The descent to Kedarnath

I never really wanted to write this story mostly because the events of this story is bad in some ways.  But it made me a little more than I was before that. Thus I decided to write it down.

Ghuttu

Ghuttu

There were five of us, started from Ghuttu, a village in Garwhal himalayas we crossed rivers and hiked along barely visible trails to make our way to Mayali Pass. Mayali pass quite high, enough to make to feel the lightness of air and absence of oxygen. The part which troubles me most about this altitude is that you can never really get a good sleep and rest. I found myself jerking off from sleep to get a good breath at night. At this altitude the most common sickness you get is “altitude sickness”, symptoms include dizzness, nausea, reduced brain functioning etc. and the worst, HAPE (High altitude pulmonary edema, fluids gets into your lungs and you die).

The camp near, few kilometers away from Vasuki Taal

The camp few kilometers away from Basuki Taal. Photo courtesy Dibyendu Seal or Mrinmoy Sarkar (don’t rememer clearly)

View from tent, Basuki Taal camp site

View from tent, Basuki Taal camp site

It was all going great, we crossed Mayali pass with flying colors and camped a few kilometers before Basuki Taal, after which we would have to cross a few ridges and get to Kedar Nath (the end of our journey). The day we were about to descent to Kedar Nath, one of our team members started feeling sick. He couldn’t walk, he was feeling dizzy and tipsy. So the most nimble member of our team was sent to get some help from the porters, who were already ahead and pushing fast to KedarNath. Rest of us decided to stay back with the unwell.

Basuki Taal at a distance. Behind those ridges lies Kedarnath.

Basuki Taal at a distance. Behind those ridges lies Kedarnath.

Moments laters, as we looked at the Lake, a few kilometers ahead. Suspecting that it might be difficult for the nimble guy tp get help alone, I was sent to help the other guy. I started alone, leaving behind our guide with the rest of the team, trying to find my way to the lake. I wanted to go fast, so that we can rescue the sick member faster, and that led to bad navigaton from my part. I had to re-route my way mutliple times until I got to Basukitaal. When I reached Basukitaal, the nimble guy shouted at me from the other side of the lake. He said the porters have already left the lake and crossed the ridge, which I already suspected. I shouted back at him, asked him to follow the trail and catch up.

The bad part about these ridges is that you never know what comes next, and as fas as I knew, if I could cross the ridge after the lake, I would find the final descent to Kedarnath. I was wrong. I started circum-navigate the lake, walking over rocks with the sound of water trickling under them. I reached the trail at the other side of the lake and started walking up. I found the other nimble guy sitting. He said he was hungry, I had some biscuits with me. We didn’t have water with us. We usually filled our bottles from waterfalls and small streams, but in the urgency of the moment we both forgot to fill bottles. Eating all those biscuits was a bad decision, our throats got parched. Without water, we started to walk. The nimble guy was quite tired, so was I.

After going up for a while, closing in to the ridges I found some patches of snow here and there. I decided to eat snow to quench my thirst, so did the other guy. One should never do that.

Now there were two of us, going up slowly. After we cross the first ridge, to my horror there were a lot of trails going here and there with no clear path to Kedarnath. My friend decided to take a trail which he though could be the shortest path to Kedarnath and I was finding another trail more promising. We split up.

The trails were broken by rocklines, which were hardest to navigate. I pushed on, almost in empty brain. I could see the magnificent 360 degree view of Garwhal. I didn’t want to stop to get photographs, I had to get help from Kedarnath. Now Mrinmoy Da gone the other way, I was alone on the trail to Kedarnath.

They say there is no first sight of Kedarnath, there is first sound of Kedarnath. You can hear the bells of Kedarnath, ringing and permeating the valleys. I wanted to hear that sound. Crossing over rocks, slipping, doubting the trail at times, I finally found a well laden trail, and after walking a few yards, I looked down the hill and saw a town, with helicopters. I stopped, I could hear the helicopter engine, I could also hear the bells. I had doubts because the guide told that a trail from those ridges can also lead to Rudraprayag; I didn’t know for sure if the town far below me was Kedarnath. I could still get help. I took a deep breath and cried for a moment while the sound of the breeze mingled with the distant bells.

