Vantage point

Monday, December 02, 2002

I have always been fascinated by the Himalayas. I have no recollection of my first memory of this greatest of Mountain ranges. It must have been through some picture postcard or poster when I was a kid. But as I grew up, I would pause whenever i saw a picture of the Himalayas and reiterate the promise I had made to myself- I will visit the Himalayas a.s.a.p and eventually retire there. Ruskin Bond's lifestyle always fascinated me. Living in the peaceful and green valleys of the Himalayas, writing books for a living. THAT is life! Maybe I'll have that one day.

I finally made the visit to my dream destination when I was 18 years old after I finished with my Class 12 exams. There were 35 of us who had gone on a High Altitude Trekking Expedition ( ironically abbreviated as H.A.T.E since I loved those 15 days) to the Baspa Valley in Himachal Pradesh. I still remember when it finally sank in that I was in the place which i thought of as my eventual home. We had gone for an orientation trek in Narkhanda, and after having scaled a decent height, we all sat down to rest. In fron of me, lay the most breathtaking view I have ever seen in my life. I don't know if it was that special to everyone else, but for me, it was as if I had died and gone to heaven.

It is difficult to describe it, simply because it was like one of the many "green-mountains-capped-withsnow-and-blue-sky-above" pictures you see. But for me it was special because it was the first time I was actually sitting and looking at such a view. It was like being the part of a picture postcard.

The whole expedition was memorable, and I made myself a promise, that I would return to these verdant valleys soon again. However the Pune University Engineering Schedule used to be such that we never had vacations during a period conducive to go to the Himalayas.

Now I live just at the foothills of the great range. Monsoon is over. However, exam approacheth.

I'll be back soon, O snow capped peaks, wait for me.