‘The Three Men Who Went On To Trek ‘


The three men who went on to Trek ‘


 (IMAGE SOURCE -INTERNET)

After a tiring day I entered my room and took the phone that I left at home
‘God, she shouldn’t have called’. 18 missed calls ……………... “I am dead”, dead for the day and dead forever. I will call her and tell her sorry now. It rang before I could call.

“Hello”
“Hi …I am s………..”

“Did you even know that I exist?”
“Did you see how many times I called you?”

“(she is one…) you called …really? I didn’t know. Wait let me check”

“You will never change”
“You will never miss me”
“You will never think about me”
“What you even think of me?”

She started…….. (Same dialogues….will she even let me speak?)………………… “Nothing”

“You think me nothing then you too mean nothing to me”

“Hey please don’t irritate me di”

“I won’t irritate you anymore…bye forever”

She cut…………………….My god she is complicated, not her but all girls are!

These girls are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Half hour later…..

Just when the eyes started to close it rang again.....................Is it not over for the day yet?
Someone save meeeeeeeeee …………..pllllleassssssssssssse……..
“Hello”

“Dai what are you doing?”
“When are you coming back?”

“Not now……….. Subbu”

“Check this site of YHAI – Youth hostel association of India

“Dai I am in no mood.“ “Can you rest?..............Please leave me for now”

“Fucker, don’t do too much…just check that …it’s exciting”
“My friend’s friend told me about it. He planned with YHAI and went on a trekking ride man”
“We shall plan it on the holidays and we can ride too”

“Where to?................ first of all I don’t believe you.

What happened to the ‘ROYAL ENFIELD’ bike ride we planned to Rajastan? You remember I prepared and even got my bike ready. And you remember where we ended up then? … In that tea shop by our hospital discussing why we didn’t go. I don’t believe one thing you say.”

“You arrange everything Subbu and then I will decide”
“NOW YOU PLEASE LEAVE ME. I am already done and worn out for the day”


After a week in hostel…………………..

“Dai, kanna we are tripping and trekking in 5 days. It is a long trip so prepare well”

“What da?”

“I told you Na……….. You asked me to arrange and I did. I registered with ‘YHAI’ and we are to trek Himalaya baby.  Prepare baby….prepare. You need everything from hard boots for grip to soft boots for snow, from rain coats to sunscreens and ya don’t forget to borrow a cam.”

I looked at him and he winked at me……………………..

                                     (ME AND SUBBU)


And that’s how it started -we started.

            It’s been a week since she called. She neither bothered to call back nor to pick up my calls. To hell with her and her calls. I will throw this phone here and take this trip.
After some lies at both homes saying we are attending a conference in AIIMS Delhi. We did start.

Rain poured down heavily……………… rain clouds started to make the day so dark.

                  We started on a train in a second sleeper to Chennai. Surprisingly not many have boarded the train that day. Once inside the train the mood of traveling and the true spirit of a traveler overwhelmed.

‘I became a soul perfectly lost in love with nature. It once again became the one it used to be, the one that meddled and mixed with love of nature, travel and exploring.’


         Subbu is a perfect travel companion for me. Our thinking and liking mixed least in travel and exploring. We both shared a spirit so undaunted and willing, the one that’s never tired of exploring. Reasons were different for our spirits but the desire was one and same – a care-free spirit with a will to live, love and explore. Though we made very few of our so many planned trips we still were best travel buddies.

                 We had just enough time to drop from Cholan express in Egmore, grab a bite and quickly check in to our next train to DELHI from central. The ‘Grand trunk’ is really ‘grand’ -35 hours of journey with so many stops in-between. I really hated Subbu for booking this but then my soul really did love it.

               2nd sleeper again, that train bypassing almost the entire nation with Nellore –Vijayawada- Nagpur-Bhopal-Agra to pass by was nothing short of love. People who got out spoke one language; people who popped in spoke another. Ethnicity, race, culture, history all differed in this vast nation. But somewhere there is a bond, a bond that forms this nation. And for us the travelers this country has always so much to offer.



                We reached New-Delhi railway station by next day evening. For us from deep-south, Delhi, looking so clean with all that fast moving metros seemed to be a city of foreign lands. Getting into the metro which was our first experience then, with that automatic doors and the ticket system was a fun of its own. We just got in and got out at random stations for the sake of fun. Finally we did reach AIIMS where we stayed with Subbu’s senior, doing post-graduation there.