Kedarnath in background. This was taken moments after me and Mrinmoy Da was were re-united. Photo courtesy Mrinmoy Sarkar

Kedarnath in background. This was taken after me and Mrinmoy Da were re-united. Photo courtesy Mrinmoy Sarkar

I started walking down the nice rock laden way toward the supposedly Kedarnath. Black clouds started appearing to my left, with light drizzles. I found two hikers on my way down, and I asked them if the town below is Kedarnath and they said I was right. Relieved, I kept on walking. My jacket zipper was broken, and the rainrops were getting bigger, and I feared I might catch cold.

Hearing some sound from behind me, I looked back and saw Mrinmoy Da, walking fast torwards me. It was a moment of joy. I was glad that I was right and I was amazed my his stamina, as he walked down the wrong trail, walked back up and caught up with me. Now we were two again, still with no water, we pushed on. Mrinmoy Da complained about his cramping legs, I kept on saying ‘just a little more’. It was definitely not a ‘little’ more.

Now the hill was very comfortable for us, even there was a rock laden footroad for us, we broke up and went down the way we felt comfortable in, to get there fast and get help. We found nice stream, we drank water, quenched our long deprived thirst from it’s misery, felt like a new man and started off. The rain was heavy by then, and Mrinmoy Da put his poncho on. I kept running on open jacket.

We reached Kedarnath at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon, we started from campsite at 8 o’clock. We found our porters there, I asked for help. They got some guys who gets people on ‘Duli’s and carries them. We figured they might be able to carry the sick guy down to Kedarnath and we sent them off. I wanted to go with them, but Mrinmoy Da said they would walk fast and as I was tired as hell, I might fall sick too. We went to a hotel, and I found a big 1 inch blister on my right foot.

Kedarnath

Kedarnath

One of our team members, our leader came an hour after we came down. He said the guide is with the other guy and the unwell member. They are coming in slow and he also met the people who we sent to get them down safely. We waited, till 11 o’clock at night. They came to Kedarnath.

I spent that night at Kedarnath hospital, looking over Nilu Kaku. He is very strong, I knew he would be alright the next morning.

Story of the dumbass

Before you start reading I must say that this story has no resolution. It’s full of dumbasstic moments of misguided overly concentrated apparently grand acts of faith and fickleness.

Our hero A, the dumbass, is single, awesome and brimming brilliantly with Love. He used to think he could make a girl believe that she is the luckiest girl alive.

Our princess, B is an extraordinarily awesome girl, strong, confident, smart, brilliant. B met A and A fell in Love, like a few times before. And A thought B likes him too. And that starts the great moments of fondness, exaggerated by As Love for B.

This angel, C, is also an awesome girl. Fun loving, happy, smiling angel. A felt this inordinate fondness for C since they met. A is bad at expressing and socializing, so according to him it never went up. After the great episode of fondness with B and A began, the angel stopped flying and A felt he could make her fly again, and his fondness for C turned to Love. At that time A became more awesome and being faithful to the concepts of Love, he tried to grab the angels’ hand and tried to tell her that he loves her; only horribly A came to know she never did stop flying and she cannot help him fly.

In great sadness and despair A went to B to tell him all about the events he experienced with C, expecting that B would understand his faith towards honesty and take him back, forgiving his infidelity. The dumbasses’ expressions run wild while he failed to express his Love for B. B went away only to meet A at dire times when when A is about to break. Bs whisper calms A like nothing else, yet B goes away everytime. A started to think if B really couldn’t forgive his infidelity; With whole big black veil of guilt he wrapped his heart.

Like a desert creature wait for a little rain under the unforgiving sun, A started to wait for those little rare flashes of B that supplies A little sips of fuel to live on.

