Tag Archives: friends

The mountain and the sea.

I remember discreetly my pick when posed with a dilemma by another friend to pick one, the mountain or the sea, while I chuckled as I answered, “Over a mountain surrounded by the sea.” I know I was greedy there. I wanted everything at a single place yet longing secretly to visit them in pieces to know in real what I actually loved and why. I haven’t been able to figure out the reason though but however I seem to understand what exactly I might have loved in the enumerable trips I have been to, since I was a child.

Water

Port Blair. Mangalore. Goa. Pondicherry.

I seemed to have strangely been in love with the beaches while being equally scared of the gushing water. So, I often used to stroll along the coast, gathering the wet evening breeze under my sobering breath before I found a spot to settle on to watch the dimming sun, set. Memory, you see, a mental picture which you would take along with us in the ever flowing journey called Life. I picked up the notion from a movie titled, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” but anyways it’s a story for another day. I believe some things are meant to be remembered through the naked eye rather than behind a camera lens. Be it the famous night street of Pondicherry or the sparsely visited Anjuna beach of Goa, I wouldn’t dare to forget how it felt to be there in those moments of awe.

Sea, in particular, is kind in its demeanour yet dominating in its presence and vastness. The rhythmic sound of the splashing waves brings out a kind of music which has a soothing effect, especially on me. It brings out romanticism in its truest sense, adding colours to the existing palate of our life. The calmness into which I could stare for eternity to come is the thing that I have found to savour with time, the thing I actually seem to love about the sea.

Sky

Kargil. Khardungla Pass. Shimla. Khasi Hills. Yercaud. Dodabetta. Yumesamdong.

My tryst with the mountains began way before I met the sea. It began from the place where people usually end, “The Great Himalayas”. The dried up mountains to the south of Ladakh to the snow covered ones to its north, it’s a befitting spectacle which one rarely could afford to forget. But I have come a long way, I was only ten back then.

This December, it was the clouded mountain and the windy valley that we happen to choose, making me understand the reason why I seem to love them so fiercely. It so happens with the hills that the time we spend to get to the scenic location is far more than the time we spend at the place. The topsy-turvy road curving upwards with every delicate turn thus remains the significant part of my travel memory, organically peppered with conversations. This part of memory somehow feels a lot important, feels right somehow. The arduous journey packed inside a Mahindra Xylo with an infinite road ahead and with scenic beauty covered all around while being gently graced with differing personalities carrying different opinions yet bonded together by long years of friendship and camaraderie. I now know for sure what I really love about the mountains. Sikkim, one of the most beautiful and one of the most underexplored places that we had recently visited made me realize this over and over again.

Paradise: When the two meet

Pangong-Tso Lake. Gurudongmar Lake.

I always loved the mountain breeze as much as I adored the gushing waves; they felt to me as pious and serene in their truest sense. I was too young to remember much about the time we had visited Pangong-Tso lake. Except the crystal clear bluish water and the deep blue sky at the fore with an abandoned boat at one corner, my memory about the travel is only in bits and pieces. This makes me ponder over the recent things that happened in our week long trip a few weeks ago, which by the way ended with us missing our destined flight, however it’s a story for another day. Gurudongmar Lake, 17500 feet above MSL, surrounded by snow-capped mountains was the paradise we had been lucky to witness. Partly frozen, partly liquid, the lake has been known for its religious reasons, an extremely pious lake, the locals had stressed. I wouldn’t deny their claim, even a bit. It’s God’s own paradise, he seem to have taken an extra effort while making this one. Stunningly breath-taking, applicable even in its literal sense.

The other place, my personal favourite of the trip and one of the best I have ever seen in my life, was the Sea of clouds. The one I had chuckled about; we were at the top of a mighty mountain and below us flowed the ‘clouded’ sea.

It’s never wrong to dream; sometimes they come to life in the most unexpected times and in most unexpected ways. Period.

