Wednesday, April 11, 2007

NIM, here I come, (to get creamed?)

I saw the Himalayas for the first time in 2003. Knew instantly that that wouldnt be the last. I had gone on a 9 day trek in the Himachal region (near Solang Nala). That was my first real trek. And the real reason for my going on that trip was neither Himalayas nor trekking. But i am glad i did that. It got me totally hooked. All around you, things are beautiful. You are heading to a peak or a glacier that has an exotic name. You exert yourself crazy doing so. A bunch of people tag along. Some swear. Some want to kick themselves for having gotten into such a predicament. Some want to kick others for getting them into such a predicament. Some are way too tired to complain or to see the beauty around. And then the destination is reached. All ills are forgotten. The entire exercise gives an illusion of purpose. It is truly amazing. And there is something surreal about defecating at 15000 ft. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Moon rays reflecting off the icy slopes. It offers such a profound contradiction. The beauty and the shit. And you anxiously keep looking over your shoulders. Someone from the camp could walk by. Or worse, a bear from the forests could walk by (thats far-fetched, but your mind can think up any crap). I got totally taken in by the idea of carrying a heavy bag and walking on trails for no specific purpose. Went there again in 2004. This time Himalayas was the real reason. After that I've been doing random treks in random places whenever possible, always wanting to do something more serious, like they show in Adventure-One and stuff. I sent a request to join some expedition in the Himalayas by a group called Stikage in Delhi last year. They politely turned me down saying i didnt have enough high altitude experience.

Anyways, shook off lethargy this year and enrolled for the Basic mountaineering course at Nehru Institute of Mountaineering at Uttarkashi. But could not shake off lethargy enough to train myself for it adequately. So here i am, 10 days away from the course. Awfully underprepared. Quite anxious. Blessed with a back that is not the best in the world. But still, looking forward to the 28-day slog-fest that is in store. Hoping to pull through. And hoping that my body does not have other plans...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Regret trigger...

What would be your biggest regret if you knew you had very little time left? Would you wish you were nicer to your parents. Nicer to your partner. Nicer to your friends and siblings. Would you regret not having had a companion you could die for, you could kill for. Knowing he/show would do the same for you without batting an eyelid. A relationship that defies the native human self-preservative instincts. Would you regret not having stepped off the safety-net onto the relatively unknown, cos it did not confirm to the series of check-boxes you had planned for yourself. Would you regret not having achieved enough, not having made a difference. Or would you look back with a sense of satisfaction, a sense of achievement, and a pinch of regret (can't be all rosy, whoever you are), and embrace the moment?

To borrow what Ethan Hawke says in 'Reality bites', I would have a planet of regrets sitting on my shoulders. But i have a sizeable amount of time left (you cant be sure about such things, but still..). And a will to do something about it. And a potent combination of laziness and cynicism to prevent me from doing something about it.

On an unrelated note, the song 'BC Sutta' has been playing on my comp forever since yesterday and in my head whenever i leave my comp. The 'sutta' in the song is supposedly a metaphor for abandoned dreams. Thanks to Solilowkey (you could find the link for the song there) for making me cast my ears on this. Be forewarned that this song has a liberal dose of bad-mouthing and is not meant for fragile ears and moral science teachers.