This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan. To read from the beginning, click here.
Madhu and Ruhi are walking behind with the slow group under Dashodh’s able leadership. Divyah, Stuti, Sahil, Dr. Sudip and Raunak are all along.
The view of magnificient Mount Harmukh and two huge lakes at its feet is constantly visible; talk about keeping an eye on the prize! The colour of the lake keeps changing depending on the position of the sun; they keep falling in love with the tranquility of the place – Gangabal lake is considered to be an important lake in Kashmiri Shaivism and many Kashmiri Pandits visit it as a pilgrim place in September to bathe in the ice cold water.
As they proceeded ahead on the muddy path, there were various corners and turns which had steep falls on their side. The road was narrow to allow two people to walk together. Divyah put her foot on a small rock which wasn’t stationary; she slipped and fell down and was saved in time by Raunak. Had it not been for him, she would have slided down the valley like the rock she had misplaced.
Soon, they come across a huge meadow out of nowhere! The mountains are green in colour and engulfed by dark clouds passing by. Wild horses are grazing happily oblivious to their presence. They pause to click some pics – Ruhi’s 55-250 mm lens finally come to some use as she zooms in to click the wild beasts.
As they proceed further down the rocky and green meadows, they come across huge flocks of sheep making music through their peculiar sound! Stuti laughs at the thought of having a band of sheep play live music for them in Kashmir. She gets enchanted by the beautiful lazy creatures and asks Sahil to catch one – she wants to try holding a sheep.
Sahil confidently walks towards the sheep imagining it will be an easy task to catch the lazy animal. The flock hardly notices his approach but swiftly make their move to avoid getting caught. Catching a sheep after all is not at all easy – it requires skill. Sahil learns on the field and changes his strategy to aim for the hind legs of a huge sheep. As he leaps to catch the hind legs, he is kicked hard on his face by the sheep. Catching them from hind legs was a wrong decision. Everyone laughs hard watching Sahil take the fall.
Excited, Madhu and Raunak join Sahil to catch sheep. They proceed together towards various flocks- but are not able to catch any sheep. Although heavy weighted and lazy, sheep are agile and can easily make small moves – they have strong hind legs.
Dashodh explains them various things about sheep and how to catch them – they should aim for their face and grab the jaw and direct it upward, at the same time aim for the hind legs. He catches a sheep for Stuti and holds it on his shoulders. Stuti is delighted to hold it, but the sheep is too heavy for her hands. It runs away the moment it is given to Stuti.
Laughing, they move ahead towards Gangabal, they’ll not forget their experience of catching sheep – Stuti will ensure Sahil doesn’t forget it for years to come! It was a million dollar moment.
Dashodh catches a lamb for Stuti – it is extremely cute. ‘Fantastico!’, she exclaims as she caresses it in her arms and passes it to other trekkers. The lamb finally comes to Madhu. He releases her on the ground. She runs in full speed toward the flock. It is the most magical moments of the trek for Madhu – he had surrendered himself completely to live the experience!
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