Saturday, October 15, 2016

A night in Paris

Soon the streets of Paris embraced the rush hour of a busy Friday night as the sky raised the black curtain while the stars behind geared up for the show. She smiled at her own reflection on the glass walls of Le Petit Cambodge, a beautiful cafe on the streets of Paris. “You look impeccable,” she whispered. The sound of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata suffered amidst distant murmurs of a crowded restaurant. Maddie sat on a table scripting her new play as she waited for her coffee.  The waiter interrupted obediently, “Excusez moi madame, voici votre café,” placing a freshly brewed café renversé on her table.

Let Petit Cambodge

“Merci,” she smiled watching him leave.

“Génial (Great),” she said sipping some coffee from the cup.  Maddie picked her pen and began writing when the glass door behind her shattered witheringly. She swiftly turned around to look when an another glass shattered as the sound of continuous gunfire deafened her ears.

People leaped out from their chairs squealing amidst the pandemonium. The gunfire turned intense with bullets ripping through the chests with brute force. The place so jubilant and busy a moment ago now turned into a bloody, gruesome hunting ground with the sounds of machine guns hammering the bullets out of the barrel. The glass walls are being smashed to powder as blood carpet decorated the white marble floor.  The air resonated with the cries of those in pain. The moans grew silent as some breathed their last laying there helplessly on a fateful day.

Maddie stood there watching the chaos unfolding. She turned around to reach for something in her pocket when a hand gripped her forearm in a flash, “Get up! this way.” he yelled at her.

His grip on her hand felt so unassailable that she rose in a spur to follow him.

“This way!” he sighed.
Inches taller than 6 feet, broad shoulders, prominent jaw line sporting a stubble, with his strong arms revealing the veins running all over, he gripped her hand a little tighter.  They rushed across the floor painted red with fresh blood. She looked at his grey eyes which looked familiar. They troubled her as they reminded her of something from the past which she could not recollect. Maddie tripped and fell flat on a dead body while he tightened his grip pulling her up on her feet. The smell of raw blood frightened her as she tried to get on her feet. They rushed into the restaurant and exited through a broken window. Far away from Le Petit they spotted a small house with the door left unlocked. They sprinted across the road and he rushed inside with her.

“Looks like there is nowhere to go, we should lock this door,” he said taking a deep breath.

It is a small house made completely of wood. The inside of the house looked decorated with dust sprayed on the old furniture perhaps inherited from their forefathers.

“Looks like no one has been staying here for quite some time. We are safe here, at least for this night,” he concluded.

Flickering lights strained his eyes making him incompetent to scout the room. He walked around looking for something when the lights burned out completely. He said in a low voice,  “No lights! I am unable to see, not even her beautiful eyes. Yet, I saw these lights flickering in them a while ago.”

“Excuse moi, est ce que tu flirt avec moi?” she queried.
“Did you just flirt with me, Mister?” she enquired.
“I know, French is a beautiful language indeed; I just found out that it is more ravishing when you speak and..,” he paused for a breath, “And…..”
“Vous flirtez!” she snarled.
“What? Yes. I am. Truth… is a great flirt,” he whispered.
“Are you aware of what is happening around? My hand please!” she cried withdrawing her hand from his clutch.
“Help me find the key before someone brings those fireworks here. Por favor!” he begged.

Maddie stood there not bothering to reply. She walked to the window, pulled the chair out and sat on it looking at the moon resting her head on the rusted window frame. He walked behind to the window, stood by her side with his shoulder against the window while he looked at her. Her long triangular half lit face looked mesmerizing in the moonlight. Her dark thin eyebrows formed a beautiful crescent whenever she looked up at the moon. One half of her lips glistered as the lip gloss reflected the light from the moon while the other half were hid in the darkness of the room. Her long chin did not allow the moon to see the neck as it lurked in the shadows of the moonlight. She looked fearless and calm despite knowing what has just happened out on the streets of Paris and at Le Petit. She looked beautiful as she closed her eyes.

