By Riyaz Kazmi
SOMETIMES we go through and cherish amazing experiences which just happen without proper planning and preparation.When we enroute on unknown and unfamiliar journeys, there is always something we get in return. Life is not predetermined. Poignant events are also part of life.They bring forth pain and pity but with the due course of time they can also reform us. Life doesn’t cease to exist due to the bad experiences.We move on and rebuild ourselves with the remarkable experiences.They are always worth a try.When we remember those truly profound and fulfilling moments,we relive and reform our new affirmations, so as to bring out our best.We reflect on them and rediscover ourselves.Those memories become motivations for us to set even much bigger goals on our bucket list.They inspire and spur us into action.We cannot enjoy these experiences, if we remain cocooned in our comfort zones.
We might have to slow down due to the fateful events of life but we cannot afford to remain stuck there. We have to find ways to release our stress and anxieties from the self loathing and self imprisonment.Life becomes beautiful and amazing when we dare to explore our inner strength and step out to enjoy the abounding beauty of nature.It needs keen observation and understanding to find natural beauty in different forms.I stayed in UAE for more than 10 years and used to trek barren hills of Fujariah and Khorfakhan but to a very small extent I could connect myself with it’s landscape.There was something missing and everything looked so artificial.I always wanted to spend rest of my life in Kashmir and remain deeply connected with my roots.I wished to explore and enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of our veritable paradise.
Allah SWT has His own plans and unique ways to test our intentions.There came a day when I met an accident and had to be bed ridden for more than two years.My life was thrown out of gear.It was a roller coaster ride for me.I got entangled in worrying state of affairs but I tried my best to retreat into my shell.Days metamorphosed into months, than into years and I was clueless about my fate.Sedentary lifestyle took a heavy toll on my health.I put on so much of weight and worries but I never budged before the adverse circumstances.I always have a firm faith in Allah and handed over my deep concerns to Him only.I slowly and steadily started collecting and composing myself.
Once again, it was His mercy and my mindset that I could get back on my feet.It was an uphill task ahead to be back on the track.A lot of things changed for me. I didn’t remain the same person who used to drive at 200 Km/Hr but I didn’t give up to explore what nature has to offer me.I don’t carry my fears and insecurities over my shoulders and let them crush my spirits.I adeptly adopted the new lifestyle and bore with the limitations.To be honest, my injuries were blessing in a disguise.I am now settled in Kashmir and enjoying its mundane beauty.In nature, I have found myself and my mental peace.Here I go to share one of my impromptu trekking experience which will always remain the most cherished and challenging adventure of my life.
My Maiden Trip to Mighty Mahadev
Mount Mahadev is the pinnacle peak of Zabarwan range located at an elevation of 3966 Mtrs.It is located in the vicinity of Dachigam National Park.Given it’s prominent presence and highest point of Srinagar city,it grabs the attention of everyone.It radiates its beauty far and wide.
On 26th July 2020,around 10 pm,I got a call from my cousin brother Humayun Khan from Karan Nagar who invited me for a trekking trip to Mount Mahadev. My beatitude was sparked and in one go,I agreed to join him.Since it was too late, he told me not to bring any eatables.He assured me that they had planned and arranged everything including the guide,Tea,Tandoori chickens and Tetra pack juices for the trip.I was excited and flying higher above the skies.More than anything else I was encouraged to join them was my great relish for the delicious food.I couldn’t sleep a wink and was very much restless.At the break of dawn,Humayun picked me.We along with Suhail Khan, Shahid Sheikh and Obaid from Street Fighters group headed towards our destination.At 6.15 a.m we reached Dardehkhovor near Scholars school,there I was surprised and sad to know that neither the guide nor the friend who promised us to bring Tandoori chickens had turned up.We hardly carried any food item’s in our backpacks except water bottles, Black tea, Butter and Tandoori Rotis.
We were clueless about the serpentine trail but not demotivated to tread this path.At around 6.45 a.m we enrouted on our journey from Gorripador.To our surprise and big relief, just after covering a distance of few Kilometers,we met a Bakkerwal shepherd, who was also heading towards Lidwas for joining his folks.He was very agile.He outstripped us.It seemed as if he was flying at Kannipather in his’Coaster shoes’ .We couldn’t keep a pace with him but he remained very steadfast, supportive and sober with us.He showed us every captivating spot on the way.The Bakkerwal family at Bobjan served us Nun Chai.The tea break recharged all of us. It gave us enough energy and motivation to cover the rest of the journey at a decent speed.We were brimming with happiness and awestruck by the sublime beauty of Bobjan.We were stunned by the savageness of Yarribouni.After rigorous hiking,we finally reached Lidwas at 11.30 a.m.We retrieved the joy of togetherness with the guide and celebrated this little victory by clicking the group photographs.We had a tea there and also rested for half an hour.Afterwards we were all alone. We were astonished to see the majestic beauty of Astanmargi meadow.The vastness of blue sky and panoramic view of green pastures were so soul soothing that each one of tried to absorb its serenity.We didn’t want to miss anything so walked at snails pace till we reached at Hammipather at around 12.30 pm.There we rested for 15 minutes as fog had enveloped all the surroundings.
We were surprised when two kids from the Bakkerwal community, aged 12 and 9 years agreed to show us the track leading to Mahadev.It was time consuming and difficult to walk on the long stretch of slippery rocks.We moved very carefully so as to avoid being caught in the wrong foot. Our two little frontline soldiers did not leave us despite many hurdles.We reached the top at around 1.30 pm.Our joys knew no bounds when we saw the breathtaking beauty swathed by clouds.From the Mahadev, The eye catching beauty of Sheen Mean, Sunset peak, Kolahai Mountain, Brahamsaki, Trattakutti was just breathtaking.It was an amazing view and exhilarating experience.We felt engrossed and short of words to express our jubilation.Over all it was an out of world experience.On our return to Hammipather,one Bakkerwal family served us lunch.We felt touched by their simplicity and hospitality.We then left with utmost gratitude and quickly embarked on our return journey.
We summited Mt. Mahadev within a day. The uphill climb and down hill descend took us almost 12 hours covering almost 33 Kilometers which summed up to 43,500 footsteps. We were dead tired but felt victorious when we safely returned back at around 7.30 p.m. We didn’t do everything with perfect aplomb. This adventure was worth an effort.We are the only one responsible for picking ourselves up when we fall.We could or only those can do it who can shore up their courage with indomitable faith, fearless attitude and strong will power.
The Author is senior Columnist and trekking member of Crampon Adventures
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