Dayara Bugyal Trek, India

15th May 2015


Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek, India by Hinal Shah

And I said yes! I was excited and yet terrified. But I said yes to a trek after almost 11 years. I actually took a moment to breathe after I paid up for it. This was real and there was no going back. Although I had already started questioning myself. Was I fit enough? Will I be able to walk? Will I be able to breathe? Will I stay alive? It sounds silly now but the storm in my head was very real then. I was full of doubts and short of confidence. But there was this low, suppressed voice inside that was telling me to go ahead. And everything became quiet once I said yes. All the chaos came to peace like this clear still water. I was excited like never before and couldn't wait for the trek!

Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek, India 1/2 by Hinal Shah

The first day was the worst. I was the last one walking and it wasn't a good feeling.. I felt restless and yet motivated too at times. But my body would give up after a point. I felt exhausted after reaching the campsite and wondered what is wrong. I was supposed to enjoy! This experience was supposed to magically rekindle my love for the mountains, for the nature.. But nothing of that sort was happening. Instead there I was, tired and enervated. Where was the energy?

Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek, India 2/2 by Hinal Shah

On 3rd day of the journey, I met this wonderful human. He was 92 years old and walked faster than us. A monk living alongside a lake and a small temple. But guess what, his little abode was completely solar powered! He said if you wait for things to happen for you, you would be 100 years old and still be at the same place. You have to figure out a way and do what works for you best. That obviously hit me hard given the circumstances. :p

People you meet on the journey..

Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek, India by Hinal Shah

The next morning, I woke up to this. I knew in my heart that today was my day. I was pumped up and started walking with great energy. I was enjoying the serene views, snow capped peaks all around me for the first time. Everything was falling in place. Fast forward a couple of hours, restlessness, exhaustion, tiredness. Hahhahaa! I thought this was supposed to be the day that would magically change me, that would make me find myself again.. You must be thinking I am being silly and unrealistic. Well I blame the movies!

Who wouldn't be charged up after waking up to this view?

Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek, India by Hinal Shah

But honestly, I was wondering what am I missing. Why is this not turning out the way it was supposed to? It had been three days and I was kind of losing heart. I hadn't come all the way here to just walk blindly for 7-8 hours a day. I was there to be one with the nature. I was there to sing the same song as the mother earth. I was there to live. The mountains weren't going anywhere. The trees weren't going anywhere. So why and what was I rushing towards? Why was I stressing so much? And what was I missing in the process? Too much drama? If you think I am being dramatic, look at this..!

Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek, India by Hinal Shah

But you know it is true. What they say is true. The nature works its magic on you. The clouds, the clear view of the mountains, snow capped peaks, eternal blue sky and just sheer serenity. It makes you calm in a way that's hard to explain. The path is endless but you are not in a hurry. For change, you are not really worried about the destination. Wherever you are, it is beautiful, it is alive. You are alive.

Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek, India by Hinal Shah

We often get so overwhelmed by the destination that we forget about the journey. In the end, it is the journey that creates so many memories. It is the journey that makes the destination special. Why does reaching the summit make you feel proud? Because you have worked hard on your way up, in my case, really hard! :D There were times when I was walking completely alone. Nobody was in sight before or after me for like an entire stretch. But surprisingly I was not afraid. I didn't think even for a single moment what if I'm lost. I have always had this trust in nature. I truly believe that nature never harm you unless you trigger it of course. It felt so good to be reminded of that trust after so many years. That feeling you get when you an old friend after ages! That familiar comfort, joy, the bond you shared.. Everything just comes back in a flash! For me it was exactly like that.

"It is not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves."

Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek, India by Hinal Shah

How can I forget these beautiful people? One of the most fun group I have been with. We would all sing together on the trail, play cricket at the campsite, play cards in the night, wake each other up every time somebody had to pee in the middle of the night. Such beauties. Except, the kids in the picture. They kept teasing me by calling me aunty!

Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek, India by Hinal Shah

Oh and I did manage to find my pace and gain momentum. It took a few days but good things come to those who wait! :p

"My dream is to fly!, over the rainbow so high!"

Photo of Dayara Bugyal Trek, India by Hinal Shah

Stories are never ending. Until we meet again. Adios beautiful people!