Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Indiahikes Brahmatal Trek

There wasn't much of a purpose or expectation with this trip, I just wanted to have a great time. And I did. :-)

Day 1
The day began with my journey from Delhi to Rishikesh which was lot more colder than I had anticipated. The bus was shivering and the engine making crude noises from time to time. All of the road journeys made the vehicles dance to the tune of nature, as if trying to tell us that here nature rules and not the automobile technology. When I reached Rishikesh it was already dark and I had nothing to do except to have dinner and sleep in the comfort of my blanket.

Day 2
The second day was our journey from Rishikesh to Lohajung. I made that journey in a tempo traveller which had a seating capacity of 12 folks. The driver of the tempo traveller was a person who had 33 years of driving experience and a temper of 2 year old. He made sure to tell anyone on the road who dare cut him his choicest cuss words with a sheer innocence that could make an ice cube melt. He was an epilogue to the famous gormint aunty. Midway through our ride, the tempo traveller decided to catch a cold and refused to budge (coupler shaft axle mumbo jumbo, but I don't get it and you really don't care) but with some dcold total from the mechanic, it was ready to go. It was already dark when we reached lohajung and the cold was right up at our hotel alley. A tasty dinner of paneer and daal awaited us at lohajung. After a small pep talk by our trek leader on death and small injuries such as losing a hand we were on our way to Brahmatal top. Or were we?

Day 3
The only thing you will hate more than washing your hands in winter of Himalayas is waking up in the morning. Do I really need to wake up? Why can't they just use helicopter to transfer us to Brahmatal top. None of the pep talk by our trek leader had anything about the waking up in the morning while explaining the dangers involved in this journey which I honestly think is a little unfair. After a quick breakfast we started for bekatlal, our second campsite. The journey from lohajung to bekatlal was 5 kms and a memorable one. We caught glimpses of some homes and saw women carrying 10kgs of some plant as if it's a piece of cake while we were busy making inquiries about the khacchar wala who could carry our luggage so that we can drowse ourselves in nature. I wondered what sort of credit cards do they have? Survival had a simpler meaning for them :- staying alive, getting food for the next day and taking care of the loved ones. Quite a contrast to where all of us were coming from, a world of dopamine inducing mobile applications which can induce stress and anxiety anytime, anyplace and anywhere. The same way farming was a lie to human civilization, internet is a lie to human connection. Musing through some of these random thoughts of mine, we reached bekatlal and the campsite was beautiful with tents to take a shit in and a proper kitchen. We had lunch, played games, sang old songs, sang some new songs and some regional songs as well. One thing about the mountains is that it gets dark before you know it. And dark means good food and cool breeze. Although the place was cold the people were warm with emotions and we all became a group of friends very quickly.

Day 4
Well, after a rugged sleep we all woke up to ankle deep snow at our campsite. All of us rejoiced and did an action pack performance of snowfight which can put any Salman Khan movie to shame. The fun did not last for long as we heard the news that the snowfall is expected to continue in coming days and we won't be able to make it to telundi if that's the case. We made a quick journey to bekatlal lake during which we saw heavy snowfall and a decision was made by our guides and trek leader that we should head back to the basecamp. The sheer excitement of snow turned to a frail expression to accept the reality of nature and move on the basecamp.

Day 5
We started back to Rishikesh thinking that the trek is over but in mountains the experiences are infinite and we had an amazing time during our journey, rejoicing our new found freindships. Everything about Rishikesh is scenic. The people friendly and everyone is a yaatri trying to find God, peace, Beatles Ashram, a cheap mode of transport or tasty ramfal. The iconic duo ramjhula and lakshman jhula are what you will traverse through multiple times during your stay at this beautiful place and somehow the narrow stones of cobblestone will become a cherished memory. We all went to the beatles ashram (a place where beatles have written many of the iconic songs including let it be ) and did some crazy videograaphy and photography.

It's long time coming anyways. So heree we goooo, The problem with today's society is that the fact that we have been trying to live under a big rock trying to hide our emotions. The access to laser fast communications has made us numb any emotion we want and demand an instant sense of gratification to our needs. Even a small hope makes us feel a beat and then leads us to being afraid of ourselves, our actions and mistakes. So it makes sense to take your dreams and run away with them.It's great to be smart, to be disciplined but it's far more important to have fun. It's important to take away relationships from our experiences, to let ourselves emotionally vulnerable and learn little about the world. The trek made me extremely grateful of the fact that I am alive, the fact that I have what I have and last two days have been nothing but rundown fever from the hangover of such a great experience. If you made it this far, thank youuu... :-)