When did everything go right? Almost all of my life something or other went wrong. There were numerous times everything went wrong and never did I suddenly know that everything will be alright. It never happens like that when suddenly everything changes to your way. Err… maybe I am wrong something like that happened to me.
It happened quite long time back when I was in my college years. It was such long time ago that I almost forgot. Am I becoming over the years? I was never like this earlier, why even now. In every situation I try to look at the brighter side. At-least imagine there is a brighter side when I can see none.
Now coming to the story of sudden disappearance or appearance of every thing becoming alright. I was studying in college then and we were four very close friends me, Jay, Anup and Nilay. Our summer vacations were on. In India we have summer vacations and we had planned trek in one of the comparatively lower ranges of Himalayas. Since none of us was a trained mountaineer we looked for the most easy climbs which novices like us could do. I was entrusted with finding such a trek. I asked Dev who had been to a few climbs with a mountaineering group. He asked some of his senior mountaineer friends. One of the guy’s who had done K2 gave me the route and a list of things we would need for our trip. Since there was no internet was available than we took his advice as the guideline, rented out certain equipment and booked our tickets. Excited that we would be doing things which would give us enough material to brag about to our other friends on return we decided to take pin hole camera to capture our moments of glory.
In the train on our way we rechecked all our things, read all that we could manage to get about trekking and mountaineering. On reaching Siliguri we hired a car to take us to Darjeeling. The scenery changing with river flowing down was almost magical. As our car climbed higher first swish of cold air made us even more excited. Anup put on his woolen and we started to tease him. The winding roads with steep slopes on one side and rock on the other made us even more excited. Night journey by train forgotten and in our attempt to catch the view of the beautiful landscape we even forgot to take the pictures. Jay said that the Geology students go for excursion every now and then. It made me jealous, I cursed myself why I took physics instead of Geology.
When we reached our tourist bungalow it was almost lunch time. We took a quick bath and took our lunch. We had to go out on trek on the next day. So there was much to do. We took stock of everything once again for the nth time, we left no blank unfilled. By the time we went to bed everything was arranged. We just had to start next morning . …………..
I was climbing up the creek with water passing beneath me. I had the rope on my shoulder. It was my duty to fasten it so that others could climb up holding it. Some water seepage on the walls made them moist and slippery. I removed my gloves, bare hands were best. I clawed my way up. Higher I climbed even further seemed my destination. By then my arms and legs were aching. I looked down and saw my friends quite low down trying to show something to me. I could not understand what they were showing but they were pointing something even higher up. I looked up and thought that they might may be saying that you have almost reached so don’t worry. From my point the end of the small creek was much high up. I struggled upwards whole body aching. It was becoming very difficult to grip the rocks , my foot too started to slip. I told myself that if I panic now then death is inevitable. Once you think of death it starts to gnaw at your feet, your mind, your confidence. With all the resoluteness I could master I started upwards without looking downwards again. As I was climbing with great difficulty from side of my view I could see another creek which had opened up earlier. Now it dawned that I had taken wrong creek to climb. This one went much higher then the one we intended.
With tired hands and legs I stopped trying to think what should I do. To further climb up was not possible for me but how to descend? After debating with myself I decided to to climb down. Going down seemed the right option but as I started to descend my legs started slipping, my confidence dipped. Mortally afraid now I was almost crying. I stopped, took a deep breath and started again. In a few minutes I lost my grip, my foot slipped. I cried out……………
Jay was shaking me hard, I opened my eyes. I was in my bed in the Tourist Bungalow. Anup and Nilay were sitting on their beds. Jay asked, “What happened? Did you have a nightmare. Get up now we have to go for the trek.”