Sometimes you want a way out, a portal that can take you to an anonymous land. All that you seek is peace of mind because you are done doing the daily chores. Somewhere, where you can just stop.
Ah ! I was there at my desk, waiting for Friday to get over. Just a little context, I have had my share of life when the idea of fun got limited to going for movies, or hitting a club or having some fancy dinner. Like every day, my work consumed most of my time and the clock kept ticking super fast. Somewhere on the back of my mind, a thought constantly running, what am I looking for, what will keep me content. And then, the clock struck 9:00 PM. Time to go for a trip that I desperately awaited, yet unsure if it will give me what I am looking for. What I am seeking, still unknown till date! I was going to Prashar Lake (Himachal) with my friends. Rushing through the metro stations and the huge bus stop of Kashmere Gate (Delhi), we somehow managed to board the bus to Mandi (Himachal), right on time, not a minute later not a minute sooner. It felt like an achievement, already. I had already got the adrenaline up and running with the kind of start I had. Thus started my journey of a small trek, which was eventually going to live up to my big expectations.
The best part about traveling is that you get to learn something, every single second. Be it from the people, the situations or nature. The first lesson I learned in the initial 15 mins of the journey: You shouldn’t really expect to get what you give, and when you don’t, know how to let go. Deal with people based on the way you are, not on how they are. I was so tired after the long day, I wanted to fall asleep right away, but was afraid to miss the unseen. Unfortunately, I did fell asleep. But I was happy that I did because the first thing I saw the moment I woke up was:
the moon so bright, shining up in the endless sky; a stream so white, flowing through the darkness of light; a likeness of the stream to meet the moon, in a night filled with the echoes of silence.
And I followed the moon and the stream till I reached my destination. It was 5 o’ clock and we started the climb after a real heavy breakfast. Lesson number two, don’t anticipate what’s going to come too soon. The climb for me was like going back to my village in Almora, the narrow unpaved paths, full of dried pines and pine needles with snow, nowhere to be seen. I was getting a little disappointed as this was not what I came for but you know what, patience does bear sweet fruit. I took this turn and there was snow, endless terrains covered with snow. It was so beautiful that it took me minutes to absorb what I just saw. The lush green meadows covered with snow, with the grass trying to find a way out through the snow. The turn seemed to lead straight to the snow mountains, the snowy slope to few small lakes, the gush of the wind to the joyous mood and few friends to a world so perfect. Excited by the thought of what lies ahead, I carefully marched forward. That’s when I saw this place, Prashar Lake. A small lake beside a beautifully architectured temple, dedicated to Saint Prashar.
There was a different sort of a peace there. No phones, no internet, no noise and just us with ourselves was one reason out of the many. The aura that surrounded me, did soothe my mind and for minutes I was into this blank state, where I was thinking about absolutely nothing. I was living the moment. I sat down at the stairs and waited for the sun to completely set. Watching the colors of the sky and the sun setting behind a mountain got me thinking about how we miss these amazing creations, being busy in the moribund city life. We need so little to be happy, my third realization during this journey. As it got dark and the dark night flowed in, I was again waiting for something- moon rise. It was 11 Feb, the night of the trio:
As it got dark and the dark night flowed in, I was again waiting for something- moon rise. It was 11 Feb, the night of the trio: the lunar eclipse, the new year comet, and the snow moon. These being slightly visible from parts of Asia, Himachal not being one of them (lolz). But in my mind, I had already imagined how it would be but what came in front of my eyes is something that was hard for me to believe. This is how I saw it:
With some blood in the moonlight, the moon rose. First slightly and then fully. From behind the snow-capped range, it rose like a slice cake, with the peak completing the moon. Slowly and steadily, the peaks gleamed white, the moon rose to full and I was lost in the beauty, in the unsaid things that natures makes us realize.
For a moment I stood there, numb. Holding my camera, standing still and not even trying to capture this. Because I knew I could never do justice to this sight. For what we can see and feel is rarely captured and perceived. My lesson for life! Coming back to reality, I learned how to set up a tent, how to do a push knot and how to roll my clothes and how important are the people whom you are with. Because you are responsible and partially a responsibility at the same time. Packed into layers of clothing, linens and a sleeping bag, I slept peacefully that night on the rough ground, besides the rocks and huge chunks of snow. I didn’t want to miss the sunrise and I did not. I made my way through the icy slopes, slipping and falling and there I saw one of the most beautiful panoramas in my life. The sun rising from my right, touching the top of the highest peak on the left; the sun further rising, the sunlight lowering to the low-lying peaks. It was a game for me, dwindling my head right to left, trying to find what each ray is doing to the mountains.
A sight in itself! Forgot to mention, for the first time in my life I saw a sunrise with a pinch of blue. It made it all the more beautiful. Have you guys seen this too? If yes, where? Gonna be my next destination :) I climbed down next evening, with a different ME. Traveling always changes a part of me and I feel more content with my life.
What’s your story?