This Is How I Planned My Question - A Tribute to Our Love and The View

Tripoto
11th Feb 2018

Now

“What should I say?” question I was constantly asking myself throughout the Sandakphu & Phalut Trek. Should I talk about all the good moments we shared or should I ask her forgiveness for all the mistakes I did in our relationship? Or Should I thank her for always sticking with me, standing by my side, waving when I leave. God knows it was a toughest time of my life, mentally, and I was only writing a small paragraph. “What should I say” when I propose to Amrita.

On Sandakphu Peak, in front of Mt Kanchenjunga and Mt Everest

Photo of Sandakphu, Sandakfu, Sandakhphu, West Bengal, India by Hemant Khandagale

Ring in my pocket, I was so excited to reach the peak, that I convinced Amrita to climb it in 2 days, which average trekking groups in Himalaya do it in 4 days. I knew I was asking a lot from her knowing it’s her first time on this trek. But then I feel I do this intentionally. I like when Amrita surprises me with her abilities and also I knew I can take care of her health. In moments, I was acting like her Trekking Guide, observing her layers, is she hydrating enough, is she able to focus etc. A small practice I follow to observe the starting symptoms of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). And the feedback was as predicted “Surprising”. Our official guide also complimented her saying “didi, abhi tak main koi Bengali larki se nahi mila jise Jaubhari se Sandakphu ek din main kiya ho, aap to star ho”. Well Done Amrita.

Photo of Jaubari, 57300, Nepal by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Kalipokhri, West Bengal, India by Hemant Khandagale

Also, besides checking Amrita, I was making multiple trips to my room for checking the ring, may be to know if it's still there? Here I would like to thank my friend Manoj who helped me pick out the ring from Tanishq. Of course, neither of us had any prior knowledge of gold or diamond, besides its market rate of course. Still, with the best of our abilities and Anu’s (my sister) guidance, we could able to finalize one ring. Thank you guys for all your help.

Photo of Sandakphu, Nepal by Hemant Khandagale

The paragraph was keep on shaping and changing itself in my mind. The best part of the mountain I like is that I can hold my thoughts very strongly and resume it anytime I wish. May be, it’s because there is no city disturbance so, I feel calm inside, not many things to disturb me beside the cracking bark sound of the bonfire. I feel very much with myself in mountains. Frankly speaking, I like being selfish with my thoughts in mountains.

1 Year Before

“Tring”, “Tring”, “Tring” My alarm clock started to ring, I said to myself, “Finally, the morning is here”. I rubbed my eyes and wandered my hand in search of the water bottle inside my sleeping bag. It was the early days of April, and I was on a hunt for some beautiful treks of West Bengal, Sikkim, and Nepal border. I heard as it’s the flowering season of the region, I could spot a much different variety of flora and fauna. Close to 50 varieties of Rhododendron Flower bloom in this season. Thanks to the Expert’s advice from travel magazines, I found it’s the best time to spot red pandas and red pigeons.

Photo of Rammam, Sikkim, India by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Sandakphu, Nepal by Hemant Khandagale

It was damn cold outside, probably in minus, but this is the time my hard work pays off. I tied my shoes, picked up my camera, rolled up my water bottle back into the sleeping bag and head to find a perfect viewpoint for my captures. The next 40 mins of my life were so beautiful that I don’t find enough words to describe it. The first ray on Mt Everest was shining like a diamond, Mt Makalu, and Mt Lhotse, guarding the previous mountain in the middle, tilt your head to the right direction, and you see the range of Mt Kanchenjunga sleeping like meditating Buddha waking up to twitting birds and rising sun and in minutes becomes a Golden Key. (Tilt your body to left.) The nature in its best shape. I made a promise to this “view of the highest mountains in the world”, That I will bring her here to ask, she will surely remember it for the lifetime.

Photo of Sunrise Point, Sandakfu, Sandakhphu, West Bengal 734201, India by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Sunrise Point, Sandakfu, Sandakhphu, West Bengal 734201, India by Hemant Khandagale

Now

Amrita could easily see my nervousness. Till the last moment, I was not convinced with myself on “should I do it in Sandakphu or Phalut”. As I had promised to the View, the place was unconditional. But as Sandakphu is the highest peak, I was wishing for the same view from the same Peak.

Photo of Sunrise Point, Sandakfu, Sandakhphu, West Bengal 734201, India by Hemant Khandagale

It was not as cold here as it was last year, still, my voice had little stir. I packed all the necessary things in my camera bag. Had a revisit to the room to check on the ring and to pick up intentionally forgotten tripod. I went back to her and we start climbing again to the peak, although it was only a 10 min hike from the resting house, still, I felt it should have been little more to revise my paragraph. I knew a light to the view as I need to be the owner of the view, I waited. I set-up my camera to the perfect angle of Mt Kanchenjunga and started the 800 frames time-lapse. Perfectly observing the angle from the different directions, I made up my mind. I wanted this moment she remembers so clearly throughout her life as it happened yesterday. I felt that would be my tribute to our love and the View.

Photo of This Is How I Planned My Question - A Tribute to Our Love and The View by Hemant Khandagale

I took the array of disappearing blue light as a sign and held her hand, called her name, bent on my knees and raised her the ring with my small question “Will you marry me?” Frankly speaking to all my brotherhood gang, till this time you feel like you were cooking a Biryani but the words come out like a Khichadi. I could barely voice down the whole complete paragraph I prepared and felt like I am speaking only the first half of it and immediately the next. The paragraph had vanished. But I knew the efforts won’t go unnoticed. She was very happy. She will remember it forever and one day might tell this story to our grandchildren. I wish, my chosen moments always give her giggles when she remembers them.

Photo of Sepi Gaon, West Bengal, India by Hemant Khandagale

Amrita cried her eyes out and said “Yes”. Not knowing which hand to hold, I raised my hand in hope to place the ring. Thankfully she knew. A big hug and she started jumping and shouting like mad, “I am engaged, I am engaged”. Luckily no-one was around. We took some photos with Mt Kanchenjunga, gave our respect to the view and started descending back to the homestay. She was shivering because of cold but still resistant to wear her gloves. She was very happy with my surprise and I wish she always be.

Photo of Sandakphu, Nepal by Hemant Khandagale

Although the purpose of my travel was over, Amrita still wanted to climb Phalut for a closer look to the mountains. So, we picked our bags and head to climb another adventure together. I wish our friendship develop as beautiful and strong as these mountains of Himalaya. Do plan her day in these mountains, she surely remember it as her best.

Please read Amrita's side of the Story:

He Proposed me at the Highest Peak of Bengal - Lovely Sandakphu

Photo of Habre's Nest, Jamuna, Nepal by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Darjeeling Railway Station, Hill Cart Road, Limbugaon, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Meghma, West Bengal, India by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Singalila National Park, West Bengal, India by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Singalila Forest, West Bengal, India by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Ghotte, Sandakhphu, West Bengal, India by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Ghotte, Sandakhphu, West Bengal, India by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Phalut, Singalila Forest by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Phalut, Singalila Forest by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Phalut, Singalila Forest by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Phalut, Singalila Forest by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Phalut, Singalila Forest by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Jaubari Road 57300, Jaubari, Nepal by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Jaubari Road 57300, Jaubari, Nepal by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Jaubari Road 57300, Jaubari, Nepal by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Gairibas, West Bengal, India by Hemant Khandagale
Photo of Gairibas, West Bengal, India by Hemant Khandagale
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