When I go through the word “Above“, there is a feeling of divine presence because we normally connect the divine presence somewhere at the highest point in the Universe. I feel if we are really connected to the divine presence in our heart even with a single stretch, a lot of emotions will flow automatically with the mention of the word “ Divine”. It’s a very pure and raw emotion that comes straight from the heart without any rational interpretation of the mind. Perhaps that’s why it is said “When there is battle between the mind and the heart, follow heart”, because it never misguides you. The path of the heart may seem illogical to follow sometimes and may be difficult to travel by , but there is the presence of utmost peace and purity in the thoughts that the rationalization of the mind is no longer functional after some time. It leads us to a way where we are supposed to be by the Divine plan. A balanced mind gives the proper approach to travel the way that the Blissful Heart decides to follow. We are asked to control the thoughts of mind; maybe not to control but to align them in a constructive manner because mind has interpretation of everything and anything that get converted into thoughts. Some of them act like guide while some may act like poison. I believe that’s the time when the divine interpretation comes into picture; when you are connected to this energy, it will guide you from engulfing the poison. This interpretation comes from the voice of the heart; the choice is always ours.
It is almost eight months since my last visit to Kashmir and I still could not get over the emotions and love which I got from the people over there. Obviously how could I, when my chat box is still filled with all the images of apples and plums from the orchards of Kashmir. I spent some 6-7 days among those girls of Kashmir . I could feel that sense of belonging. It felt to me very easily that all they wanted was peace and their freedom like people in other part of country. Normal people would expect to treated as any other normal human being . Well, while browsing through those messages , a thought just came into my mind that a little approach can change a lot of things. It can be easily passed by and taken as a regular chat but I believe this small gesture means a lot to change few perceptions. Why do we cultivate so much of hate when there is an option of love and affection. I never thought that in this age when people hardly care about neighbors , I would get daily well wishes from those girls with whom I spent few days. Since there were lot of regional and cultural differences among us, so I was bit apprehensive about my acceptance among them. Well, those days were no less than a family treat and even after I have returned to my place, I could still feel those affection in their messages. I am unable to acknowledge every message but still it is treated without any offence, so unlike most of us.
Accept somebody without any judgment and prejudices and it plays a positive note on mind. We learn to hate and judge very easily but do not take the stand to love someone. Nurturing negativity can obviously destroy many things. Acceptance without any judgement is the most important part and I am privileged to be the part of that circle. Although I was a guest in their house but the love and affection which is still there in those voice seem like I did some honor. This feeling is amazing.
Today we are living in the land where value of land is much more valuable the human lives. Kashmir is one of those worst affected areas. The normal human lives are torn apart between two different lands. Such lives need acceptance and love rather than pre-conceived notions and isolation. Only land itself is not important , rather the people inhabiting those land are more valuable. Those who have to fight the battle on the field are doing so, to prevent the harmony of the country , but we can also fight the battle against the hate by mutual acceptance.
Your journey will remain valuable and your struggle will remain memorable to you, no matter how far the world around you is judgmental. You know your worth and your battle to stand amidst all the diversities.
These years away from my home has taught me tremendously. We all grow through our own learnings. We make mistakes, learn from it and move ahead. There is always a lot of apprehensions associated with a new place, I was no far apart from this thought. But once we accept a place with open arms, we always get the same affection in return. There is always a positive and negative side of any phase. I am fortunate enough that I embraced some of the good human beings as friends in the new city who contributed wonderful memories to these years. Well, when you move alone to a big metropolitan, you are not the single person who is worried about you, there is a crowd around you who is equally inquisitive about your actions and reactions. Your attitude will automatically build up a story about you. These things are little frustrating for a while, doesn’t bother much once your eyes and ears are closed to the scrap. Personally, I learned a lot from this phase, and the most important among them is the belief upon myself and my dreams. Nobody understands us better than we, ourselves. I believe that internal connection shall always be preserved. Until we are fine with ourselves, anything hardly matters. The people around me whose presence matter to me always been a source of inspiration to me somewhere. One thing is my family which keeps me rooted; another one is those few people around me whose presence is bliss to me. I am not surrounded by them all the time, but a small conversation is enough to freshen me up. I guess this is how we learn to embrace a new beginning.