‘The next day’
                 Our real journey into ‘A heaven so desired- Himalaya’ actually started the next morning. Boarding a private Volvo we took on our trip to Kulu. Even private Volvo is not so privately acclimated, for the poor bus didn’t even have a windshield. Once we started bisecting the mountain the cool breeze that too from an already broken glass, shivered us to death.

                      We reached ‘Kulu’ very late at night and except for the dark sky wavering upon and those mountain trees singing a long tune nothing was there to welcome us.
There was this bus finally and probably the last one to ‘BABELI’


‘BABELI - THE BASE CAMP’

We reached Babeli at the close to mid-night and we were the last to arrive in our group of rangers. We went to bed after some informal.

Some-one waked me up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is just 5am in morning, for life I had never woken up at that time; probably I had slept at that 5 am many a times. What is this???
“You have to get up baby”…subbu winked with a tea cup in his hand.

               Early morning jog; up and down – 10km. Godddddddddd I hate it and that to with a weak knee that I carried, the one that I never disclosed to the YHAI; I don’t know how I managed it without any issues.

              10km seemed actually nothing with that tender breeze caressing the skin. With those beautiful flowers smiling at you and with a sky that appeared more and more romantic. The jog did appear nothing. After jog and routine exercise we were served food. Food at base camp at most times is “Chappati and Allu” and yeah they did serve a desert to savor every time; the taste is still relishing the tongues. YHAI followed some strict rules –NO SMOKING – NO DRINKING and NO LITTERING and that’s the best part in them.

And what I found is many just traveled for the passion no-one took it as a spoiled routine vacation.


SK26

                  Sk- 26 is our group – it is really a mixture, a mixture of ethnic, linguistic and cultural differences. I did notice many vivid different souls here. I learned for the next two days we will continue with our ‘acclimatization and orientation’ at base camp.

Evening I took a walk with subbu, along the ‘River Beas’………………… the romance and the inexplicable mood that the river flowing down the stream gave can’t be expressed in plain words.
BEAUS- IMAGE FROM INTERNET


 
How romantic it will be to walk in hand with a beautiful girl here? And my fate I am walking with you”, subbu said.

Just then I remembered her –my beautiful girl, beautiful as this very nature blooming and more beautiful than all these flowers.
Will these flowers win, if they have to contest for a pageant with her?” I took my mobile that I promised to throw back at home and checked for her……..she hasn’t called.

“But girls are constraints machi, they are just an additional weight that will make us shed our passions” he added.

                 Though he spoke non-sense, many a times he did make some sense. If only she had known I am here, it would never been so acclaimed with peace for every ten minutes she would have bugged me about my where-about. But still somewhere deep inside I did miss her.

We perched in silence by the woods and I was in trance watching ‘Beas’.

                   In a distance not so long I watched a short man in his early sixties wandering through. He did seem familiar. Yeah he is definitely from SK26.

“HI, what you guys are mesmerizing in her beauty ?”
“I am Vineet guys”


And that’s how we met one of the interesting personalities ever…………………………………………

In the days that are to come we became the best buddies ever – ‘THE THREE MEN WHO WENT ON To TREK’

Night at base camp were always fun. For it is camp fire – although we used no real fire as YHAI was concerned about using logs for burning. With introductions, songs sung and dances danced specially Subbu with his horrible song it was never ending fun. Me, Subbu, Vineet sir, Robin and Shashank shared the hut- we were the hut group. Vineet sir walked outside the hut with his bag late at night.

Subbu, wake up” “Vineet sir is walking out somewhere we shall follow him.”
“Why is he going into the meadows alone at this time?”

There he was pulling out his smoke. He watched at us and winked.
“Sir, but you are not to smoke?”

“I am bound to no rules guys. This smoke and this vodka here are the two that has kept me alive.” He smiled and winked.
You guys are coming for some bird watching deep into the valley?”

Bird watching at night!!!!......... He is mad, definitely he is. But we did follow him.

               Deep into the meadows and into the dark woods we went. We rested by the saddle of a long barked tree and just then the moon shinning at its full glow came out from her veil. He took his camera, a SLRD and fixed his shot.  