“The moon looks beautiful isn’t it?” he said looking at the sky.
A brief silence followed. She sat with her eyes closed as if she was meditating. She quickly opened her eyes. “What? No. It looks like a boring, old, aged, loner who is longing for a date with earth since its birth. Why do you even talk about it?”
“Technically speaking, without the moon, oceans would be calmer, nights would have been much darker and a day on earth would have been much shorter than what we are used to and the theory suggests that the moon is the reason for the life on earth.”
“I am not interested.”
“Well, okay. Moon is a beautiful thing to talk about you see. When you want to praise a girl, praise the moon instead.”
“Oh! I now see where is it going. Do not get any thoughts, mister.”
“You better know, Madelene Rose”
She opened her eyes wide while her spine came back straight by itself and she asked, “How do you know my name?”
“What an interesting night, isn’t it? In this old dusted house with no power, a beautiful woman, the moonlight and a mass massacre outside this house.”
“Who are you?”
“You don’t remember, do you? You don’t remember this scar here, do you?” he said as he turned to show her his neck.
“You still have that scar?”
“It has to be, your teeth were pretty strong.”
“Yeah, I had to. Now you know why,” she giggled jumping out of her chair to hug him. She smeared her lip gloss all over his face.
“I wrote a countless number of letters to your home for a year until I was informed that you left the town. Did you even care to inform me ?  It has been 14 years,” she asked with a broken voice.
“Let us not talk about it right now……  except, I saw you performing in Paris last month. I somehow managed to find you at Le Petit on this fateful day.”

She stepped back pushing him away and looked into his calm grey coloured eyes.

“Everton, today you need to know something about me. I am not what you think I am,” she said removing her vest.
He looked at her surprisingly as she removed her crew neck sweater to reveal a jacketed vest beneath loaded with plastic boxes and metal pieces interconnected with a strand of wires.

“What is it, Madelene?”
“It is a suicide vest with C4’s,” she confirmed him taking it off and placing it carefully on the table.
“You came to blow up the place?” his voice froze as he kept looking at her half lit face.
“You cannot detonate it without a trigger. It is the only way. You took me away when I was about to… you know.” she explained.
“Madelene, I.. I…” his voice trembled as he collapsed on the chair.
She stepped forward towards him. He encircled her in his arms and stuck his face in her waist as she brushed his hair with her fingers.
He looked up at her and said, “Let’s get out of here.”
Soon both left his place leaving no trace of their presence dumping the vest in the woods on the way.

He stood by the window in his apartment looking at the skyline as the sun rose to greet the people of Paris the new day. He picked up the newspaper to read the familiar headlines. He has not been the same person since the previous night. He looked back at her sleeping across on his bed. She looked as beautiful as she ever used to be, maybe more. Yet, there is something dangerous behind that beautiful face and the thought of it sent shivers through his body. He rushed inside to make a telephone call.

He sat down looking at the horizon and resumed in a while to switch on the television. The news of the terrorist attack has taken the headlines of the news channels all over the world. He looked at the footage of the massacre telecast on the screen. He suddenly felt her arms on his shoulder.

“I know you would not forgive me anymore,” she said in a low voice.
“How could you even think about something like that? Look at all the innocent lives. Do you even feel something for them?” he screamed.
“I am sorry, I know I am insane. Try to understand. I swear to you I never did something like this before. Please do not hate me.” she cried.
“I would not forgive you for this, but I will not stop loving you either,” he said taking her face in his arms.
She leaned forward, raised her heels and planted a kiss on his lips as he reciprocated. The doors slammed open as the cops entered the building with their guns drawn in their hands.
“Hands where I can see them, both of you,”  ordered one of the cops.
“Sir, will you please step aside. Are you Everton who called 112*?” asked a cop with the barrel of his gun aimed at his chest.
“Yes, Please! Do not hurt her. She is unarmed. I checked.” replied Everton.
Maddie looked at him unbelievably, “Did you?”
“Sir, will you please step back? This is the last time I am warning you both,” said the cop.
“Why?” she cried again.
“Because you committed a crime. A crime...” he cried as his voice broke into bits.
“Everton, do you still love me?”
“I do, I told you I will not stop loving you. I will wait for you,” he promised.
“No, do not wait for me. Please! Do not wait for me.” she cried walking towards the cop with her hands above her head.
She quickly negotiated through his defence; drew the gun from his handgun holster and shot herself in her head and collapsed on the floor in the pool of blood.

