This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan. To read from the beginning, click here.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
The campsite comes to life at 6 AM with Dashodh banging the steel plate with a spoon. It is their last day of the trek – a steep descent to Naranag. As everyone wakes up and gets out of their tent, there is a glimpse of sadness on their faces – their magical journey is about to end. Nisha can see herself getting up in the morning, cooking food with Arjun and making her way to office – towards her empty cubicle with a cup of green tea in her hands… It is extremely boring and demotivating. What if we can just stay back here forever, she wonders.
As Abhinav wakes up to the morning call after a short three hour sleep, Arpit is not there in the tent. He is nowhere to be seen. He walks towards the lake to check on him, he knows he will be there.
Arpit is sitting on rock by the lake doing pranayam – Abhi waits for him to complete it observing the picturesque scenery around. ‘I’ve decided to begin my life again. To stop being a victim and take responsibility for things. So, mornings will henceforth begin with exercises!’ Arpit responds after completing pranayam. They had slept around 3 in the morning out of exhaustion, a lot of topics were yet to be discussed.
They walk back towards the campsite and catch up with the gang over breakfast. Dashodh is in tears as he serves breakfast – this is one of the best batches he has been with – they have treated him as a friend throughout rather than a staff member. Abhinav hugs him tightly, patting his back for being an amazing person and guide throughout the trek. Kanishka clicks a selfie with Dashodh. ‘Fantastico!’, exclaims Abhi as he comes into the frame.
Sahil and Stuti are collecting money from all trekkers in order to give some cash to each of the staff members – the kitchen staff, the trek assistants and the horsemen. Vivian suggests they do it discreetly so that the staff members don’t compare what everyone is getting. Maximum specific contribution goes towards kitchen staff and Dashodh. Remaining amount is logically divided among all members and given to them.
Vivian briefs them the details of the last day of the trek – they will be descending from 11,500 feet to 7,450 feet and reach Naranag after crossing a distance of 11 kilometres via green routes of pine trees, meadows and some parts of forests. The trek should take 6 – 7 hours.
As breakfast is completed, everyone heads towards washing their plates and spoons for the final time, dipping their hands into the freshness of the chilling waters. Pawan is going to miss the energy and feeling of aliveness the cold water brings to his body.
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