Yes, sanctity. The state of being holy, or saint-like. Now, many people will say ‘How do you find sanctity, in this world where everything revolves around objects?’. My answer is simple – in the Himalayas.
Its not an easy way to experience ‘sanctity’ – it involves being disconnected to the world, trekking distances you’d never even dreamt of walking, and of course – financial expenditure. But I loved it, and I would do it over and over again.
My family and I decided to do the Dzongri-Goechala trek a few months ago, and so we did it, just last month. We, however did the trek only till Dzongri – and it was still an experience that I’ll never forget. It is a Sikkimese trek, that takes to through parts of the Western Himalayas. You get to see so many of the tallest peaks, one being Mt. Kanchenjunga. The entire experience changed me – as a person. I became so much more self conscious and aware of my mentality. I realised all the toxic things in my life that needed to be thrown out. I discovered what my real dreams and goals are, who I value the most in the world, and so much more.
We started this trip on October from Bangalore, on a flight to Bagdogra, West Bengal. We then had to take a car from there, to Yuksom in Sikkim. It was around a 9-10 hour drive. We reached pretty late – around 10 P.M. We decided to immediately crash – our trek started the next day.
In the morning, we ate a nice breakfast in the calm serenity of Yuksom.
We then began our trek, after all our luggage had been loaded onto yaks, and after we had met the crew going with us – our guide, a cook and assistant cook, a horseman and 2 porters along with 3 yaks. It was absolutely beautiful, and added up to making the trek so joyful.
We started around 10’o’clock from Yuksom, and decided our first stop where we would camp for the night would be at Sachen. We reached Sachen at 4, much later than we expected to. It was then that we realised that this trek was much harder than all the articles, books and blogs say. Its not actually the distance which is hard, but the terrain. It may not sound like it makes a difference – but trust me, it does. It was completely rocky, and very steep. Normal sports shoes will not last. We actually wanted to trek to Bakkim, which we were grateful we didn’t do in the morning when we realised that would have taken another 3-4 hours! Its not a joke! (plus, I was trekking with my parents who, as young as they claim to be, are pretty old.) The views to Sachen were mostly rainforest, but it was very beautiful.
We decided to camp at Sachen that night. We slept in tents for the first time! It is one experience that we’ll remember forever. Its something absolutely different, and though it may not seem like a big deal – so many memories are created.
The next morning, we started heading for Tshoka. We decided that we would stop midway for lunch at Bakkim. The journey to Bakkim involved a downward descent and across a river, and up another mountain. It was quite strenuous, but we took it slow and steady and made it there around 11. Till the afternoon, the weather was brilliant – the sun was out and we got some wonderful clicks.
From Bakkim, after lunch, we started heading for Tshoka. We noticed that in Tshoka it was much, much colder. The walk to Tshoka is uphill, and is mostly through more forest. In Tshoka, we were lucky enough to get a cabin instead of having to stay in a tent. It was not at all luxurious – there were just three mattresses. But, it provided us with much more room and warmth than we would have gotten in a tent. My father and I also decided to go to the various viewpoints, and it was absolutely beautiful. In the night, we really began to feel the cold.
The next morning, we began heading for Dzongri. We had constantly read that this part of the trek was the hardest, regardless of whether or not its uphill to Dzongri or downhill the other way around. Its not the distance that’s hard to cover – its the steepness and terrain. We reached the mid-point Phedang around 1’O’Clock. We were all extremely tired, but we decided to go on till Dzongri, and we don’t regret it.
We were easily able to make out the altitude change – it was much colder, and we froze in the night. We had two nights to spend at Dzongri, which meant we could have two mornings at the Dzongri top. The first morning we had was a little bit cloudy, however we were not dissatisfied. The weather could have been much worse. We were still able to see many of the highest peaks, and even got a glimpse of Mt.Kanchenjunga! (All three of us went on this day) The climb up is pretty tiring. even though it is a short distance of 1 km. It requires getting up early, and being there before the sun rises.
We spent the rest of the day resting, and organising ourselves. The next morning, my dad and I decided to go to the summit once again. And it was one of the best memories we’ve ever had. The sky was absolutely clear – and we saw everything. We had a MASSIVE photoshoot, and just looking at the mountains like that, it changes you. It makes you realise how big and powerful the world is. It was magical. Just look at the pictures. (please note the colour changes due to the sun, it was just out of the world :)) And also, I will shamelessly say now that I am not uploading the best pictures, because I did the trek, and you didn’t. Get off your phone/laptop and do it now, its worth it.
On that day, we began our return journey with something extraordinary. We returned, and found ourselves changed. Completely different. We stopped at Tshoka for one night again, and from Tshoka we went straight back to Yuksom (that was so tiring wow). Here’s some pictures from the return journey 🙂
We are so so so grateful of the crew we received, and to all the yaks that came along with us to carry all the load. The guide, the horseman, the cook, assistant cook and 2 porters – all for us. It was truly an experience of a lifetime that we will NEVER forget. Because, after all, you don’t really experience sanctity all the time, do you?
sometimes, there are people who come into your life and leave a permanent mark. they paint your soul different colours and change the way you see the world. when they leave, you realise that somewhere along the way you lost yourself. you feel like you don’t even know who you are anymore because they changed you immeasurably. and then, eventually, you’ll say that you don’t miss them – you miss yourself.
hearts don’t shatter; they rot.
