'15/Feb/2017'

‘Show up! Just show up’, somebody told me once.

That’s all life asks of us. While we are lost in thoughts, something mysterious in the valleys that speaks to us. Come. Show up to it. While we are busy in our head, something is silently kissing the ground and having a secret love affair. Come, let it watch you huff and puff to its crown. Naked feet and stolen kisses. Always makes a peerless couple.

Don’t ask questions far too much, come along. Just walk. Let the route reveal itself.

The other day we tried walking shoeless. Letting the feet thump the dust of Sahyadris. Abruptly, the romantic within us fell apart and we put on our shoes like good old mama’s boys. It bites and hurts when it’s hot. So follow the instructions Ravi mails you before every trek to the Harishchandra. When sun dances, you don’t look into their eyes. And when dust rises up, you trod like the slaves of mountains.

Those very mammoths we love and ogle from below, break us down – piece by piece. And as much as fun it is for us to shout hoarse On top of peaks like taramati, we all know who bosses around here.

We have gone up and down, played on them like kids giggling around grandparents. And ate simple meals after arduous climbs under shower of stars. Yet every time we meet them, they are born anew. Like the wrinkles on my grandma’s hand. A soft one here, a curled one there. And many a time those I missed under the shadows of her eyes. It’s easy to miss the subtle charms of a mountain. For the mountain doesn’t claim any.

It doesn’t promise you it will spark something new within. Too much of promising is like letting the secret out too soon. Nah naaah!!! Not so easy.

Take a walk, take a peek into yourself.

None of our climbs have told us what surprise they hold ahead. And for all our plans and intense preparations, after all these times, if there’s one thing we know of our grand rocks, it’s this – be ready to meet new puzzles on the way up and sometimes on our way down as it happened while we rappelled lingana last year. After all, why else would you sleep on a steep mountain rolling down, that too standing upright? Legends I tell you, don’t happen just like that!

That story though is for a later day. So, my grandma. Yeah. She’s got this embrace of a wise old body which is so missing around us these days. We have shrunk, but wisdom hasn’t. It still hides and calls us out in unguarded moments of our walks.

Those warm hands of hills teach us so much more about the way our mind works. The ease with which they sort out some of the life’s gutted knots is something to be relived and experienced only after a long climb that rests within your body. There’s a sweet pain to legs. We know it well by now. They hurt but we no longer run away from hurt. Feet go sore but there’s no urge to escape easily. We bump our knees and our ankles talk. And we hear our bodies tell us stories for quite a few nights after every trek.

But there’s always a guide out there. No, just the trek leads, they are mere lampposts. I am speaking of the guide within you that echoes out there. For those of us who have lead lives playing safe and acting sane, such climbs poke us into gasps and bestial sounds. We can stay silent and hear the night talk to us. We can sing songs in our head and walk miles with the tracks trodden. And we can stumble on a new way and suddenly burst out into a cry of joy. Everything’s welcome in our grand rocks. The bonfires too. Yes, sir.

Whichever type of madmen you are (my grandma was a madder men of them all), you will be taken care of by the hills and the legends of those who trek with you. Stay away from Prashant though, he’s the maddest one. Don’t believe the stories he reveals at nights. Ghosts don’t exist except in his head.

Spirits do. They talk to you. They tell you – take it a step at a time. One small step. We need no rush. They thieve away your worries. From up above there, all those Big things in our lives, look miniscule and laughable for seconds.

Those seconds are enough to give us a glimpse into something eternal.

Call it god, call it nature or call it force. When you sleep on swaying mountains at night, you know whoever that is – has sung the sweetest lullaby you heard in years.

Rest those sore feet. Lie down that tired body. You are allowed to breathe pure. You are allowed to dream dear.

Blog By: Dattaprasad fb.com/dattachiguy