Sunday, 20 May 2012

A New Friend and a Journey to the Edge of the World

Summers bring back memories of long lazy days when school was off and we did nothing but ride our ladybird bikes around the block, sucking on orange popsicles like there was no tomorrow.Our group of girls alone could have floated the ice-cream man's  profits for the entire year :D

The friends scattered, searching for their fortunes in greener pastures and the pink bike stands forgotten in a corner of the yard, waiting for a rider to wheel it out and rival the speed of the wind.
Now, taking a bike and setting off is one of the ways I visit my childhood and make amazing memories for the future at the same time.This summer, I would invite a new friend Kyra to hitch a backpack and climb aboard her bicycle and race to the edges of earth with me. Ladakh, a cold desert with its sharp relief and barren landscape feels untouched by the human menace of "civilization".Craggy mountains standing tall seem to dare the biting winds to topple them over.A deep stillness prevails the landscape, making one feel that they have entered a time of prehistoric opulence before the puny human was even born.This is where we would travel, biking for hours, taking in the varied hues of the rocks, the sharp contrasts of nature's blues, browns and sometimes the rare greens.Stopping at tiny seasonal cafes to sip chai, pedaling on, sharing the view while munching on trail mix, pitching our tents wherever we happened to be at night, we would pedal on, trying to take in as much as we could in the measly one month allowed us.Every morning we would slather on the SPF from gorgeous yellow tubes of Lakme Sun expert and get ready for a day of adventure.
There is something very compulsive about braving nature by living on what you can carry, knowing that thats all you have.The priorities of life become clearer, like a muddy pool that has been left to stand so that the mud settles and one can see all the way to the bottom.Kyra and I would bond over the campfires in the evening, sharing stories and dreams, learning about each other as all new friends must do. She is a beach gal but I would show her the splendour of the mountains, a place where the land and sky meet in a forever changing duel of colors and might that has been taking place since the beginning of time, yet no two seconds are ever the same. Skimming the foothills of the majestic mountains, we would race to the shores of the mighty lakes in search of the edge of the world and only find more of it to explore.
Just like the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, that edge would elude us and at night Kyra and I would realise that its not the pot of gold that matters but the journey across the rainbow itself.

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