This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.
‘Have you felt the calm
or the Storm?
Have you listened to the silence
or the echo of the mountains?
Have you felt like you have a long way to go
or nowhere to go?
Have you raced down a mountain
or found your ground at its peak?
Have you stared in disbelief
or jumped with sheer joy?
Have you felt breathless?’
Swami recollects a poem he had once read; He got an answer to that today! Staring into the vast expanse of meadows and mountains – he feels he has everything! There is nothing else that is required. Abhinav’s prod on his shoulders bring him back to the present and they started walking again.
Today, the entire team is walking together; thanks to Dashodh’s efforts. As they walk past the various terrains, the sun plays hide and seek. They take a break for lunch at the foothill of a small mountain they are passing by. It’s going to take them 2 hours to reach Kishansar Lake from here. The puri and bhaji have gone cold; but it still fills the stomach – that’s what is required, more than anything else.
Niket observes Arpit chewing his food along with others; he realises man is an outcome of his surroundings – Arpit would otherwise gobble down his food in Mumbai. Maybe it is the stillness of the mountains, maybe it is the sound of the waterfall, maybe it is the cloud passing by; something today made Arpit calm down and enjoy his meal. He wonders if this journey can help him become friends with Abhi again and prays to God for some miracle to take place.
After completing lunch, they walk down further towards Kishansar. ‘Ascent is nothing but beginning of descent’, coins Niket. Madhu is not able to hold his excitement of being so close to the lake he saw on the internet. He can visualise the gang sitting by the turquoise blue lake and the snow clad mountain in the backdrop. Walking post lunch increases the time taken to cover similar distances due to fatigue. Hence, it is recommended to cover maximum ground in the morning.
Clouds move above them as they watch the live time lapse. They cover the huge mountains with ease; Arpit recollects – ‘When small things cast huge shadows, sun is about to set!’ It is a great metaphor but also true literally!!
As they are about to ascend a 25 feet hill, Dashodh warns them they’ll be spellbound. This is the first point from which they can see the lake. From there, they have to walk for thirty more minutes to make it to the campsite. Everyone is excited listening to the news. The fatigue is gone and they are pacing up the incline through any and every possible route. Others have already advanced ahead, only Dashodh’s group has yet to make it.
After ten minutes of steep incline, they see it – together. A speckle of turquoise blue lake amidst parrot green meadows and snow clad rises. It mirrors a thousand suns and shines as it reflects sun’s glory. Any word to describe the view seems futile. Abhinav dares to speak out aloud, ‘Fantastico!’
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