Saturday, 14July, 2012
It ia rightly said that only those who are ordained can pay a visit to Shrikhand Mahadev! 16,900ft altitude and some 35 Kms from the last motorable point. This year my plans are almost ready. Today by afternoon we would be off to Sundernagar where we plan to stay for the night. In the morning we plan to get a bus at 5 a.m. for Jeori.
I am still dazzled and a bit bewildered by all that I am going to experience in the next week. But right now I am digging into cupboards, trunks and what not to find all that I need. I have some woolens, cap, shawl, raincoat, hand-stick, torch, some medicines, matchbox, dhoop, kumkum, roli, readily heaped on my bed. Now is the time for a judicious selection. What is very essential and what I can live without as I am told that it is one such trek where just one gram of luggage seems like a Quirinal!
My raincoat is bit very long. Though it covers whole of the body but the question would it not be an hinderance when i would be climbing a rocky trek inclined at 70-80Degree inclinations haunts me. I want to travel very light but in that would I be leaving behind some very essential things. I am not carrying a change of clothes for the trek but what if it rains heavily and I am drenched in rain?
Should I carry a jacket. a quilted one to drive away biting chill or would it hamper my walking during the day? Questions, questions and more questions assail me and I keep heaping everything that comes to my mind on the bed. I would shortlist the final packing material at the last moment keeping it view how much of the weight can I carry.
Then there is a packet containing eatables. Chocolates, dry fruits, peanuts, glucose packets that are utmost in my to-carry list. I know there would be some bhandaras on the way but some eatables to sustain you during the walking period are a must.
This is one trek where you have to depend upon your own strength. So I am waiting for two things–one is to test my physical stamina and the other which is more important is to experience a blissful peace and solitude when i would be on my own, really much away from the maddening crowds.
I had a good laugh yesterday while suddenly I was plagued with a weird thought–would there be any other women around? And immediately I had a thought why and since when had I started to think like a woman? Another thought which came to my mind–would there be people of my age? I would be 56 in August and by any standard, I am an old woman and at an age where my movement must be restricted because of frailty and age! And the fact that there is no male to chaperon me is another fact that came to my mind. I laughed away my worries and it seems as if I have started having all that introspection with the self that I am looking forward to during this trip.
I am looking forward to a dialogue with the self which, if at all it can take place, can take place when I would be alone with myself. Perhaps these four days would rejuvenate my spiritual and mental being more than my physical self. Perhaps this, perhaps that–I am bewildered, confused, excited and a bit worried as well.
On my return I would write everything about this wonderful once-in-a-lifetime experience and till then adieu!