P.S: Le Petit Cambodge was one of the restaurants which was attacked during 2015 Paris attacks.

I am looking to improve. I would love to hear from you. If you have something to say, please comment below and let me
                                                                                                       *112 - Emergency helpline in Europe

Monday, September 12, 2016

A stumbling trip to Manali and the patience-testing​ Hampta Pass trek

What happened till we reached Manali?  ( Srinagar-Chandigarh-Manali)
The situation soon escalated in Kashmir owing to the encounter of a terrorist Burhan Wani in Kashmir a day before we arrived in Srinagar. Indiahikes, howbeit after all futile attempts called off our trek to Kashmir Great Lakes(KGL) as it was unsafe to move out of Srinagar to Sonamarg, the base camp for the KGL trek. We (Aman, Susheel and I) didn't want to return to our homes with a grim look on our faces for having done nothing in Srinagar but to eat same Tandoori Roti, Channa masala and Paneer till our stomachs cried of boredom. I definitely cannot behold the site and smell of any paneer or Channa masala for another following couple of months. Four leave days out of ten puffed into thin air. After much deliberation, we decided to travel to Manali and trek to Hampta Pass. This was my second time consecutively on Hampta Pass after finishing it for the first time in June 2015. You can check the beautiful and breathtaking pictures from the previous trek here
We flew out of Srinagar and arrived in Chandigarh that evening. I convinced my friends against their liking to travel on an HRTC run A/C Super Deluxe (Himgaurav) bus. To my utter disbelief and frustration, the bus looked horrendous. Susheel's seat felt like it would come off tearing the base before we reached Manali. I settled down to face the wrath and volcanic anger of my friends to have made them travel in it. I tried to navigate the lava like anger flowing down their eyes. To cool down the escalating temperatures, I exchanged my seat with Susheel.
Soon the air around began to resonate carrying the whispers of fellow passengers talking about the head-lights of the bus malfunctioning. We were terrified to know that the driver has been using the light from other vehicles and the moon to drive his toy bus. Half way down the journey the bus gave up altogether. The conductor declaring the situation out of control asked everyone to alight and try catching up with the buses plying down the road.
Realising our pitiful and stumbling situation we got down with rucksacks on our shoulders in the middle of nowhere stopping every bus that rode down the shiny bituminous road. Some buses headed to a different destination while some had no seats for three of us. Disregard the idea of reaching late, we began to wonder if we could ever make it to Manali. Sadness and disappointment began to cloud in our minds. We stopped every cargo vehicle to ask if they were heading towards Manali.
Three more fellow travellers joined us in our pursuit. We let go all those nice talking and overly convincing drivers trying to bank on our ignorance about the place. After about an hour of disappointing attempts, we stopped a lorry carrying cargo headed towards Manali. Taking all the risks into consideration, we decided to go ahead with this vehicle. There was more than enough place for six of us in the open top cargo control. We lied down staring at the moon unaware of all the uncertainties for the next morning.  We curled up into a fetus to protect ourselves from cold wind blowing off our faces and palms. I could see the silhouette of the Himalayas against the moonlight riding past by our side with the sound of a gushing stream of water from river Beas. We soon fell asleep.
We woke up a little early to the sunrise. The tranquil peace of an early morning in the Himalayas, rain clouds hovering along the mountains,  cold wind blowing past our ears with the sound of the engine from beneath welcomed us into the Himachal. The driver informed us that there is still a 3-4 hour drive left to reach Manali and we would get down about 10 km ahead of Manali. We called up Gurdit, our trek leader to inform our plight. We got down at about 10 km ahead of Manali. The sun rose bright tearing apart the clouds. We stopped for a quick chai. However, we decided to celebrate only after reaching Manali. Meanwhile, our bowels started growling and forcing us into an awkward emergency.