Life is full of so many treasures, we should enrich us with them. People inspire me, their attitude and take towards life inspire me. The itch towards learning is the biggest asset, one could have. There is no end to this journey of seeking new qualities. To keep peace and pace with life, it’s necessary that we keep the desire for learning new things alive be it anything like, learning a new sport, appreciating the beats of music & dance, getting lost in the world of books or appreciating art. There are countless number things where we could feel the pulse of life.
So, to make this journey of life memorable and worthy, it’s necessary that we value our own dreams and desires and take every single step forward without any hesitation and fear. And value those people and relationships which add peace, strength, motivation, and fun in this journey; anything else doesn’t even matter !!
It’s going to be a month since I returned from Leh- Ladakh. When I was moving along those amazing terrains of the mountains, the stories and literary lines were building themselves. The moment our flight entered the zone of the giant mountains, till the second we moved out of it, everything was picturesque. It’s true that beauty extracts the writer out of you. I thought that I won’t be able to write much about it since it’s almost a month now. But, still, when I close my eyes, the beauty of the mountain, cloud, desert, land, and river unfold itself. A single land holding every asset of the nature; mountain, river, desert, and greenery. The jewel of this scenic beauty is the enchanting play of the colors of the clouds. The crystal-clear clouds made the vision exotic. From the deserts of the Nubra valley, the confluence of the Zanskar and the Indus to Pangong & Tsumoriri lake, every piece of the natural heritage seemed a blessing to the eyes.
I had never seen the more magnificent version of the Himalayan mountains than the various ranges over here in Leh- Ladakh. The pattern of the colors of the mountains, changing from Grey to red, to green at some places. It felt that somebody had painted on a canvas, to get the correct color contrast of a scenery. Indeed, it was the perfect canvas created by God himself.
We drove from Leh- Nubra – Leh – Pangong – Tsumoriri, the entire journey accompanied by the Himalayan ranges. The charismatic confluence of the Zanskar and the Indus, where the shining blue water of the Zanskar and the dirt green water of the Indus distinguish themselves very explicitly. I remember, our camera and phones were constantly full in memory because we were not having the option to delete any of the captures. We were amazed that suddenly we turned into extraordinary photographers. But obviously, it was the muse, not the photographer, who was brilliant.
Once you land before a beauty, you also learn the skill to appreciate it and admire it. The luminous blue waters of Pangong and Tsumoriri gave the mirror image of the mountains and clouds in its vast space; perfect mirror image. Pangong lake at 4 pm was treasure to the eyes. ‘Blue ‘, everything was blue till one could stretch eyes. I feel blessed when I get the opportunity to encounter such visions that leaves me speechless. Perhaps, speechless beauty is the reason that it is situated high up in the Himalayas which is not easy under normal reach. You have to endure a little bit of pain and strength to survive the twist and turns of roads to get here, but I guess that is the thrill. And off course every good thing comes with a price.
Monasteries add divine touch to the land of Leh-Ladakh. You can always find monasteries at some distances, which can be easily recognized by their peculiar tombs. Prayer flags and wheels all over the mountains make you relate to the traveler magazines where we find such captures.
It is said that People belonging to the mountains are simple and clear at heart and yes they were. Their simplicity and innocence were evident in their hospitality of the travelers. They deserve the clean and pious beauty of the place. God has chosen these people to preserve the natural heritage and keep all the destructions aside which emerge out of the human desires.
There are countless feelings but everything which can be written about this land is less to justify the varied feelings which you experience after moving along these terrains. When you encounter something which is mesmerizing , then you are also lack of words to compliment it. Such is the magic of this land upon me.
