July 2015, Pune : A needling pain rose up my spine, as I braked my car pulling up the parking ramp. As I turned off the ignition and took the keys out in my hand. I was still assessing the state of my back. I unlocked the door and tried to turn right, but found my torso frozen. My knee won’t come up without me pulling it up with both hands. This was an abject state of health which had come at the worst time.
2 days from now, is my ticket to Chandigarh, my gateway to glacial mountain in Dharamshala, Himalayas. This is the trip, which had always eluded me and the one, my heart most desired. Here I was, desirous of a treacherous trek when I was struggling even for basic body movement.
12 yrs ago, all alone in a hot and humid room at Bathinda, I had just finished reading “The razor’s edge” by Somerset Maugham. It’s a story of Larry Darrell, an American pilot traumatized by his experiences in World War I, who sets off in search of some transcendent meaning in his life. Larry travels to India and takes a no cash trip to Himalayan forest and tries to survive on whatever he could get without spending money. I was inspired, I wanted to do something similar and being in India, I will only have to fly a few hours to do it.
I had made up my mind to go exploring the mountains immediately after quitting Air Force. This, however was not destined to happen. On the day , I hung my uniform, I didn’t have a job, had got married an year ago and was expecting my first child. Life had planned an adventure of different kind for me then.
July 2015, this time, the setting was perfect. Between a job switch, I had planned a 15 day interval and I was absolutely sure, nothing would come between I and this experience.
Here I was, lying on my back on a hard floor, struggling with the pain which could possibly snatch my dream trip away..
Continued in my next post ‘Naturalist bows down”…