P.S. Back home. Delhi and its beloved winter smog!

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Campfire 

“Amicable, ambitious, charming as well as caring”, She said.

I had to intervene before she continued to jot down her ever long qualities she was looking in her Prince Charming.

“Continue dreaming sweetheart” I cheekily added.

“You shut up, can’t you see I am thinking something important here”, she turned to the other side of the bonfire and continued speaking to herself.

“Shouldn’t he be rich?”, Sakshi intervened as she moved out from her camp after a pretty long slumber.

“Ambitious is one of the quality in my list, won’t that suffice?” Ayesha looking through her cat eye glasses.

“Not everyone makes it to the top! those who end up staying behind are swept away among the strides of their very own ambition.” I tried to knock a little sense; philosophy was my major and I couldn’t be left behind here I thought.

Sakshi turned to my side, “So Ryan, you are pretty sure that Harish won’t be successful?”

“When did I say that! Ayesha she is manipulating you; you know how much I respect Harish” I countered.

“Just now! Didn’t you know Ayesha was trying to figure out whether Harish fits in her list or not!” Sakshi gave it back to me with a full platter to dodge from.

“Is that true?” Ayesha asked.

“Even you! I give up now. I was trying to help here.” I said.

“By confusing her even more?” Sakshi trying to hide her smile from distant.

I gave her a silent stare and left towards the river bank nearby.

After a while, Sakshi came from behind and sat next to me. I didn’t want to speak to her, she knew my condition but still was too casual to play with it. She knew how much I loved Ayesha, and how hard it has been for me to see her with someone else. Her parents were looking for probable matches while I couldn’t dare profess my love for her. I was scared, I thought I would lose her friendship. But now when I want to, I cannot convey the three beautiful words to her. Maybe that’s how it would end.

“I am sorry, I shouldn’t have pulled your leg.” She said.

“It’s okay. You’re right, Harish is perfect for Ayesha. You should convey it to her.” I said.

“I did, but not what you’re telling now, but something you had shared before.” Sakshi said.

“Don’t tell me you told her.”I said, trying to cover my emotions.

“She did. Why did it take you so long, why?” Ayesha from behind.

“I thought I would lose you.” Trying to counter my tears.

“You were about to.” Sakshi said.

“But I never thought about you in that way, you should have told me earlier. We could have at least dated.” Ayesha tried to explain.

“I know, I should have. Anyways, I will be alright. Don’t worry.” I tried telling her in vain.

She came close and hugged me, then she left with a silent tear in her eye. 

“Thanks. At least she knows now. I would have ended up feeling lost if I wouldn’t have told her. Thanks again Sakshi.” Still trying to control my tears.

“It’s okay buddy. Take it easy.” Sakshi said.

“I will, don’t worry.” I said as I tried to see the glistening pink sky where many stars added the sparkle to it’s existing beauty.

Before I could get more lost among the nature, “Do you want me to set you up with Disha?” She added cheekily

“I just had my heartbreak. Give me time.” Trying to mock her down.

“Is there a time limit or something for moving on?” She countered.

I looked the other way, trying to control my laughter.

“I can hit on you right, now that Ayesha is gone.” Sakshi coming back to her comic sense.

“Oh please, give me a break.” With a small smile on my face, I headed back to the campfire.

“What’s wrong? I can even cook, we could save date money! What say?” She followed.

“Don’t worry, I can afford the date in your favourite restaurant.” I said.

“Look who is hitting now! Ayesha see I told you he will be alright.” She said as she went and sat next to Ayesha.

I passed a gentle smile towards Ayesha and headed back to my camp to have a peaceful sleep. I was finally at peace with myself, at least in the relationship part. I knew I needed this conversation; though I felt hurt but it was okay as I knew it would heal because of the wonderful friends I have. I smiled staring at the tent above as I fell into a deep slumber after an eventful day.

Picture courtesy: drivethenation.com (On Lake Superior)