Hike to the lake which never freezes
“Tekuji Bachaooooo (Teku uncle please save me)...”, I shouted as my leg slipped on those snowy mountains. We were dawning to our camp after a long tiring journey, completing our expedition and reaching the Bhrigu lake which was famous for its never completely freezing attribute. 3 days of trekking in the valleys of the Himalayas and our journey was slowly coming to an end. I remember the first day when we kicked off with excitement, fear and passion, where the only aim was to take one step at a time and you advance with everyone. Our entire Yuvashakti team was brimming with laughter and inspiration. When you are in the mountains the only thing that matters is the people you are with and the silence that follows your path. Any human can adjust in the city life, but these mountains they truly test your potentials. With every slope you climb, they give you a heart warming view, one which you will mesmerize for a lifetime. The sun, river, trees and everything else is so welcoming that you wish to stay with them forever.
The trek started from the Manali Base Camp, from there we climbed to another camp situated at Moridugh. First day of trekking is always tough, the rain made it tougher. But we were ascending slowly and eating chocolates we progressed on the way. Teku uncle was always there to help, encouraging us through everything, "5 minutes from here", he would say and the journey would look like an eternity. With our breath growing faster, things became easier. As we reached the camp site, there were wild strawberries on the way, we ate them and day 1 trek finally came to an end. With the evening camp fire as I looked up I realised there are more stars than we actually see, cosmos is more vast than we think, I couldn’t count them, looking up was in fact a challenge. Then, slowly in the lap of mother nature I closed my eyes.
Day 2 began with a cup of strong coffee and breakfast, we bid goodbye to Moridugh and hiked towards Bota Dugh. Round and round we were walking in the woods and crossing the rivers. The artistry of forest left everyone spellbound. Today, Teku uncle was telling me about his life within these enchanting creatures, how he helped hundreds of people to complete their trek, how his life became a little less exciting after retiring from the army, with him the roads became easier and the route grew shorter. One thing I learned from this trek was that you never look back and forth, you just take the step which should be taken at that particular moment. I think we need to follow the same philosophy for our lives as well, the past and future is irrelevant to your present. And suddenly, someone spotted the orange coloured fluorescent camps, looking at them we scaled upwards with all our strength, but the moment we came any closer the camp area grew far and the journey seemed endless. I mean how is that possible, it was right there in front of us, still unaccomplished. Perhaps life was teaching us that success has the same story, sometimes the destiny may look closer but it may be distant and sometimes its the vice-versa. The view from Bota Dugh was bewitching, the dazzling mountains seemed our best friends now, sun was shining brighter, days were long and nights were short and life……it seemed more shorter!
Next day, as everyone woke up in the morning, a question was hurting them, whether they would reach the summit or not, whether they would get the glimpse of the Bhrigu lake or not. Isn’t it strange that our life is so uncertain? The only thing we were sure about was that today selfies or photographs didn’t matter, neither the social updates nor the incredible humans, only reaching the destination was paramount, and we began! It was just a matter of 12 hours. Someone has rightly said, “Sometimes the years you have lived seem shorter than the days”, Yes, this day was long, it tested our gutsiness, patience and endurance. Just when we reached the snowline, a voice echoed “We could do it, if one half is possible, other half is not a big deal”, and we were then travelling through ice, first it seemed alluring, but later it was dangerous, the ice and snow showed their true colours, walking on them was not everyone’s cup of tea. We were just about to reach, things were getting tougher, oxygen level was decreasing at that altitude. Now listen to me, “You have what it takes, but excuse me, it will take everything you have”, same was our story, it literally took everything, our patience, persistence and hard work. And just the moment we reached, Bhrigu lake was totally insignificant, it didn’t matter whether the lake freezes or not, it didn’t matter that a great saint used to meditate here, nothing mattered, we were left with the journey we have covered, with the valleys we have crossed and mountains we have climbed, with that sleepless night in the tent discussing how we would do it and life seemed all of this and now we were carrying something within us. Tears of contentment raced down my cheeks, my conscience said me that only working hard can give you the satisfaction you need in your life. So dear humans, living life is momentous than finally conquering death. People wait all their life to encounter the hidden mystery known as death, but perhaps in their final moment they realise, death was never the real closer, life was, living it was!
Thank you, hope you will visit the Himalayas someday!