I just finished with the book ” Into the thin air”. I was willing to read some good stuff on mountaineering and mountains for a long time. While selecting this book, I did not pay much attention to the reviews and ratings, somehow the title of the book hit the chords.
Certainly, high altitude climbing is much more about the struggle of human survival against the diminishing oxygen. Every materialistic desire at the pinnacle seems futile. I wonder about this amazing feeling which is attained after bearing all the physical and mental breakage and sometimes even risking lives. It is appalling to read that towards the summit of Mt. Everest, climbers find the scattered human bodies, which will continue to mark their presence till the death of the universe. Perhaps there is no second chance to rectify the mistakes at a height of more than 28000 ft. It feels terrifying to continue with a journey that might ends up with some known fate. One starts a journey with twelve , and ends up with four ; but still the zest for conquering the summit is alive and the ascent continues. I guess this fearless attitude is only vital to mark the beginning of the ascent. But being fearless is not the only tool; there are some of the most brutal prices which one must pay to claim the presence on the highest point of Earth. Sometimes mountaineers make the toughest decision of leaving the living bodies alone on those heights, the bodies which are trapped under snow and just marking the presence of few signs of life. At such situations, it become necessary to negotiate the quantity of human lives which could be saved at the risk of just one. It seems cruel to leave someone to get killed just because at the cost of one, many other lives could be saved! But it is heart wrenching to imagine someone in that brutal and helpless situation. I guess these are all the prices which need to be paid to conquer the zenith because nothing comes without price. Watching our own body parts getting paralyzed and unresponsive are something which cannot be explained in writings but these are the emotional struggles for which these warriors are also well prepared.
“I conquered Everest not through my feet but through my brain” – I heard this from one of the best mountaineers in the history and it is so true. It is not only the struggle against physical potential but more about the struggle against mental strength. While reading this book, I cannot figure out the thin line between obsession and passion, for the mountains. I guess that such line doesn’t exist at those heights. It just vanishes .
It is so inspiring to know about the mountaineers who claim the highest summits on the Earth. I believe it teaches everything, right from the leadership and team building skills to never – say – die attitude.
So let’s conquer those peaks and master our own fear.
Ever since I visited this land, it feels that whatever has been written or described about this land is not sufficient to justify the cosmic beauty of Valley of Kashmir. War over the geographical boundaries could not destroy the blessed beauty of nature. Moving through the valley seems like moving through the path which is covered by snow laden mountains all around the corners. View of Himalayan mountains and the constant companionship of river Jhelum would never leave anyone alone. Sometimes humming and sometimes roaring, but the presence of Jhelum would always be there. Leaves of Chinar are as fascinating to watch as it always feels while reading about them in the books. For me, it is like unfolding the pages from my books. I wish I could have also seen the apples in the apple valley, white flowers have covered the entire orchards. It is so exciting to imagine the presence of apples in those orchards, just in a few months. And there is not one or two orchards, but there is valley called apple valley while going to Pahalgam. While driving through the valley, I feel that those perfect paintings and photographs in the books and websites are part of my vision too.
Tulips, I have seen them alive for the first time in my life and I fall in love with them. Massive collection of Tulips in almost every color I can imagine it to be, are there. There are rows after rows dedicated to different colors of Tulips. Forget the colors, there are also contrast in the color combinations of these flowers. When you follow the end of these tulip’s rows, your eyes would meet the clouds almost dropping down from the mountains. When you follow these clouds, you would meet the snow-covered zenith of Himalayan ranges. That’s like a never-ending process, seems like treasure to the eyes and peace to the mind. But above all, solace to the soul comes from the warm approach and hospitality of the local people. In a true sense, they treat their guests as their God, as per our own tradition. They are delighted to receive you as their guests. I stayed with a local family for few days I spent in Kashmir and I would never forget the honor and happiness which they expressed by making me as a part of them for those days. Geographical boundaries have not succeeded to create any marking or boundary in the thoughts of normal people who want to be the part of normal lives.
