Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another Chance Received-II

So, this is another blunder committed (and this could be a repentance in the form of inflicting pain to any/all who read this lol )
The setting is manali, some 6 years back... traveling with my folks and seeing that beautiful heaven on earth first time. We stayed back in old manali, in a beautiful resort in the winters and the entire time the place was snow struck. something so beautiful; always under appreciated with words. Over the course of a week, i traveled in kullu valley, from roerichs residence (who is a powerful painter- and some of his paintings are kept in this summer house of his) to various old temples in old manali, to rothang- till the point snow covered the entire road. The journey in kullu valley with the beas flowing so serenly everywhere- its definitely should be on everyones travel list while in india/visiting india.
Anyways, one of the days we got out with our driver and went to look for some pretty temples, en route we stopped over near the road; to catch up a little wood temple which looked pretty old. The caretakers there (who also lived there), were gracious people- entertaining us with the myth of the temple and serving us tea (mountain people- none so gentle/innocent as them). They told us about a cave which resided at the top of the mountain behind the temple. There was a proper trekking route which also lead to arjuna gufa, as they put it. This is where the pandavas roamed around extensively before they ascended to heaven from kedarnath- arjuna spent some time in the cave at the top of the hill, in summers many people ascended to sit and meditate in the cave (with goat/sheep hearders as well), but winters was more of a downtrodden affair.
All i can justify myself with is that i was young and naive and most probably blown stupid out of my head :D
So i take leave of my folks and gracious temple people, and start up on the small un walkable route which led up to the cave, though i thought i might not be able to make it all the way up; yet there was enough in me to get me to a beautiful height, and if i did it have in me, i could be the only one in a cave so far away from the existence i knew. This is what propelled me up at incredible speed. I was wearing sandals with socks, and they didnt have the best grip i do believe. But these trivialities didnt strike me then.
I climb for some 45 minutes without a break, the path is hardly a water stream (which is how the path had been formed i guess), and extremely steep and ofcourse extremely dangerous, i am a mountain kid (or so i would like to believe), and i liked the challenge, when i take to a mountain- i like to climb it, no other way about it. The power of the mountain propels me upwards, till i reach the summit. this was the case here as well.
I reach a greater height, and i see that there is ice (not snow) all over the path in front- the small path is convoluted, and now there is no mud to grip, only ice. This is where i admit i make a mistake, i should have slowly turned around and descended, i try to climb on th ice, and i go some 2-3 steps on the incline, and i slip (as if that was not on the cards), and fall on my ass and slide on the iced water stream path- i forgot to tell, that the path is on the edge, a single slip and you fall all the way down to the temple (a long way down i say), and thats how i almost slip and fall, i slide, and my legs are hanging over the edge, il tell you (as this is a repentance of sorts lol )- the way i did not actually fall down that day, is i grabbed a small twig - plant (the only one present where i fell as i remember), and held it to hold my weight, it did and i didnt fall off the cliff.. i am deeply thankful for that plant and for the energies on that hill which didnt see my arrogance in trying to climb to the meditation place as so bad as to kill me off (this is factual- the mountain dont like you- it will throw you down. i have understood that much atleast)
I take a moment, and breathe, atleast i am not sliding anymore, i use the same twig, to climb some steps down, and then hold on and wrestle with the mud around the ice, to bring my feet back to non-iced ground. I silently make my way back down. I return, and this time i do need that delicious cup of tea. I sit and look up to see where i was, it was a very long distance up. and of course would have been a very swift free fall.


Love and Peace 

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