The Verdant Green–Mystifying, Enigmatic and Daunting…
Walking along the deep green meadows we talked about all that anyone of us would share about the deep jungle around us. The anecdotes, though hard to believe, added to the feeling of awe that ruled our hearts. The verdant green seemed enigmatic, daunting and mystic. Yes, these are the feelings that the verdant green surroundings filled our hearts with when we looked around the dense pine jungles with thick vegetation sprouted with big solid rocks in between! Was it not this very jungle that saw the aircraft carrying the then Governor of Punjab going down. In 1994, Punjab governor Surendra Nath — who was also officiating as governor of Himachal — and nine members of his family were killed in a plane crash on the Kamrunag mountains, bordering Kullu and Mandi districts. Call it a coincidence, but Surendra Nath was going to Kullu from Chandigarh and accompanying him was his younger son, Vikram Malhotra, who was then the deputy commissioner, Kullu. The accident occurred on July 9. The unfortunate mishap took the lives of three generations of the 68-year-old governor’s family.
I tried to imagine a complete family in a happy mood going down in flames amid these very trees. These trees seemed to have watched it all. The tragic death of the twelve members of his family and also the crew made headlines in almost all the newspapers at that point of time. The rumours by the local people that the jungle was littered with cash and ornaments added to the mysticism of the accident. The local people have a tale to tell about the unfortunate incident. The hearsay is that the Governor wanted to purchase some land in the adjoining area and was on a visit to pay for the land. The local deity had not assented to such a deal and this was the way to stop the deal. The tale justified the scattered cash and ornaments in the jungle. Enigmatic godly interference! No one would ever know the truth of the tale. We looked at the deep thick jungle and the verdant green around us fand the sight filled us with enigmatic, mystic and daunting feeling.
Interestingly since my mom, too, had decided to trek with us, the three generations of our family were represented in this trip! I shuddered to think.“Can gods be so ruthless?” shaken to her core, asked my little one. “Yes, they are, but only to those who transgress the boundaries made by the gods” I added thinking of so many persons who try to play god in the lives of others. Is it not that Kamrunag always sides with the party that is losing? The local people might have been on the losing side when it came to put a stop to a land deal where high and mighty were interested and the deity showed his wrath. The tales about the large forest area littered with cash further substantiated the myth of the Kamru Nag where devotees throw ornaments and coins in the lake as an offering to the god. The excitement in the mood had given place to somberness. Everyone was deeply immersed in thoughts about the tragic incident.
If there was deep forest on one side the other side had rocks whereon feet of innumerable people might have treaded to pay obeisance to Dev Kamru Nag. We, too, marched ahead leaving the past behind, literally as well as psychologically!