.
- To prove that “Your head tucked in between your pillow and your bed is a doorway to a new world”- is a fallacy.
- To prove that “Between every two pine trees is a doorway to a new world”- is gospel truth.
- “You need special shoes for hiking and a bit of a special soul as well.”- Emme Woodhull Bache. I can’t reiterate the importance of a good pair of shoes when you decide to have a face-to-face with nature after a period of hibernation in the city cocoon. As for the soul; carry whichever one you have.
- “I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”- Mark Twain.
If you are finicky about the people you interact with, well, then take them along with you. If you’re having trouble convincing them, show them this blog. If you’re the go with the flow kinds, (the person in the category above would say only dead fish go with the flow). Its fine; to each his own right?
An acquaintance once told me “If you want to meet people who love nature and treks, GO FOR A TREK!” The simplicity of this statement always leaves me in awe.
- Also, when I say nature, I mean mountains, hills, plateaus; oceans, rivers, brooks; woods, trees, bushes; cloudy skies, rainy, skies, starry skies; hail, snowfall, dew…you get the idea. I did not write this blog for a trip to the nearby park.
- It’s always advisable to go for nature excursions, along with an experienced trekking group, with a trek leader. I say this because the trek leader asks you to carry some essentials. CARRY THEM! They are a very important part of this armamentarium.
- All your bags are packed and you’re ready to go.
You use your time in the bus to bond with your fellow travelers. It is of utmost importance that you do so because they are the ones who will attest to you witnessing a miracle!
- As you proceed, for the very first time you begin to discover where the other ends of the concrete roads lead you to; which is a picturesque maze of crude roads. The roads which provide you insights into the infrastructure of the Harappan civilization.
- The journey on the winding roads is about to begin soon. Just before you begin to gain altitude, your prone to habit eyes begin to hunt for the skyscrapers and the high rise structures. The miles of clear scenic land devoid of civilization begins to blind you; unused real estate is not a concept you understand.
- You are suddenly engulfed by luxuriant foliage on all sides and you look around you in awe wondering this is it; this is why Robert Frost and William Wordsworth never ventured beyond forests and nature. But the bus has not stopped and you wonder why, since you would rather traverse this “road less travelled” on your own two feet. That is when the bus screeches to a halt and inertia causes you to lunge forward. As you raise your head, your eyes settle on this mammoth of a fortress, with its shadow looming on you. As the trek leader informs you that this is the structure you have to conquer, completely ignoring the fact that the fortress was scientifically designed so that it was nigh impossible to conquer. The cloudy skies, the fog and the mist are clearly on the same team as the flag, which has been hoisted on top, as we play hide and seek to calculate the effort it will take to reach our goal.
- Thrusting most of your faith into your stamina and the remaining into every ounce of Tang/Frooti you’re carrying, you begin to ascend. The trek leader reminds you that obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal. But he fails to realize that when every muscle of yours has found a voice of its own and when every drop of water seems as an elixir of life, philosophy has no worth. The last 100 meters to the top are often the worst. But the winner they say is the one who never gave up in the last five minutes. You can finally see the flag; you run with your wobbly feet and plonk down like a vegetable sack. You don’t care about the achievement, you’re 9911 feet above sea level; you just want to lie down.
- THIS is where the magic begins. Your view at this present moment makes you question your level of consciousness. You begin to wonder where all this magically appeared from. Did I fall off during the climb and did I get teleported to some place beyond realism?
- The contrast at the horizon between the green of the earth and the blue of the sky is nothing short of the Windows Desktop you often stare at for hours. When your crush has not replied to your text and it’s been 10 milliseconds already, you wonder why time has stopped. Now you realize the true meaning of the phrase “time has stopped”. You suddenly begin to hear this uncanny buzzing in your ear. You look around you hoping to locate the source soon enough. You see nothing distinctive. That’s when it hits you. You’re hearing the silence. You’re taken aback at how soothing the absolute lack of sound can be to your eardrums. Life has been eavesdropping on your thoughts. So it sends a gust of wind which sends a shiver down the spine of every blade of grass. They rustle and quiver, and at that moment the eyes and the ears are two satiated sense organs. The matchbox sized cluster of civilization creeps into your vision, in contrast to the magnanimity of nature around it. You gain enormous perspective on your current situation in life. This thought makes you shuffle uncomfortably, which highlights the cramp in your leg. But you don’t want to shift even by an inch, because you’re afraid that you will ruin this picturesque moment, this untouched, pure, unadulterated moment which you want to savor egotistically till however long life permits you to.
- “In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks.”- John Muir
- “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”- Gustave Flaubert
- “These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.”- Najwa Zebian
- “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”-John Muir
- “Travelling- It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”- Ibn Battuta
- “Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.”- Steven Wright
In conclusion, I would like to say, I know the importance of time in this technologically driven third millennium. But I implore you to inhale the fresh air of this millennium, to stand at leisure and experience the sunshine of this millennium and to allow your gaze to fall upon that pearl drop of morning dew from this millennium.
I promise you; it’s New, it’s Improved; it’s also Old-Fashioned!
Also, for those of you who are trekking or hiking right now, you are exempted for the moment. For the rest of you, nothing is stopping you from leaving a comment!