Himalayan Summer (2010)

From the capital Delhi this saga takes flight,
We head to the airport at first light,
At once the omens point their fingers of fate,
Towards a direction, foreign till late,
But let’s not dwell on retrospections,
Here are the chronicles, the uncensored collections.

Kingfisher’s efficiency caved,
Hence the flight we missed, but we were saved,
For Rupees 500 per head ensured
The next morning flight; we returned inured.
We reached Ladakh, mouths ajar,
Inimitable beauty we had seen thus far,
The magnitude of the Himalayan range,
Left us beset, beguiled, strange,
Sentient of this ultimate scene,
We probed ruminations less supreme:
Whammy-Bars and misspelled words,
Aviators and local birds,
Chatur’s sycophantisms,
Bollywood prose and political schisms.

All in all two days of this,
Tibetan splendour; Momo-bliss,
But now it was time to trek,
Calcutta sensed imminent heck,
Nevertheless we began the ascent,
Quickly, Strongly but we couldn’t prevent
The Northerner’s headaches and chunder,
Calcutta, exhausted couldn’t help but wonder

Whether he was in over his head,
He missed the comforts of Bengal, he said,
Needless to say, we carried on,
But even our guide, Leh’s ‘Don Juan’,
Sensed our fears,
Of altitude sickness and letting down peers.

The Londoners lasted till that last meal,
Till then, some blisters but nothing of real
Concern or stress,
But that fateful night at thousands of feet,
We regurgitated and could not compete
With the thinning air and altitude
Headaches here, dizziness there,
The moonscape laughed, though fully aware.

Next morning we chose to desist and cease,
For to continue on would breach the peace
In both camp, body and mind,
Our footprints were to rewind
Back down the rocky mountain way,
To the place we started, the city of Leh.

En route we photographed many a scene,
To later revel in nostalgic dream
Of Monasteries and Buddhist groves,
Himalayan dawns and pious coves.

So there we are,
The tale’s complete,
This was but a tribute
To that lovely week.

 

“Himalayan Summer (2010)” is a poetic travelogue that I wrote in the summer of 2010 after my A-level examinations. At the time, I was trekking through the Himalayan Markha Valley region with a few of my close friends. They are referred to in the travelogue by their ‘regions of residence’ as opposed to their names: Calcutta, The Londoners & The Northerner! 

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