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The secret chant

How did I end up here?

Rama Pataskar

India

You never just travel.You never just explore the places.Travelling is never about the destination but about the road taken.The road takes you to the places you never thought ever existed.And with 29 strangers I started off my journey towards the place which marked a “Before and After” landmark in my life.Strangers are the most integral part of the travel.You learn many things in every possible way.Train journeys are very interesting.You get to see different shades of the country.You come across many such things which you might have never seen and experienced before.It was 30 hours long train journey to the capital of India,New Delhi.Dilli (that’s how it is actually pronounced)welcomes you with the hoard of people from every corner of the country,hushing and rushing towards wherever they want to go.And the strangers I thought I could never get along with have now actually became my friends.After Dilli, we all proceed towards another long journey of 15 hours.This journey was magical.The next morning I woke up into the mountains.That was the day we reached in Manali.And then shifted to base camp at Naggar,a small village near Manali. The day started off with delicious breakfast followed by lunch and adventure.I got a wonderful opportunity to see the local festival.Their music spoke of their life,grief,hope and happiness all at once.The big day arrived.Everyone was all set to leave for the first camp.We left for Jana early in the morning.Woods have their own grandeur.I could feel the nature whispering thousands of things which I have never heard of.The next camp site was maticochar.It is a wildlife sanctuary.Next day was the grandest day of this trek.But I had no idea where we were going and why we were going there.I started trekking and I lost my path.Suddenly I saw something white in front of me,which almost looked like snow.I have seen snow for several times in my life.But to see this on top of the mountain after a hardest climb was something which I am going to cherish till my last breath.And the leader announced,“Right now you are 13,000 feet high,Dhanakunu pass.The snow capped peaks you see are the grand,divine Himalayan ranges.” It was not the mountain that I climbed, it was my own fear.The moment I reached the base camp I felt that I am someone else. And suddenly from nowhere breezes playfully whispered into my ears,” The mountains you carried all these years were meant to be climbed.”
And I smiled like I have never smiled before.


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