It's not always about comforts and luxuries. Sometimes we get attached to, feel a connection with simple things in life. A remote place, a wooden bench in a park or even a rock.
I felt such a connection with the lakes in Kashmir. I sat on a rock for hours (a notebook in hand) and listened to the sound of water in the lake. There was a nice rhythm to it.
I came to Kashmir to find my own voice. Not bits and pieces. Not whispers. But its source. Sitting on the rock, next to the lakes. I heard myself loud and clear.
The stars are slowly emerging from the shadow of sun. Food is getting cold. They are calling me inside, but I wish to stay here (on this rock) longer. I haven't seen a shooting star yet.
A beautiful woman sits next to me on the rock. It's dark. I can't see her, but I can hear her soft voice. She believes in God; she has faith. I am a cynic. Perhaps we can learn something from one another.
Illustration: Pramati Anand
I am sitting alone on a rock. The laughter of fellow trekkers is audible. There is a strange noise coming from the lake. I wonder if it is a crocodile. They scare me to death. The sun tried to shine through the cloud cover. It failed. Sometimes we lose despite our best efforts. The sun will try again tomorrow. So should we.
There are mountains, meadows, goats and horses everywhere. But I love the lakes the most. The ripples and reflections on its surface are hypnotising, almost an invitation. But if you get too close, it will sink you. It reminds me of a woman.
I jump into the freezing lake. It is one of those things you do even though it's foolish. A cold current passes through my body. A few days of fever is better than a lifetime of regret.
The lake looked beautiful yesterday evening. Not so much today. A thick layer of dust has settled close to where I sit. Even the most beautiful things have an ugly side to them.
The morning sunlight is giving warmth to my back. Just yesterday evening, I was shivering to death sitting on the rock. Time changes, people change and so does the weather. Everyone deserves a second chance.
I crave for company and companionship in Delhi. When I found both in Kashmir, I ran away. Came and sat on this rock. I am looking for something; I never wish to find. Is that what they call being lost.
I think this is the end. I will step off this rock and return to Srinagar. There won't be any mountains, rocks or lakes. Only chairs and Cabins. You know what I mean.
I have been sitting on this rock and writing for hours. Everyone is ready to leave. I look at the mountains one last time. Close my eyes and hear the sound of the waterfall. Hopefully, it will stay with me.
I want to write more. I don't care much if I get lost or left behind. I will find my own way. Or lose myself in the mountains. The prospect doesn't scare me. But what to do. The ink has run dry.