Day 1 - Manali (6730 ft) to Jobra (9830 ft) 
At about  8 am, we reached the Rambaugh circle, a gathering point for the trekkers. We inquired Gurdit if we could get some time to freshen up as our colons were at their threshold. He requested us to manage ourselves till we reached the campsite as we were already late on the schedule. Our faces bore a stoned look because of the internal combustion (growling bowels). I will not talk about it anymore.
We got into the vehicles organised by Indiahikes and set off to Jobra. The ride to Jobra is a series of 40 hairpin bends and it takes you about 1-1.5 hours to reach. You gain altitude in no time. You could look at Manali down the valley and easily fit it to the size of your palm. July is the monsoon season in Himachal,  the clouds prepared for the show.
We crossed a hydro project to reach the base camp at Jobra. We finished our breakfast followed by an introductory session with fellow trekkers.
Hydro project on the way to Jobra © Tanuj
Day 1 - Jobra (9830 ft) to Jwara (11,000 ft)  
It is roughly a 4-5 hour trek to Jwara. The walk is through a forest of Maple, Oak and Deodar trees rising high above the ground. The sun soon disappeared as the clouds took over the charge. The trail was a muddy terrain which turned slushy due to a heavy downpour the previous night. Forty-five minutes into the trek you come out of the dense forests to see an open green valley with the Rani Nala to your left. The scene is lush green with distant deodar ranges standing behind the trail. Trekking along the right banks of the Rani Nala, we crossed it walking down a makeshift bridge.
A makeshift bridge on Rani Nala © Gautham Reddy
The walk was not particularly difficult. Two hours into the trek we reached Chika. We camped her for the day last year on my Hampta Pass trek. 
Half an hour later we were at a water stream. Trek leader Gurdit and his assistants were already in the waters. I removed my shoes, tied them together and threw them on the other side. They landed on the rock behind the stream and bounced back into the gushing stream of water. I signalled Gurdit to pick them up. Thanks to Gurdit for his prompt response. If not for him, I would have had to trek Hampta with a pair of slippers (which I forgot to pack). However, it was hilarious to watch the funny expressions on the faces of fellow trekkers crossing the stream of ice-cold water. 
On the way to Jwara. Crossing an ice-cold water stream © Tanuj
The valley opened wide to the site of mules and cattle grazing on the wide grasslands of Jwara. We camped here at Jwara for the day. My shoes were wet and also uncomfortable to walk with all the squeaky sound it made every time I took a step.  Although it was better than trekking with no shoes. There was no view around as the fog and dense clouds rounded up bringing down the visibility to less than 4 m. I did not dare to take my camera out. The time soon flew by. Finishing our dinner we soon sneaked back into our tents. It rained thoroughly the entire night.
Day 2 - Jwara (11,000 ft)) to Balu ka Ghera (12, 650 ft) 
I was woken up to a soft sound of morning breeze flapping the top of our tent and the tipper tapper of the light drizzle. Unzipping the sleeping bag, I sat upright and peeped out of the tent.  A sudden stream of cold wind hit face as I stuck my neck out to looked around. The weather looked gloomy with dense fog. I unwillingly came out as I needed to use the toilet. I was startled to find the pit dug for the 'business' completely flooded with rain water. I had no option to choose but to disappear into the magical fog for a trade with nature. With all the drizzle and cold wind caressing your exposed flesh, trust me, it was not an easy task to undertake that moment. The only worrying thought was someone surprising me walking down through the magical fog while I was in the middle of a classified trade meet.


