‘The honking is the first thing that reminds you the trip is over‘, Bigfoot had said. It does have a ‘bring you back to reality’ effect, I thought sitting in the comfort of the majestic Kalka-Delhi Shatabdi Express enjoying chai and Marigold biscuits.
I, along with nineteen other hapless souls from across the country, subjected our bodies and minds to a test of endurance and grit. They delivered. At 15,255ft above sea level, gasping for air, we rewarded our senses to the beauty and permanence of the Himalayas.
Rupin pass is a Shepherd’s trail that takes, those who attempt the shortcut, from Udaknal straight to Sangla via the boundless and plentiful grazing meadows. This makes it a luring experience for sheep, blessed with natural sweaters and hooves, and also their closely related, AMS prone cousins: the amateur trekkers.
There I stood, looking at everything: from the meagre me to the undying abyss of permanence. I could look at every tree, leaf and stone for hours and not see it to heart’s content. My body knew where I was. These are not pixels spread on a screen to pinch, I was really there, I existed. With each frosty blast of wind I was receiving the ultimate validation: of myself, my existence in this world.