My sleep is cursed with nightmares. It’s been three days since I slept. Whenever I close my eyes, I dreamt of getting lost in a forest and haunted by my own figures. I took pills, I tried meditation. Things did not work out properly. Then I decided to bundle my baggage for hiking as usual.
I planned this trip six months before. I was prepared from then as it was one on my bucket list. It is 3214 Km away from my location. Hence, I decided to take two different modes of transport. I fled to Srinagar made a pause for a day. It was a five-hour journey from Chennai to Srinagar. I got switched between two thoughts.
First was excitement about the new trip. The second was memories. Honestly, I missed my partner this time. Though it is hard for me without him. I wanted to manage myself this time.
I hired a bike to continue my travel towards Hanle village. It took seven days for me to reach Hanle. Because I stopped at different destinations to admire the beauty of mountains.
I took leh – pangong tso – hanle route. This was the best decision I ever made in my life. Camp stay at Pangong lake gave a spell-bound experience. Hanle is one of the remarkable places for me as well as stargazers. It’s one such beautiful point to get involved with nature. The closer I reached the Hanle campsite more I began to lose my mind.
It was past four when I reached; the destination. I forced myself to control the anxiety to get some sleep.
The same nightmare woke me up again. Everywhere around me was conquered by the dark clouds. The cold breeze almost froze my body. But this time, the wind forgot about my thoughts. I felt numb as it was completely black.
I checked for the time. It was past eight on thirty. Putting on my Walkman, I played pookal pookum tharunam and walked across the site searching for food.
Soon I found a hut with bright yellow lights at the end of the campsite. After finishing my two minutes dinner, everyone planned to visit the observatory nearby. Even I was very excited because that was the only reason for this trip of mine. I rushed back to my tent to grab all the requirements before the mob left for the place.
This was a fortunate moment on an unfortunate occasion. The whole herd was 50 meters ahead of me. Ignoring the reasons, I continued to walk with my walkman. Since it was completely dark and super cold. I couldn’t even see the light carried by the people before me.
I continued to walk with confidence and strength as there were people before me. I felt strange after a few mins. Suddenly, I experienced uncertain loneliness. The nightmare flashed in my eyes. The fear rushed in my veins after recognizing it. I felt paralyzed and was forced to lose my consciousness.
But still, I made my mind to walk against the odds. As said earlier, I had the mini backpack that would support me for two days.
After a few hours of mindless walking, I felt like climbing over something. It was pitch dark around me. There will be no one to rescue me even if I lose my conscious here. It resembled like last day of my life. I recalled every incident that happened in my life and cherished them with a blooming smile.
I walked for a few hours got super tired. I made my mini tent with the bed sheet I carried and rested myself on it. Eventually, I remembered the reason for this trip. I raised my head to view the sky.
Oh, my god! The sky was filled with stars and constellations.
Someone covered the skies with a blanket of stars, it seems. It was such a hypnotic view I’ve ever experienced. I wanted to apologize to the moon because the sky I witnessed today was way more beautiful than the moon.
The sky wasn’t black here, it was a combination of blue, pink, green with glitters over it. It is a beautiful abstract art by universe.
I couldn’t find words to explain the view. I was standing 4500 meters above the sea level. Standing alone in the rock’s tip, witnessing the unexplainable view of skies. Over thousands of stars smiled at me. The chilling breeze pushed me down.
The nightmare was true now I’m lost. I lost myself in this universe of dust. I lost my reality in this magic world.
The last day of my life left me with many lessons. Ever since my childhood, reading historical Tamil novels was my only job during vacations. Authors describe nature in their own way.
But the reality is we can never describe it exactly, it can only be experienced. It was a wholly soothing moment for a bruised heart.
I missed my partner this time. I wish he was with me to enjoy this beautiful moment. Resting my head on the rock. I played my favourite song. Staring at the skies with stars and clusters, I slept with the thought of my partner.
This sleep was like death. I felt someone carrying me to heaven without my permission. It filled my heart with peace and calmness.
Someone held my hands and asked me if I was okay? I replied yes. The moment I opened my eyes. I saw clouds rushing towards me to hug. It was early morning, I guess. The dark clouds were chased by white and blue ones. The golden lines began to spread in nook and corners.
I saw a person next to me. It was my partner.
Wake up it’s time for us to leave. I cleared my eyes. Someone splashed the water against my face. He was my guide, I recited the whole story to him. He asked me to turn back. It was the observatory I planned to visit.
He said I took the long route accidentally to reach the place. Piling up my stuffs I reached back the campsite playing my Walkman.
I experienced both death and rebirth in a single night. The hypnotic view and strokes gave me memories to cherish for the rest of my life. I missed him. It was me the cause for everything. I figured the way to get him back.
Thank you, stars for helping me to figure a way to get back my star.
I would like to quote this here
“எங்கிருந்தும் வானத்தைப் பார்க்கலாம். ஆனால் எங்கிருந்து பார்க்கிறோம் என்பது தானே முக்கியம். கடல் அதன் அலைகளின் வழியாகஅறியப்படுவதைப்போல வானம், அதைக் காணும் கோணத்தின் வழியாகத்தான் காட்சிப்படுகிறது.”
Tourism is not just about travelling it’s about exploring and experiencing the essence of that place.