There is nothing more soothing than sipping a hot chai from your steel glass radiating the heat into your palm. Finishing our breakfast we started trekking to Balu ka Ghera.
Balu ka Ghera is a 3-4 hour trek. The trail ran through an open valley and a bouldery terrain and a stream snaking by our side. The walk was not difficult. Though we sensed the air thinning at this altitude. Half way into our journey the sky opened up bright to spread joy into the group as everyone took out their cameras to click photographs.
Trekkers enjoying a brief moment and clicking photographs on a snow bridge © Tanuj
Looking back on the trail. On the way to Balu ka Ghera © Tanuj
We met a couple of trekkers who were headed back as the weather turned harsh near Hampta Pass. I prayed for a clear weather tomorrow.
A lush green valley en route Balu ka Ghera © Tanuj
When the mountains of Kullu valley were mobbed by rain clouds
When the mountains of Kullu valley are mobbed by rain clouds © Gautham Reddy
I saw Susheel at the end of the group struggling to maintain the pace. Aman and Susheel would rant at and ridicule me for walking fast ahead. I ignored, sorry.
Aman (left), I and Susheel on the way to Balu ka Ghera
However, it was a short-lived moment as the clouds began to come together. We had to go back wearing ponchos and rain coats.
Trekkers hopping over small streams in rain. On the way to Balu ka Ghera © Tanuj
On the way to Balu ka Ghera © Tanuj
An hour later, we reached the campsite. Balu ka Ghera is an open terrain setting lying just at the foot of the trail rising to Hampta Pass.
Approaching Balu ka Ghera's campsite. © Tanuj
The sky opened up again. Aman, Susheel and I enjoyed our lunch sitting along the gentle streams. You can see them in the photograph.
Trekkers relaxing along the water streams at Balu ka Ghera © Gautham Reddy
I and the local trek lead planned to summit a nearby mountain. But the worsening weather forced us to withdraw. Meanwhile, I enjoyed making paper boats and setting them to sail on the gentle streams.
Trying to balance on two tiny rocks to let the paper boat sail on the gentle streams of Balu Ka Ghera. Dense fog and clouds in the background. © Raja
This horse wanted a photograph. I obliged. © Gautham Reddy
It was soon dinner time. Finishing our dinner, we whisked into the tents. Some sleeping bags were little wet, mine a little more. The bag I got today was improperly sealed and horribly wet till my toe. With bone biting temperature outside and water in the bag, I don't remember to have fallen asleep that night.I could have kicked Aman and Susheel in their faces for snoring and growling all night while I was struggling to find a dry spot inside the bag. Haha! I had the company of the howling wind the entire night. It still reverberates in my ears and I liked that sound. I woke up sleep deprived. The next day would start early as we generally have a small window to cross the pass.
Day 3 - Balu ka Ghera (12, 650 ft)  to  Shea Goru (11, 800 ft) via Hampta Pass (14,500 ft)
We woke up to a cloudy weather. We haven't seen the blue skies yet on our trek. Gurdit insisted on speeding up as the weather looked bad for the day and we would return back if it got worse.
It is a long day and also little difficult considering the altitude gain with long trekking hours. For we did not have snow, it looked little less difficult unaware of what was coming our way. We started trekking finishing our breakfast. The trek today was a continuous ascent. The trail navigated through a rocky terrain. The air began to get thinner demanding more oxygen with each breath.
Trekking on a rocky terrain en route Hampta Pass. © Tanuj
We trekked through the boulders for two long hours and took a left which leads to the end of Kullu valley. Already three hours into the trek, there is no heading back what may happen.
Just one hour away from the pass, the cloudburst commenced. The downpour continued uninterrupted. We cannot go back.  Trekkers just 3-4 m apart began to disappear. We were almost  500 m away from the pass as the downpour turned violent. We couldn't spot the trail ahead despite fellow trekkers being close to each other.
Walking on a snow bridge, 14,000 ft. Approaching Hampta Pass.© Tanuj
Every trail looked the same. One could easily take the wrong path altogether. We had to keep talking to each other to keep ourselves on the trail. The climb was getting heavier and difficult because of slippery rocks. I slipped and fell across a sharp boulder bruising my lower leg.  The adrenaline was so high that I did not bother to pull my trousers up and take a look at my leg. I ground my teeth hard to not to scream. I feigned normal. I was invisible to the trekkers who were just behind me. The sound of my falling down went unnoticed amidst the heavy rain.  There was a feeling of anger and frustration building up inside. We were unable to rest due to downpour wetting the rocks. I was unable to do anything but channel my frustration and motivate myself to trek safely and keep an eye on the trail. Also, I had decided to not use my trekking pole this time on the trek. I almost took it out owing to the exhaustion but I pushed it back in. This is why we trek; not to win but to learn to thrust yourself beyond your mental and physical capabilities. With each breath getting heavy and intense at 14,000 ft we climbed the boulders leading to the Hampta pass (14,500 ft). However, Hampta pass has always been a moderate level trek made difficult only when the mountains make their weather. And mountains make their own weather. Quoting from the movie 'Everest', "We don't need competition between people. There is competition between every person and this mountain. The last word always belongs to the mountain."
