It’s 9.00 am. I sit on my desk, writing about a trek that I did five months back in Himachal when suddenly my Whatsapp buzzes with a video call. Irritated at the loud ringtone obstructing my thoughts, I stare at my phone screen flashing ‘Yeshi calling’! Surprisingly, I find myself grinning ear to ear.
A minute or two of usual greetings later, Yeshi speaks in a rather worried tone "Ma’am, Ani bol raha hai, aap Delhi mat jaana. Coronvirus fael raha hai. Yahin rehna aap. Travel mat karna!" (Hi ma'am, this is Ani. Please don't go to Delhi as the virus is spreading. Stay here only.) I am still smiling while typing this. Friendships that my mountain sojourns give me are priceless. And the ones made in this secluded Gompa on the Eastern Himalayas of Arunachal, with these simple souls in maroon robes are even more special.