1)Collect moment not things: I sit in the shade of a tree with red flowers at one of the bends on the road which quite strategically gives me the clear view of occasional vehicles from either side.I am happy for the fact that not only do i see a mountain with a tinge of white on the top but also can see the numerous bends ahead as the road circles and circles in a never ending loop. I see a distant vehicle below, then after sometime I can hear its rumble and after a long long time it actually reaches me, imagine such is my vantage point. Cool breeze brings in the fainest smell of rain, a flower drops on my head and a bird with an orange nose keeps coming to the tree and flies off. Occasionally locals cross the bend and give me an inquisitive look and pass by.It is around 11 am and I have ridden a good distance already, though it will be at least 5 before I will reach my night halt,I am in no hurry at all. I love it here, this moment this time, the quiet.
2) Life is a journey, enjoy it: I looked around and found no trial, only a makeshift flag blowing from an iron post. It was 10 am , altitude of 5416 meters and a snow storm with an ever increasing intensity was already at play.I was standing at Thorang la Pass in Nepal, the highest point on the trek and the highest I had ever been on foot till date. I just closed my eyes and thought about the last 12 days on the trail, of the cold, of too cold, of waterfalls, of snow and too much snow, of seeing the mighty Annapurna from various vantage points, of macaroni for breakfast and deal bhaat for dinner, of black tea, of beer with friends while it snowed outside, of fingers getting totally numb, of shivering and shivering and shivering, of gazing at the stars and so on and on. I realized the importance of enjoying the journey, no matter what it has in store for us.
3)Embrace the unexpected: It is about 2 am in the night, I am at a village named Kalga in Parvati Valley. The power went off sometime back and it is turning out to be real windy outside. The wind beats against the wooden walls of the room with some anguish, some determination, with the sole purpose probably to disrupt my sleep. I reluctantly wake up, find the candle amidst the sporadic thunder light and sit down and write. I write because, this has been a trip like that, unplanned, unexpected, and I just went with the flow, getting lost and found in the Parvati Valley
4) Happiness is eternal: While his grandmother cooked maggi and tea for me , I took this kid for a ride on the road that connects Pangong Lake. It may have made or not made his day but his smile did make mine. I saw a small handmade toy that he was contented to play with i just a pull over to protect from the cold. His life for 7 months was in a tent house on a desolate road and family members and the mountains his only friends. His life was simple and complex at the same time. Left me with mixed feelings wondering how amazing this world was while many travel to find peace , for some peace finds them
5)Spend some time alone, it enriches your soul: I am on the top of Rohtang Pass with mixed feelings. I am at the last end of the trip; I will be riding back from Manali to Delhi tomorrow. What I have experienced in the past 10 days will always stay with me. Never ever I had thought that mere 10 days can change a person so much, being alone does that to you for it is in being alone that you realize your true self, ponder over your tribulations, get over vices and return back rejuvenated with a clear focus to take life more positively.
6)Observe: We in our day to day lives are very less observant of nature but if you are someone on the mountains, you will appreciate how slowly time passes here. Especially this period between night and sunrise is quite dynamic. I make myself some black tea and sit on a rock to gaze at the sky. I wait for the ruddy orange glow to light the campsite, raring for the sunrise, for not only is it beautiful but also it will mellow down the cold a bit. My only companion in the quite is a dog, safely perched on a rock, somewhere waiting for the sunrise, his own reason, or may be we share a reason or two. The moment is beautiful, a red orange tinge in the sky, treating the beast and the man equally.
7) World is beautiful,Travel: Imagine a moment , half of a 23 km trek done. I just sit and gauze at the mountains. As the cold wind blows past me, I become more and more at ease, making my peace with nature. I ponder on my life at other days, relentless travel on work, pressure, bad boss, and so many other things. I tend to forget that life for some time and embrace the now. Oh God, thank you for making this world so beautiful!!
8) Each day is a blessing: The chilly wind will not stop and the incessant downpour adds to the cold. The deluge has washed away the road at many places. In addition to the apprehension which every blind turn brings, there is a high probability of the tyres slipping in the boulevard. Slightest of error will bring me close to the river which I have been admiring from this high altitude and in rather precarious circumstances. But there is still too much to see and marvel at, the joy of riding in the rain, the delight of every morning. So I just move on and on.
9)You are never too poor to help: gave lift to a very old lady. She had come up for free eye camp and was unable to find public transport back home.seemed and expert in sitting on bike , hopped over with legs on either side. In conversation came to know that she was absolutely poor and almost peniless. When after getting down she said , ” aaj mere ghar pe ruk jate beta , don’t go in the night” , I was so overwhelmed
10)Be a part of someone’s happiness, it will make you happier: Yesterday night i met an old man with a heavy luggage looking out for a lift.I told him that i was just going a few kms further and would give him a lift if he wanted. I held his briefcase as with some difficulty,coughing and heavy breathing he managed to hop on the bike.I decided to drop him to his house. In our small talk I came to know that he was paying a surprise visit to her daughter on her B day.I was happy to be a part of someone’s happiness.The old man blessed me and wished me luck for nothing in particular.