Tragedy

WARNING: May contain spoilers…

While I was getting out of puberty, they said ‘tragedy’ is a word meant to refer literary works that end up sad. And my language teachers also said that tragedy leaves a deeper mark in your mind than comedy does, which is the opposite of tragedy, happy endings. Somehow I used to not like tragedy. Leaving a deeper mark didn’t appeal me much. I thought my life was tragic enough. And my notion of having a tragic life was supported by the lack of getting a partner in Love multiple times. And thus I kept growing old.

When I got my copy of Eragon, Book One of Inheritance Cycle in 2004, I devoured it. I bought it from Kolkata Book Fair, as my Father suggested I get Eragon instead of Lord Of The Rings trilogy. And then I kept waiting for the next book, then the next and then the final, Eldesgt, Brisingr, Inheritance. Somewhere in the middle I read Lord of the Rings trilogy. I almost forgot about the Inheritance Cycle (Initially a trilogy) when the last book came out few days ago and I finished it few hours ago.

After reading it through, I had this sense of gap. This elf woman Arya, with whom Eragon was in Love but never joined. They came close but their love never matured, even after everything they went through together; wars, battles, meetings, confrontations. And in the end, Eragon had to leave alone to take up the mantle of the dargon-riders and raise the race of dragons. And Arya had to stay in her kingdom. I read the parts where Eragon and Arya had to consult over their parting and where they parted, over and over again. It just didn’t feel right. Since 2004, I watched Eragon grow feelings for Arya. And I really hoped something good would happen, but now, it’s just over!  Nor did it feel good as Nasuada and Murtagh had to part, because Murtagh had to live alone for the deeds he had done.

It’s swelling when I think that Eragon and Arya will never unite, even Murtagh and Nasuada just might. Even in Lord Of The Rings, Aragorn and Arwen had their Love after the great war of Middle Earth. But in Alagasia everyone had to part after the great war against King Galbatorix.

Maybe this is why I would put Paolini over Tolkien, Inheritance Cylce over Lord Of the Rings trilogy. It just left a deeper mark in my mind if not life.

The Rescue

I was waiting for a long time to post this. But I could not as my internet connection was down. But now, that I have regained the connection, I think I should write up this story right away.

Well, they were not conservation workers who did the job, there. They did rescue a DOG, from almost certain death. I am no good story teller, but I will try my best, so that you won’t fall asleep.

I didn’t even notice what was going on, but I saw one among team was looking the down a hole, near a temple named Ghagarburi. The rocks near the temple is has some strange holes, made by some industrial effluent flowing there. And there was some scream, it was the dog, and it fell in a watered hole. It was the scream that I noticed (and once again it was proved, that scream is an evolutionary aid).

Well, here is the team:

The Team

Now, just as we noticed that the dog was in trouble, the first thing that was on our mind that how to save it.

We saw a piece of clothe. We thought it would have traction with her feet, if we lay it at the mouth of the hole, as she was slipping. But that didn’t work as the cloth was slipping itself. “Godammit!”, we thought.

Then someone brought a large branch of a tree, to help the dog. But she couldn’t understand that we meant it for a ladder. And she screamed even louder.

The operation:

The Operation

Ultimately she did get out, with the help that piece of clothes, as one us stopped the clothe from slipping.

I didn’t really did anything in the operation but I felt very light that day, when she looked back while running to her kids. I don’t know if it was gratitude, or some mystified look.

The Dog

Run Baby, Run! Your kids are waiting for you…

The undeterred confessions of a broken heart…

Two of them were walking along the pavement. Both were in light mood. It was almost twilight, the street was almost, except a car a minute. They were talking vivaciously about thermodynamics. They both liked the way it was, empty streets are perfect for talking about such subjects. “Entropy is a parameter which increases when a system goes to a state of higher probability” The other replied, “I can’t get it, explain”.

“Well, when a system…”, he suddenly pauses.