“This is ‘Pirina’ ”, he claimed.  “He is a swamp-liver. I don’t know what he is doing in a land so alien. “

Vineet is a character of his own, he knew where to find his birds and he knew he could find them easily on a ‘full moon night’. I knew then there is so much to learn from him. Click ……..click and click he took the moon, the sky and woods. he clicked them all.  He then took us even further down into the woods and to a valley.

Vineet sir is already a hero for us, we promised to stick by him all day long.


“Rappelling and rock-climbing………………………”
   
                                  Rappelling was fun but definitely not the climbing. I really did suffer with my weak knee. I had to be so careful that I shouldn’t twist it. Everyone did it with ease, even the lady from Bengal and the girls form Gujarat. And even the boys of Mumbai made it easier. I took heavens time and I didn’t care for I didn’t want to end up losing the trip. And vineet sir he is hero again – he is a sixty five year young chap. He climbed and rappelled down in a whisker and was helping others on how to go about it.

                                    The next day too went with some preparations. We had a session carrying some weight upon our backs; finally we ended up in ‘Kulu’ that day for some last minute shopping. Vineet sir did make sure he will never go empty handed on his cigarettes and vodka. He advised us on what to buy and what may not be bought.


The walk up the hills



                                   “FIVE DAYS IT WOULD take for us to reach the Saurkundi pass – the one we ought to capture. Five different camps mid-way…………….hmm that very thought is an arousal too”. The road to ‘Segli’; our firs pit-stop is not so difficult. It did have some steeps and jungle to pass but it was no difficult. The nature became more and more virgin as we traveled further. She was just left un-touched by her human villains to be at her virgin-best.

We made sure; we will stick with vineet sir for the journey. He started from mountaineering to traveling to photography and came to history. He knew everything. But history, yeah I could speak a little about that.

“You know sir, Cholans came up to Himalayas.”
                    
“Actually they never came till here. They came till Ganges but never came to her origins; least there is no proof about it.”  He knows better history too. I have to agree with him for he is a man meant to persuade others and not meant to be persuaded by others.

Hora Thatch – Mayalee thatch
                        
                          Hora thatch’ was our next pit and we set out for it the next day, the ascent to ‘Hora’ was pleasant and splendid, especially when the rain added tunes for the day. The camp at ‘Hora’ right in middle of the jungle with those mountains standing around………..wah, I needed more, this virgin nature aroused me more and more. The more we walked, the more we became adhered with nature and Vineet sir. We became a two-man battalion under his wing.
                                   
                         Climbing a steep, walking through some meadows we did reach ‘Mayalee’ the next day. ‘Mayalee’  had some locals.  I envied the locals for having such a life, life so totally in love with nature. A life where they need not run towards something, where they need not honk and get irritated with traffic, a life where they need not sweat to own a piece of land. Here everything is yours. Run, jump, swim and if you can just fly too; the world is simply yours here. I wondered how it will be to really live up a life here.


"Subbu one day after we are worn out with life  we shall set a clinic here. and then we can forever live happily loving this lovable nature ."

subbu and sir just laughed.

                    ‘Vineet saha’ is his real name. He is a graduate of ‘IIT’, he worked then in ‘BHABHA ATOMIC RESARCH CENTRE’.  For many that is called achievement, but for ‘Vineet sir’  it means nothing; for him actually achievement means nothing. For him passion means everything. For him living life for the sake of love and inner joy is everything. And for this passion he has lost many things.

He would say
“I never cared. They called me a fool and probably look at me still the same. But why should I care?”
“I have lost everything. I lost my job for it just earned me money and no satisfaction. I never took up regular jobs then.”

“I lost my love and divorced for she believed in living, living for the world. But I believed in living for yourself – your inner content. I can’t say she is wrong but I can’t accept that I am not correct”

“I have lost many things but I haven’t lost myself and my inner-belief. And if I lose them then I will be there no-more.” “This life will teach you so many things guys. So many things…………………”

'Vineet sir' is a man, who has gone through and understood so many things in life.


MAYALEE-DHORA- SAURKUND

                               Dhora thatch—hmmmm, the snow lines were already visible and the journey became more interesting as we walked further.  The locals selling tea, hot omelets and noodles as usual made us relish all the way. That hot tea and noodles is really a heavenly thing tasted. For these locals the ten and twenty they made were big enough for the family to live.

