Far away, over the misty mountains cold,
We embarked on our journey enroute winding roads.
Up the hills, down the valleys, confluence of babbling brook passing by,
Excitement set in, higher than the azure sky.
Across the dinner table we all gathered for our first brief,
6-7-8 was fine by all, but for many no ciggies/booze was a bigger grief.
Quick hellos & smiles exchanged
Where are you from and what you do – Ice breaking questions; some asked, some remained.
Few first timers, some seasoned
Yet all full of excitement unconditioned!
At the crack of the dawn,
We all set out treading a path unknown;
A furry friend ‘Sheru’ also came along.
Into the valleys, Across the rustic hamlets,
We ascended with a mixed emotions gamut.
A shepherd and his flock of sheep,
Endearing Pahari kids we also did meet.
As the sun shone bright, enduring got the walk,
We kept refuelling ourselves at quick pitstops.
Meandering walk lead us to Chitrakantha our first campsite,
No more ‘dusty’ walk, Oh what respite!
Dronagiri stood tall in the front, such a mesmeric delight!
Soaking in the views, we called it a day,
“Not Yet!” Shubhash Bhaiyya’s whistle had to say.
‘Climb High, Sleep Low’
The acclimatization mantra we then got to know!
As the sun set & moon rise,
Breeze embraced us and sent shiver down our spine.
Under the star-studded glitterati in the sky,
We fell asleep as the wind sang a lullaby.
With the rising sun, we stood reenergised,
All set to kickstart our day 2’s hike.
Into the Tali Forest Reserve, we sauntered away
Peek-A-Boo with us sun chose to play.
A moment of overcast, another moment sunshine
Onto the crinkled golden autumn leaves,
Through the tall tree canopies,
The Oaks, The Rhododendrons, The Pine
Harmony of all, immensely divine!
A forest campsite over next 2 nights,
The chill and wind lesser in might.
Enroute acclimatization walk to the frozen Tali lake,
Enchanting forest cast a spell
Dream or Real, it was hard to tell!
Laying on the grass,
Gazing at the azure sky,
Surrendering to the wind’s embrace,
I knew in my heart, Home is a feeling; not a place!
The rigors of a thrilling summit climb,
redefined beauty’s paradigm.
Treading a frozen river, striding the slopes
‘Picture Time’ time and again, a mandatory dope
High up and above, huddled together we stood empowered,
Unfurled a flag – ‘Kuari Conquered’!
An exhilarating ridge descend
Precious Memories of lifetime to our hearts content
The Peaks, The Valleys,
The Meadows, The Ridges
The Streams and The Trees..
Absolute serenity in asymmetry,
‘Majestic Mountains’ are indeed God’s best poetry!
Lastly, The journey becomes special coz the people we meet along,
Sojourn ends, Memories Live On!