so recently i chopped off 14 inches of my hair. my hair is something that everybody notices, it used to flow past my lower back. and i chopped it all, till just past my shoulders. but, it was for a cause that i’m supportive and proud of of. i donated my hair to the hair for hope foundation, to make wigs for cancer patients. this has always been on my bucket list, and i’m proud of myself for achieving this goal so early in life 🙂
(p.s : i was surprised by how great my new hair looks)
not everyone you lose is a loss
“what is wanderlust?”, a lot of people ask me.
and so i decided to finally put my take on wanderlust into words, for the world.
according to dictionaries:
a strong desire to travel.
i would agree to a certain extent with a dictionary.
but i have to say that meaning of wanderlust cannot be scribbled down into five simple words, so here you go, here’s some more words that i scribbled into a coffee stained notebook, that will hopefully provoke some emotion within you.
wanderlust is a traveller’s lust, where dreams of people are now dreams of places.
wanderlust is the feeling of wanting it all, the escape within the limited planet and its atmosphere.
wanderlust is not the feeling of wanting to look at cities you see in movies, but it is the feeling of wanting to get away from all the people, and go into pure nature.
wanderlust is the desire to roam through the deserted streets, with your little empty heart.
wanderlust is overcoming your fears, flying in airplanes if you are scared of heights, sailing in ships if you are prone to seasickness.
wanderlust is a feeling after you accept yourself, after you are truly comfortable with yourself, after you need nobody else.
wanderlust is not the desire to capture pictures to make your friends jealous, it is the desire to capture images and words in your mind, that is for you and yourself only.
wanderlust is running away from everyone, and everything, into the wild.
wanderlust is hanging out with the sun, the moon, all the stars, and everything beyond reach.
wanderlust is the feeling of being lured into the seven giant land masses, into the five unfathomable waters.
wanderlust is the feeling of not belonging, of knowing you’ll never have the feeling that you will belong.
wanderlust is real when you will walk that extra mile, when you are willing to skip a meal, when you are willing to give it all up for one sight.
wanderlust is losing many trees, countless cities, rivers, canyons, valleys, and knowing that it isn’t a disaster.
wanderlust is the start of wandering, in search of nothing whatsoever, but finding everything.
wanderlust is accepting to own nothing, no matter that can held between your five fingers, to feel everything.
wanderlust is the millions of undiscovered constellations.
wanderlust is magic.
the ones who first saw me, the ones who made sure i entered the world, who held me, as if i was a diamond and the entire world was dust.
the ones who bought me infinite toys of all sorts, books of animals, fruits and letters, CDs of the animations i still remember when i sleep today.
the ones who changed my diapers, who made sure my skin was softer than cotton and smoother than silk.
the ones who dressed me like a princess, who made me feel like a princess, with everything in the world at my command.
the ones who held me on the thunderstorm days, wrapping me safely in a blanket, and making sure that nothing could ever hurt me.
the ones who took me to the beaches, building sandcastles with me, the same way they started building me – with all their love.
the ones who i would laugh with, at all the little things in the world.
the ones who i could cry on, when a friend was being a little bit of a jerk by not sharing their latest hot wheels model with me.
the ones who taught me to get up from every fall, and keep running, and running, like the wind, who taught me that i could do anything.
the ones who tell me, “go show all those stupid boys who’s the boss”.
the ones who put food onto a plate, water in a glass and books and pens on the table, for me.
the ones who take me to look at the world, from cars, airplanes, ships and trains, in mountains, seas, deserts and valleys.
the ones who still brush their hands through my hair and kiss my head even after i let them down.
the ones who hold my hand every day and tell me that i can reach the stars.
the ones who still hang around with me even after i say that everything is fine.
the ones who’ve taught and showed me that life is hard, and that i have to work hard, and that i have the potential to go beyond all limits.
the ones who i can crawl to, and moan and cry for hours and hours about my broken heart, about all the hate, the peer pressure, the society, and all the hard things to deal with in the world.
the ones who i watch family comedy shows with, and laugh about all the things that we can relate to.
the ones who always have an answer to my question, even if the answer isn’t right, but have an answer that’s enough for my heart.
the ones who i will need all my life, no matter how independent i become.
the ones who will remain in my heart all my life, no matter who comes in my life and no matter who leaves.
the ones who are the most important in the world to me.
the ones who i want to make proud, who i want to say to everyone, ‘you know, my daughter did this….’, or ‘that’s my daughter’.
the ones who i can’t bear to see when they’re sad, the only ones that will completely upset my entire world with even a single frown.
the ones who give me the motivation and energy to open my eyes every single day and taught me go out and face the world.
the ones who taught me that i am not mediocre.
the ones who still keep me in their house no matter how many times i’ve crossed the line, let them down, or been a jerk.
the ones whom i’ve written endless poems about.
the ones who taught me that if i could love myself, i could be all the stars, and that i didn’t have to love some stupid boy.
the ones who brought me up such that today when a boy insults me or teases me, he leaves the scene with tears in their eyes.
the ones who told me that i could be bigger than all the faces that i’ve stuck onto my bedroom wall.
the ones who support me in every field, in every thing that i’m interested in.
the ones who let me soar in the sky, but still keep me anchored to the ground.
the ones who i push myself for everyday.
the ones who sit by my side when i can’t move a single muscle, and tell me that it’ll all be alright.
the ones who make sure that every bad decision is a lesson learnt for me.
the ones who continue to teach me how to survive in this big, bad world.
the ones who love me inside out, despite all my scars, flaws and sins.
the ones who i will love till the end of time.
i love you, mum and dad, like a lot. thanks for tolerating my nonsense and doing all that you do for me. i will make you proud, i promise.