Nagala first timers trek, June 19-20

Saturday, June 26, 2010

[Written by Sriram]

There’s no second chance at a First Timer’s Trek

Man’s effervescent fallacy lies in that he gets bored of the most wonderful of things. Trekking is no exception. Be it movies, country of residence, job, career, wife/husband, and so forth, there always comes a time when you wonder what made you like it so much the first time. The trick in remembering the feeling is to see it again for the first time – through someone else’s eyes. And so I joined in on a first timer’s trek and it sure was another first time for me.

A trek is unimaginable to the novice. You can’t explain it. My mom once asked me if Niagara Falls is like what people see in films and I couldn’t begin to explain the wonder in it. She eventually made it there and agreed with me –it’s indescribable. A trek is similar. No amount of articles, pictures, videos can come even remotely close to the awe and myth shattering experiences that are a part of walking through stone filled rivers and thorn adorned mountains.

There were 27 of us – only three old-timers. After a good hour and a half walk we hit the first pool and boy was there joy in the 24 faces. Joy that comes only out of being exposed to raw nature. Months and maybe even years of being jailed in the city, the group swelled with excitement and bliss that soon turned into anguish and trepidation once the first pool was crossed. It’s really then that it hits you, this is not quite akin to the walk in the park or lazing on the beach. And hit it did. Questions on the lines of how much longer became commonplace. Knees began to give way. Warm showers and Sun TV seemed better.

All that was only the tip of the iceberg. When we began the two climb ups and downs that were needed to pass the gorge (and deep pool), the trek took an astoundingly severe perspective. Nature laughed and the trekkers wept. Are you guys crazy? This is torture. Why didn’t I just stay in bed and eat pani puri. When will it end? When will it really end? Are you sure this EVER ends? --- and more. I reminisced the N37 with Peter scaling 880 meters of the Southern Peak (that happened to be my first trek).

Trekking is in binary. You either love it or you hate it and more often than not, love prevails. It’s like a Mani Rathnam movie. It’s abstract, it’s a journey, it’s long, it’s dark, sometimes you don’t understand why you bought the ticket in the first place, but at the end of it, the feeling is crystal clear. Yeah that’s a masterpiece or screw it I am never doing this again.

Ultimately, there is one kudos that every first time trekker deserves. Each one did indeed give it a shot. They did push it to the limit of individual endurance and sure as hell persevered. Would they do it again? That’s subjective. But did they have an experience of a lifetime – undoubtedly. After all the writhing, magically, I think most of them wanted to come back again.

As an observant, I thoroughly enjoyed spending every minute of this new experience. The experience of seeing it all over again for the first time. It’s my bid to prevent myself from getting bored of one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened to me and I thank the 24 pair of eyes that lent their vision to give me once again, an experience of a lifetime.

There indeed is a second chance at a first-timer’s trek.



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