History and future, both the aspects of this valley are soulful. War over geographical boundaries have injured the lives of normal people. Kashmir is said to be heaven on Earth and off course the natural blessings to this land is divine which is even difficult to document. But the common civilians who want to be the part of common lives shall never be judged and given the opportunity to be the part of them. It is dreadful to live in an environment that is constantly under the rage of fire. Paradise on the Earth cannot be remained as paradise until or unless the population of beautiful human beings living under the roof of Himalayas start living like any other human being in different part of the same country. Then I guess that this saying would be true in real sense “People call it heaven; we call it home “
“Running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going” .
I read it somewhere and instantly I discovered my motivation for participating in 21 Km Marathon. Certainly for ‘not so regular runner’, like me it is definitely a challenge to complete 21 km track in a decent time. I had always ran 10 km and it had never been the question of ” DO or Die” for me but completing 21 km marathon seemed to me somewhere the same. I really wanted to challenge my own potential but on that particular note. Honestly I had the feeling that I am all eagerly ready to bear that physical pain which I face after completing 10 Km. And this time in more than double doses and might be worse than that. But I was sure that I was unnecessarily getting apprehensive about it because being an avid trekker I never faced such occasions much (Do or Die one). So with complete self-motivation I ran on final day. Since I had the practice for 10 km so half of the distance didn’t cost me much. But after that the same mental blockage started building up. “Oh my God! , you have to run the same distance again , with this high-speed breath and perfectly tired feet “ . And this mental blockage was creating the perfect scene for giving up. But I was not at all ready to leave it incomplete anywhere. I gathered all my thoughts to those memories in the mountains and hills where I trek around tirelessly in the rough terrain for 4-5 hours or sometimes even longer than that. I kept myself isolated from my own negative visuals and continued running.Of course I was tired after sometime but never thought of giving up . I completed my track of 21 km in perfectly decent time and decent shape.
So, I can never deny from the well explained and well-intended meaning of these beautiful lines but definitely a powerful one.- “Running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going” .
History has its own beauty which is always vintage. No matter how rugged everything looks , but there is always a legendary feel attached to it. I think beauty lies in the stories hidden beneath these structures. Beauty of the historical places need to be decoded from the stories and the feelings attached to these stories.
I went to Amer Fort in Rajasthan , few days back. I think the feeling of royalty touched upon me , the moment I saw the staircases towards the Fort. And then, the huge and massive structures and the historical figures and stories attached to those structures , everything makes the place a historical treat. Amer Fort is recognized by the name of Raja Man Singh and his descendants . Even after centuries we retell the stories of the king , descendants, family and everything attached to him because everything is intricated in these structures, somewhere. Such places have the quality of taking us to that era and feel the essence of that genre.
When the call of mountain arises, it become irresistible to ignore the calling. Sometimes I wonder that what else we achieve other than the serene beauty of nature, after conquering the peak with all the bruises and physical pain. And it comes straightforward that is the immense satisfaction of conquering our own challenges and fear. This journey itself teaches us lot many things, in a nutshell probably the journey of life where we walk, run, trip, arise, have fun and sometimes set apart from loved ones, but subconsciously we all are moving towards own goal in our own path. Certainly, this is the reason I enjoy hiking because somewhere it relaxes the nerves of brain to relate to new things which we casually ignore and never feel related to in our daily lives.
Recently I went to Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. Although I was excited to deal with the snow but unfortunately snowfall started the day I left the place. But there is something in the aroma of hills and mountains that ultimately soothes my nerves. And I guess it happens with everyone. This is some sort of meditation which is difficult to explain in words.
Nature has its various versions of beauty but I always have crush for its raw version of beauty which is found in watching the sunrise and sunset sitting on the edge of a cliff. And I am sure its worth all the attention and pain endured to reach this.