MY ROMANCE WITH HIMALAYAS
I growingly feel that I am for Himalayas and Himalayas are for me. Perhaps made for each other. ‘You are permanently wedded to Himalayas”, a friend of mine says jokingly keeping in view my passion for hills. My existence without Himalayas is unthinkable. Himalayas are my life, my soul.
My romance with Himalayas began in 1988 when I did my first ever expedition with the Youth Hostel Association of India. It was a fifteen days programme in Himachal Pradesh and I, with a group of over 40 participants, climbed over 12 thousand feet. Since then I never looked back. Comes summer and my soul starts pestering me to pack the rucksack for yet another expedition.
Doing one after another expeditions in Himalayas over the years has ever been a new experience for me. As a novice and ordinary member of a group in 1988, I had never imagined that a day will come when I would enjoy the rare pride of being group leader, taking groups of foreigners, students, handicapped and others for risky expeditions.
With the vast experience that I gained so far, I can say with confidence that trekking or mountaineering in Himalayas becomes much more useful and enjoyable when we keep the faculties of mind and body open. It is not only refreshing for our body, but it also gives us a rare opportunity to peep into the rich traditions, and culture of the people living in mountains. Snow and wildlife to shoot with camera. Fables to jot down and retell them all to kids at home. It is only through such expeditions that we come to know about difficult situations under which they are destined to live and survive. And if you are a writer or journalist, mountaineering expeditions are fertile grounds for your stories or reportage. Is not it enough to arouse your passion for excursion to Himalayas? Good luck. Have a nice, successful and adventurous expedition.