We reached a narrow path overlooking a deep gorge by our side. We took a break, standing. It took us some time to realise that we were standing right on the Hampta Pass. I was shocked. There was abundant snow last year. I later came to a realisation that the gorge at our feet was in fact piled with snow the last time we were here. I could see everyone excited to have successfully trekked to Hampta pass but also disappointed, irritated and annoyed because of worsening weather. I could hear Aman swearing all the way on day 3.
However, we continued to trek heading towards the Spiti valley. The descent is very steep, tricky and sometimes dangerous. The loose rocks would run down in little warning and we ought to be watchful. The descent was through the slushy mud flowing down on the trail. We almost forgot that our shoes were completely wet. We helped each other at every difficult stretch. Descending for about an hour and a half we reached the plains of Spiti Valley. It rained a little on the other side of the pass. Spiti is a rain-shadow region. We trekked leisurely on the plains of Spiti to reach the camp for the day. Shea Goru meaning cold weather. The temperature generally drops to 4-5 degree Celsius in the day and (0 to -2) degree Celsius in the nights. We camped along the banks of Chandra river.
Hampta Pass_Gautham Reddy_The Sun setting on Shea Goru following a heavy downpour
View of Shea Goru. Camp set up along the banks of Chandra river © Gautham Reddy
Glacial melts are the source of Chandra river. Shea Goru is relatively wide with large rocks and boulders spread sporadically. They are reportedly brought down from the slopes when the glacier melted or when it snowed.
The campsite at Shea Goru © Tanuj
An interesting scene when a dense cloud began to flow like a jet stream from in between the two mountains at Shea Goru. © Tanuj
We were served with hot pakoda and chai in the evening. I and Gurdit wanted to climb the mountain the other side but were asked to refrain from doing so as it was dangerous because of the loose rocks and strewn boulders falling down. We rested for the day
Day 4 - Shea Goru (11, 800 ft) to  Chhatru (10,000 ft)
For the first time in our trek, we woke up to a beautiful sunrise. The scene was dynamic and I shot my first time-lapse here.
Hampta Pass_Gautham Reddy_Tranquil view of Shea Goru
A tranquil early morning view from Shea Goru © Gautham Reddy
The morning sun lit up the beautiful Indrasan behind our tents.
Hampta Pass_Gautham Reddy_When the morning sun kissed the Indrasan
A dynamic scene of Indrasan kissed by the morning sun. © Gautham Reddy
A beautiful morning at Shea Goru. © Gautham Reddy
Chhatru is an easy walk where you continuously descend. We crossed Chandra river on the way.
Trekkers crossing Chandra river on the way to Chhatru © Tanuj
Trekkers crossing Chandra river on the way to Chhatru with Gurdit leading the way. © Tanuj
The trail was rocky and sprinkled with boulders. We trekked along the Chandra river on our left and descended to cross it again just before reaching Chhatru.
Approaching Chhatru © Tanuj
You see the road far down the valley which leads to Kaza and Chandrataal. 2.5 hours from Shea Goru we were at the base camp, Chhatru. Vehicles from Indiahikes we scheduled to arrive. We soon started to Chandrataal lake.
However, the journey to Chandrataal wasn't certain. We were stuck midway for about 2 hours due to a road block.
Roadblock en route Chandrataal. © Gautham Reddy
I did not want to miss Chandrataal. I couldn't visit Chandrataal last time as the roads weren't open. Gurdit drew inspiration from us and corroborated with our wish to move ahead. The road cleared up. We enjoyed a mouth-watering lunch at Batal Chandra Dhaba. Next stop at Chandrataal.
Chandrataal at 14,000 ft is an absolute reward for our hardships in the trek. Chandrataal is a crescent-shaped lake spread in between the desert like mountains of Spiti valley with crystal blue water. The surrounding glacial melts feed this lake.
Hampta Pass_Gautham Reddy_Sunset on Chandratal
Sunset on Chandrataal (14,200 ft) © Gautham Reddy
We clicked endless photographs.
The sun setting on Chandrataal © Gautham Reddy
The beautiful Chandrataal © Gautham Reddy
We unwillingly headed back to Chhatru leaving our minds wandering at Chandrataal. You can check out the time lapse of Chandratal here.
Hampta Pass_Gautham Reddy_The Sun paints gold on the plains
Silhouette of trek leader Gurdit against the sunset at Chandrataal © Gautham Reddy
Day 5 - Chhatru (10,000 ft) to Manali
The sun was sharp and bright the next morning. This is the kind of weather we desired during our trek. We then gathered to share our experiences from the trek. Gurdit gave away the certificates and rewards to the trekkers. However, this time, the trek brought a little more mental strength and patience to my mind.
Before I conclude, I would like to thank all the porters, local trek leads, trek leader Gurdit and Indiahikes for a wonderful trek and also Tanuj and Raja for letting me use their photographs on my blog. I wish all my trek mates until now, all the very best in their future treks and endeavours.
When you trek or travel, you meet new people, you meet very nice people, you travel with them, you dine with them, you listen them sharing their experiences and stories and you tell them yours. Some of them might turn out to become your best buddies.
Team Hampta Pass 2016

