Sid, is one of the unique personalities I have met so far, an unexplainable phenomenon, a simple yet complex down-to-earth person and a good friend. He is probably the only competitor I have had over these years in being ‘lean’ and mean and just being inches shorter than me. Routine work and an occasional visit to his native is all his life about.
On a trek I had planned, I invited him to join and having no inclination, he refused to undertake such strenuous activity and after being constantly pursued, he agreed reluctantly. As the days got closer, the excitement of this challenges and relishing it no end for once kept him occupied.
Well, he almost missed the entire plan by missing the bus and luckily hopped on in the middle to be received gleefully by us, a firm decision that would change him and challenge him over the next couple of days. With the initial stuffing’s and preparations, we started off slowly on the almost level gradient path and within walking a little distance, I turned around hearing a thud and he was on the ground, a slip and a fall.
(a trekker for once...)
Getting him up, we moved ahead and he was always in between some of us, not to lose sight of him and lest he has a fall again and as I was thinking of the same, he dropped once more now slipping on a stone with another thud. Offloading some of the weight from his back, we moved ahead in conquest of the peak we had set our sights on. The breakfast had fast disappeared and with the sun rising up, the hungry demons in our stomach had started squealing no end.
After the break, we pursued further and now the gradient became a little more steep and we were trekking right out in the open under the mercy of the sun god and it was an all out effort to keep ourselves cool and balanced carrying all the weight along. We passed this and entered a forest patch and then out into an open green meadow, Sid started to hop and jog in a way to get ahead of us and yet again landed on his back with a thud. Now, instead of the moans, he started laughing and everyone joined in (well, we were holding it back for a long time now) and the teasing started and in the process he was challenged to be stable and not fall for the rest of the trek.
Being a confident fellow, he instantly hit upon it and accepted the challenge and got lost in thoughts of the alive is awesome moments once he would have defeated us and the thought of a further fall free trek kept us going.
(a sunset view of a lifetime...)
We reached the top without any more falls as Sid was relishing the challenge and had been more careful stepping in the right places and avoiding slippery stones and carefully moving ahead balancing himself well. Tired bodies and with a little rest, we moved to a nearby hilltop for an amazing sunset view, probably one of the best so far.
Time flew as we spent our time amongst the clouds and clean, fresh air and soon we had to head back the way we came. Now betting had started on Sid’s challenge and he was to gain a lot of praises / favors if he would win the challenge, he surely was now relishing the challenge more and all the more determined.
(trekking in the mist...)
Trekking down a hill is faster but more painful as your legs have to have more balance and lot of pressure is exerted on them. It’s always advised to trek downhill in a cross manner as that helps you balance better and good shoes/sandals that do not slide also help. 3/4th of the way, Sid was just perfect and looked all set in winning the accolades, way to go.
After a small break as we resumed on a fairly even path, over a heated conversation, I cursed him to fall and in the next 10 steps, he slid and fell with a thud again and this time all of us almost fell down laughing and rolling. He had braved all the slopes and slides but had this fall on a flat surface when anybody least expected. Cursing me back, he too joined the laughter and it became so loud that our stomachs started to ache no end. Gosh, that was some wonderful moments in those days!
(a long walk back...)
From there till the end, he had two more falls and with each fall, the laughter’s became louder and the fun part was that it was from everybody including him. All of us had relished the challenge and enjoyed it to the hilt and he almost soaked in his glorified alive is awesome moments, just missing it by a whisker.
Nevertheless, keeping aside the challenges, we all soaked in our successful completion of the trek, conquering one of the mighty beautiful peaks in the Western Ghats infused with a lot of determination, pride, laughter and team bonding. We surely relished all of this and were soaking in our own alive is awesome moments.