Sunday, January 28, 2007

Why do I trek??


Hmm... nice question!! Ive met many people who ask me this same question... friends.. parents.. just abt anybody... why do i trek?

I never thought about it.. rather, never tried to give it a thought! Was happy with what i was doing for the past 7 yrs.. yeah.. 7 long yrs

But now i guess its time to ask myself the same question i havent been able to answer for such a long time. And nowadays i dont like to keep any questions unanswered...

So here i go.. taking a notepad, a pen and to the place where i find some calm n peace, to my building terrace!

Ok.. now lets start it from the beginning..

It was the winter and the yr was 1998-99.. I was in junior college.. a tall lean guy who used to be lost in his own world, like just another teen trying to fight away the teen-temptations after getting the much awaited freedom, abt movies.. discs.. juvenile crushes.. or just pure lukkhagiri!! Amit was my pal in joon coll and he used to constantly mention this "ALIEN" sort of word.. wht did he used to call it??.. aahh... "TREKKING"!! I didnt exactly understand wht he actually meant when he used to say "we r going for a trek to blah blah place for the weekend" as my ideas for trekking were purely restricted to the Himalayan mountaneering n such other stuff which i sporadically used to watch on Natgeo.. But then came the turning point in my life when the junior college teachers' strike took place in that december.
Amit once again asked me out for a trek... I was fed up with him using this unknown term with me so i just wanted dwelve deeper into this "Trek" thing.. so i started bombarding hi with thousands of questions like how? what? when ? who? blah.. blahh...

And so i finally agreed to join him and his other pals for my first trek to a place called "GORAKHGAD".. Gorakh what??? it sounded greek to me in the beginning, but later i was to realise that i was an expert in these greek terms and i was to climb gorakh whtever 4 more times!!!

So off we went that one evening in december.. i clearly remember.. we were 8 of us with 2 more rookies... Myself, Nishant and Satej.. so i wasnt that nervous. Then I met that person who was to change my outlook and my life forever.. no it wasnt any from the female species that i wud fall in love with, but was this talkative, philosophical chap who used to wear a hat and had a few extra pounds here and there.. His name was Zankhan.. Whoa!! first Gorakh whtever and now Zan.. ??? Aliens ve really started invading Earth as this cant even b greek!!

Well guys, i wont describe my entire first trek experience..[it was a night trek] cuz i will take ages to do the same.. and so wud u, reading.. But that one night made me realise that hey.. theres a whole new world out here.. This world gives me the much needed calmness and satisfaction i crave for... and i was to discover much more what trekking had to offer later as yrs passed by..

But there r so many things that i cant just single out any particular reason..
Is it for the pure Love i have for mother nature.. for the forests, the birds, for the gushing streams and rivers and waterfalls..

Or is it for the fluffy clouds in the sky.. and the feeling which u get when u get to touch them and be above them..

Or is it for the innumerable stars that twinkle at night.. and when u lie down in the open above the world looking at them and getting a feeling as if u r floating thru the galaxies.. and counting the shooting stars zipping past by u .. so many of them that u run out of wishes...

Or is it the sheer thrill of achieving ur goal.. that being "On top of the world" feeling which i get on climbing any mt.. though knowing its only 1/10th the size of mt.everest

Or is it for the Deepest desires i have inside of me to fly away like a bird after spreading my wings.. that have no boundaries..

Or is it for the village food that i get to eat.. tht bhakari, onion and dal-rice, poha, pickle... and the oppurtunities to meet my fellow Countrymen who live in the far off villages, and their warmth and simple lifestyles just making me realise the importance of cherishing whtever im enjoying here in my life..

Or is it for the freedom of living like a cave man... sleeping in the grass.. on the muddy road.. in the caves.. in open ground.. just about anywhere.. and to top it all.. answering mother nature's call anywhere, anytime i feel to and not feeling embarrased!! [yeah many ppl do experience this heavenly feeling on the streets of mumbai.. but... i cant do tht in my outer world!]

Or maybe its for the the perennial, clear, cold, mineral water as we call it.. from the tanks cut out in the mountain face by the maratha warriors.. and filling up bottles and getting it back home and irritating my mom cuz of it [yeah.. thts even more fun!! :)]

Or maybe its for the countless photography oppurtunities that i get on any trek!!!
Phew! im out of my breathe.. i can think of many more but i guess these are the main reasons.. or are they??

Years have passed.. my trekking pals have changed.. first Zankahan betrayed me and passed away.. then Puneet went away to Dubai.. now i just wait for anyone and literally anyone who is willing to come with me for a trek..

True, there are trekking groups and communities.. But i dont achieve the whole purpose of trekking with them.. that achieving Solitude!!