Friday, June 24, 2016

River Ganges

Vikram abhorred the world and its people. He loved solitude more than himself as he could create the people he wanted, sketch their characters and fall in love with them. Not that he loathed everyone but hated everyone who has not dreamt of the beautiful world he wanted. He earned money, he aquired knowledge, he shared as much as he could but not his thoughts and feelings. He had seen as many phases of a human life as his life could give and he knew a lot more is yet to come. He wasn't bothered and did not want to either. He knew they would come what may happen.  All that he wanted was to see the beautiful moon rise behind the mountains.  

He sat on the banks of river Ganges in Rishikesh in the twilight looking at the blood moon rising above the horizon. He wanted to tell someone to watch it rise to the sky, to someone who could feel the jubilance like he felt.

The moon rose to its full size forcing the sun down the horizon. Vikram leaned back with his hands behind his torso and looked up at the sky. The stars were struggling to put up the show along the dominant luminescence of the moon.  He rested his back against a glistering wet rock and gazed leisurely into the sky. His worries seemed to no longer bother him;  he happily immersed himself into the dark matter while his eyes were lost in the trance of moonlight coming down the sky. Waking from his stupor, he abruptly turned to his right. He shuffled his pupils when he noticed a woman watching him from a distance behind the rocks.

In her late twenties,  draped in a low back maxi, she was sitting on a small rock along banks of river Ganges, farther away to his right. She swiftly turned away as he looked at her. While he resumed; she leisurely turned to look at him. This game went for few other times until he decided to put an end to it. In a desperate attempt, Vikram sat up facing her with his eyes locked in her direction waiting to catch her red handed. His patience began to give up. She did not look back. Realising that he is getting late, Vikram turned to leave. He bent down to pick his car keys when the sound of her footwear striking against the wet rocks stopped him from leaving. He stood there watching her as she walked down and stopped at the edge of the last rock looking at the running Ganges. Both stood still as the sound of running water hitting the rocks and chirping of sparrows retreating to their homes scored for the scene. He clutched the keys tight in his fingers as he looked at her standing a fall away into the river. She turned to look at him. He saw her blue eyes. He smiled at her. She smiled back and plunged into the running Ganges. 

What happened next????????

Well, you will finish the story, won't you? Come up with the best of the conclusions to this piece. 
Comment down below describing your crazy climax.
Take a deep breath from the hustle and bustle of daily life, prepare a cup of coffee and give yourself a dose of creativity.

Why not? I'm waiting for your response.