This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan. To read from the beginning, click here.
Is it the surrounding – maybe it was the huge mountain whom he had a word with, maybe it was the deep blue lake he saw on the way, maybe it is the seamless blue sky above him, maybe it is the cool breeze passing by, maybe it is Ruhi sitting by my side. Arpit tries to understand the reason behind the paradigm shift going on in his mind; it has led to clearing the clutter he collected and nurtured over four years. As he calmly observes the Harmukh Peak, he realises the change is not due to anything external – the change is from within – in his perception!
The moment he realises he has the power to change things, he forgives Abhinav unconditionally. He has always been correct throughout this time – I wasn’t able to see it. He forgives Latika next – for breaking up with him. Last, he forgives himself – for acting like a victim throughout four years, giving the control of his life to someone else.
It is like a huge load is off his chest, he feels tonnes of kilos lighter. He had never thought this trek would help sort things between them, but always wanted it to somehow happen. He’s now going to make it happen – no more letting circumstances take control.
He has to seek forgiveness from Abhinav and Latika for considering them as wrong, Madhu, Swami and Niket for depriving them of Abhi’s company and Ruhi for constantly ignoring her. As he tries to think how to confront Abhi, he is left with emptiness – no words strike him. He realises he’ll have to do it on the spot when he meets Abhinav one on one.
He decides to get Latika and Abhinav together – this is the only way he can absolve himself from his misdeeds. Rajiv is sleeping in Prachi’s lap, they are having some private conversation finally. He looks at their happiness and for the first time doesn’t feel sad. He has allowed himself to be loved again! He looks at Ruhi smiling towards her – Ruhi gives a smile back without asking what is he thinking. Maybe they have telepathy, or she’s a really good shrink!
Everyone gets up after observing the grandness of Harmukh peak for a while and start descending towards the campsite which is twenty minutes away. There is no need for navigation on their way down, all routes lead to the campsite! Running through the mountains where no route exists gives them all a sense of freedom and satisfaction. This trek has been life changing for many.
As they put their backpacks in tents, they contemplate dipping in the cold waters. Tarun and Karthik jump directly into the lake and their shrieks echo in the campsite. The water is chilled, thanks to the glaciers melting in the lake. They come out quickly in a minute, with a wide smile on their face, exposing their rattling teeth! Luckily the sun still has an hour to set. Looking at them, others cancel their plans to take a dip.
Abhinav is in his tent unpacking his backpack along with Madhu and Chris. Arpit waits outside patiently for others to leave the tent. They take eternity to get out of the tent.
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