“What’s the matter?”, he asked, looking at his companion. His companions eyes were fixed on the couple walking a bit far away from them. The girl seemed beautiful from behind. She wore a short sleeved salwar and a jeans. Her hands seemed to be crafted by an artist, her legs seemed to in perfect harmony with each other. She got a ponytail hair. It was swinging gracefully as she walked. The gently gust of wind was agitating her salwar. Her shoulders seemed to be in a perfect geometry, which were oscillating in a subtle frequency as she walked. Her curves were attractive, as if the Golden Ratio was implied upon them. The boy beside him was pretty much ordinary, wore a trouser and a shirt. Their hands was rubbing each other; they were walking side by side.

“Isn’t she beautiful?!”, one of them just spoke out of a trance.

“Who, the girl?”

“Who else!”

“Why she? I mean there are lot other beautiful in the town, why did she attracted you? Something fishy, eh?”, the other said in a ‘making fun’ tone.

“No, nothing is fishy”, he said calmly.

“Some thing’s wrong buddy, do you know her?”, seriously this time.

“I don’t only know her!”

“You mean…?”, they understood each other very clearly.

“Yup, from the first time I saw her. But I was waiting for a perfect day, when I could expose my love to her, when I could really convince her that I really love her. You know, I really love her.”

“I get it.”

“Have you ever fallen in love?”

“Nope”

“Then you cannot get it!”

“Why?”

“When you love someone with all your heart, and expect a bit of a passion from that person, and find out that she doesn’t even like you; it feels awfully bad.”

“Oh, you mean, you told her something.”

“No, she somehow anticipated me.”

“Ya, girls are a hell lot aware than we are.”

“and when she knew that I love her, she told one of her friend, that she doesn’t even want to talk with me, she said I am disturbing her.”

“Leave her, buddy, you have better things to do. What does she knows about you?”

“Nothing.”

“That is why she was able to ignore you like that.”

He gave a profound smile. His friend asked, “Why are you smiling?”

“I can’t leave her.”

“Why?”

“Because… if I leave her, if I stop loving her, I will fall from my ideal. I will love her endlessly, until I die.”

“Be logical! She will never love you, then what will you get from your love?!”

“Nothing”, he smiled again, “but I am sure one day she will realize that someone had truly loved her”

“Damn that ‘one day'”

The other smiled again, his eyes shone with some inner fire,”It’s my life! If fate wants a challenge, I will give one, I will stay undeterred, I will be unbreakable.”

Tenacity & audacity

He was an average student. He had his secondary board exams. But he didn’t expect his result to be bad. He didn’t make a result good enough for science education in higher secondary. He was really sad. He searched for a school to get appoint him as a student of science in higher secondary. But no school was willing to do so. After a long search, he got his school. He started to study science in higher secondary. Two years passed away. He had his higher secondary exam. He got lower than 65%. He wanted to be a physics graduate. But whenever he asked someone to advice, about colleges, everyone frowned at him and said, “How can you think of yourself as a physics graduate, with this marks in higher secondary?” He was almost broken. What else he could do? No college would give him honors in Physics while he got such poor marks in higher secondary. One college did give him at last. He started to study physics.

When the result of the graduation was out, he stood second in the whole university. Now, he is doing some research on semiconductors in Germany.

I think he had a heavy dream, and I still don’t know his name.

He crash landed behind enemy line. His feet got shattered. He crawled through snow and ice, for eighteen days. He survived, and rescued by some villagers nearby. He stayed with the villagers a few days and fed by them he recovered a bit, but his feet got worse. After a few days, his fellow airmen took him from the villagers, sent him to Moscow for some better treatment. He was a fighter pilot.

Both his feet ware amputated. The doctor advised him to walk with wooden stumps. But how can he fly again with his wooden stumps? He broke. He didn’t even dared to write the news of his amputation to his lover. Would she be able to love him in such condition? But something made him stronger. He doggedly trained himself to walk again, he even learned to dance (can you imagine dancing with wooden feet). While everyone was assured that he won’t be able to fly and fight again, he went to the flight school to train himself. He became a pilot again. He truly belonged to the sky.

He was a soviet airman. His name is Alexei Petrovich Maresiev.

They both are very different men, and they are two among many, who define tencity and audacity.