                              How simple life is? We need nothing but a place to cuddle, little food to grow a belly and a warm tender heart to feed you love all the time. Really this is what we need and that’s why these locals were blessed. Instead we run, run for what? We need food – in the biggest hotels. We need cars- the biggest and costliest of all. We need a degree – not an education, a degree that could earn us a lot.

Vineet sir is a master in everything. He has climbed Alaska, k2 and trekked everywhere around. He knows photography history, science, literature and life so much that he could lecture forever in those topics but he never holds a degree in those. We never value knowledge. We value a person on how much he earns – on his bank balance.

“Guys you know what is the greatest and one universal god existing in this world? – ‘money’ ”, it is true what vineet sir says.

                            We walked in snow and it was difficult and fun. If you don’t have the right shoes to walk you will suffer a lot. Those tough ones with grips for the ascent won’t suit you here. Dhora was the highest at 12,500ft where we camped. Though it wouldn’t be like climbing and camping in Mount Everest or something it was still a little tough there. The oxygen levels are pretty low here and many would become breathless. Me and subbu were the only doctors or least the soon-to- be doctors there and many confronted here with questions.

Vineet sir knew more about oxygen- its diffusion- hemoglobin and effect of low oxygen more than us and we ended up listening to him again.

Finally it is ‘Saurkundi’ …………………….



            Hard stretch of snow, narrow slips to pass by - the final day of our ascent to our peak was tough that the rest. But we did capture it; the sun started to play it's games with us. The snow, the weather the sky everything made me go a 'whoomp' yet again. I felt I was 'actually living' for the past few days and the closer we came to the pass the more I was worried and scared for all this pleasure and love, all this men and women of extra-ordinary passion will be lost and missed.

I will once again be a vamp running among other vamps in a world of vamps.’

                     The little lake by the peak - no-one confronted but us – “The battalion of vineet”.  We walked through the frozen water, I was so scared that if it could bear my weight but then ya anyway Vineet sir is here na………


Wet pants……………..

                        After nearly five days of climbing and ascent we finally started our way down. The more we descended the more we did descend into the ‘Vamp-world’. Sliding the ice was real fun though many would not accept it so. The slide made our pants so wet that we would froze below. ‘Longa Thatch’ was our pit for the day. We were served soup and some desert again and yeah the peanut cakes which was our prime food for most of the days.

We further descended into the beautiful plains which rich plantations and sheep flock to encounter. I have never seen so many sheep together.

“Poor creature; why we need its skin too? – desire the greatest devil that man acclaimed in his genes.” vineet said.He followed those steeds, the ones looking like unicorns – white and black, strong and sturdy. He took his snaps and made one white sturdy beast endure. He jumped and took a ride. The beast took him as a dragon who took his 'halo' master.

Our final pit before we will bid adieu was lekni’. The huts were no-more, the roads and vamps already started appearing. The ‘God –money’ started to come into play.

“Is heaven only an occasion too?”  Times were tough in our final camp-fire for everybody had to depart and part. Sk-26 had made it together successful. Sk-26 showed and taught me many things. We parted promising to stick together. I and Subbu promised more rides and trips together. We promised to climb Everest one day, if not Everest least her base camp one day.


“‘Vineet saha’ - The saga”

                           After departing from ‘SK-26’ , we the vineet battalion made our journey to Manali.  ‘Manali’ is town of its own mixture, of the poor locals and rich Indian tourists’ passionate travelers and the foreign nationals. From traditional locals to rafters to bikers to girls doing skin job for profession everybody is found here. We checked in a relatively cheap hotel and vineet sir insisted on a separate room. First time in more than a week there was bed to lie down, a bath in offer, a private toilet to sit down and yeah all the electronics to bust you.

               I missed the days, the days were we cuddled together in a hut, the days were there was no TV, internet or mobile to bother, mobile ………yeah I forgot her. I put that life-less mobile onto charge and checked for her- still no calls or messages!!

I took a bath after eight days and took on a lonely walk. Manali was more colorful at night. Fresh apples, antiques, hand-crafts and everything made the streets busy. I saw a beautiful woman wearing a traditional dress with a red saffronic tint and her thoughts sulked back in. can I buy her one? i checked the mobile............... Still no calls!!!

