Slim valleys, biting cold and a disturbing air-draft through the funnels!! That describes the treachery of this side of the Himalayan mountains. The valleys are so narrow that the hills on the either side seem to embrace each other. Yet, when the air is still, there is pin drop silence. Only the melting snow making their shrill sound through the passes.
This 40 Km stretch is a challenge to the human grit and perseverance. As the air draft moves through the funnels of the valleys, small granules of dust hit the face with break-neck speeds, often making one to close his eyes in the already narrow foot tracks. The mountains seem to have no slope at all, and the ice beneath the feet slowly makes the land colder and slushier to walk.
I come across a narrow passage, with the land slide in between, covering the passage upto almost 2 kms. The narrow stream passes underneath the ice sheet. Small crevasses make it extremely difficult to keep the feet firmly, as the ground below the feet seems to slip away. Yet, we move ahead.
All this comes with a strange mix of tranquility. A breathtaking fresh air hits my face as I move ahead; clear blue skies in front of me, makes my soul calm and peaceful; and I have never seen a sunrise as golden as I have seen in the Himalayas. Such is the beauty of this wilderness. No wonder, why Shiva chooses to meditate here, as even the most nascent of the human being will connect to his inner self, and the experience is ecstatic!!!
My legs feel tired, my shirt is wet in my sweat, yet I move on, as I can’t wait to see what is ahead of me.It’s not a challenge I undertake, but a journey, to know my inner self. I feel privileged, as very few get to come so close to the mystical!!!
Sumna was a magical experience. The journey was more of a challenge to my inner self, to hold on a little bit more than the usual, for the miracle still awaits, and whether or not you witness it depends upon your ability to not give up easily.
But it has a beauty of its own. As I move ahead, I find a vast plateau on the horizon; with small flowers spread all over the place. Just wondered they got flowers here too. My camera makes its way out of the bag and unto my hands, and the fingers seem to click in an auto mode, as if, to capture as many instances as possible, for they might never be available to see again.
I take a halt on the way, and meet an old man, who ventures this mountains since childhood. This is his home, his identity, the inseparable part of his life.
A small temple calls the passers by, to take a break, drink some fresh water from the nearby streams, ring the temple bells, and then move on, refreshed and rejuvenated.
I move ahead a little more, to meet a grave.Herein rests the body of a soldier, and what a place to rest in peace. I pay my respects, as my hands shake in the sunny yet cold weather, and deep within, I feel how the soldier kept moving on, despite all the nature’s nuances. I felt charged up and more motivated to move on, for this journey was mine, and I won’t give up today, not yet!! not yet!!
I will be back here soon, as the mountains have touched my heart. They have made me meet my real self. They have embraced me, as one of their own and taught me to be bold, daring and resolute. Move ahead, despite all odds and believe in the magic of my dreams!!!