          I went back the hotel and knocked it at vineet sir’s. He did open with a look “what”. I then saw some fair skinned western woman waking in half-naked.

“Why did you disturb him da? He is with one of those girls da”, subbu said.

After a while vineet joined us with his drinks.

Lets party together now for our journey and experience.

“Sex is a part of life guys. You do need it often. There is nothing wrong in accepting this.”
Love and sex can never hold together. Sex alone is never love. You can find sex but love is hard and difficult to find. sex is an attraction but love is a passion. If you don't adhere to that passion sometimes you become nothing.

“I am always proud for what I am. I never lost many of my passion. I have traveled-traveled far and wide and had met so many like you. My life, I have spent in understanding what this life is about and to my satisfaction I had made few others realize what life is all about.” "But then i did lose that passionate love'"

“What is your passion Subbu?”

“My passion sir is to travel and live. Live a care-free life.”

“What is yours man?”

I looked at him. What’s mine? I did really wonder what’s mine!!.

“My passion is writing sir. I want to write and through that big about a change.
My passion, sir is to travel and experience.
My passion, sir is to never learn the quest for learning.
My passion sir is to change this country.”

“This country, there is nothing wrong in it; it only has some wrong people in it. This country is a beauty in everything. But poor girl it has got so many children who don’t believe in her. There are only two-set of people here, one blames ‘This is INDIA’ and lives in the very same. There is another set that continue to spoil her.”

“Basically love and passion for country is even a limit, is even a desire. To see everybody as yours, to see this whole universe as your birth place is how it should be, that is what I call universal Love. Everything-else is just a materialistic myth.”

“But then, you guys have set-out on a goal.  Don’t lose it. Don’t lose it for anything but be careful that you don’t lose everything-else for your goal and never end up like me.”

“It’s a long-way and a long journey, a path so difficult than the ones we traversed but then you can make it a pleasurable one.”

“My simple advice is, ‘live your life’.”

The sun rose bright and shinning the next day, telling us it’s time to go back to where we belong. Days in heaven come and go. And now, it’s time for routine.  Vineet took us for one more surprise, Rafting. I have just heard the word a few times. We did raft and Beas made me fall in love with her yet again.

“Bye, sir.”  “Stay in touch sir”

Take care, guys.” “Remember to ‘Live your life’.”

Staying in touch he never did for he has too many to meet and too far to travel. But for us he is a Saga that we met and will ever meet in life.

                  The last I saw him was from the window pane before the bus moved. He was there making fun with the cute boys and girls and working out his trick of pulling a chocolate for them.

He really is something. “’The three men who went on to trek’, was never the same again.”

              I reached Chennai and already my parents finding out where I went were standing there with look so worried. And yeah she was there. She kissed and slapped not worrying that my parents were there and shouted “You didn’t tell me you were going

And can’t you take me along?”
“I love you.”  “I too share what you feel and the next time never forget to take me along.”

I was happy to see her. But then, “Do I love her more than my passion? Do I love her the way she loves me?”

I never knew. Let me not know for now, I remembered myself that ‘I will live my life.”

I did promise that will lose everything but me and my passion.

I will live my life………………………………….”
Days may roll
Years may pass
Friends may turn

Path may be lost
Love may be left
Relations may be re-defined
But let me not lose the passion.

Let the raft flow
Down the stream of life
Let it flow until it can
Till then why should I worry.

For I learnt
I learnt to live my life.”





Inspired from an amazing journey
Inspired from a true amazing character.



Written for Indiblogger-expedia contest.

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Comments

  1. It seems to be an amazing trip....
    Like the way u have narrated, as u have not only spoken abt ur trip, but also have narrated about values of life, that one could possibly follow...
    Few stanza that I liked are,
    "My god she is complicated, not her but all girls are!", "sixty-five year young chap", "narration about love and sex", and many others.....
    Most of us say that we do not have time to follow our passion, but, it is really the laziness that makes one to not to follow the passion and not time. Just that we should understand and able to dedicate equal time to all....
    I laughed aloud on reading "This is India"...Whatever we do not follow, we use these words to blame the country and get away with the situation....
    It was really a good reading and hope this acts as a mini-guide to someone visiting this place...
    All the best!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You have captured the very essence of your travel beautifully and yes i do second your Vineet sir's statement " Live your life". Great post man...All the best !!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. nice blog


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