“Everyone tighten their shoe laces and get ready for the best adventure of your lives!”
The instructor’s enthusiastic voice drifted to Abhay’s ears as he stood upright, his hands wound around a binocular. He felt a faint streak of sadness fleet across his mind. He had signed up for the three day trekking event in Hudlum, in the hope that the days would see him explore the innocuous facets of nature along the process. But, it had so turned out that the instructor was more focussed on fuelling them, a flock of otherwise redundant fourty year olds, with the blazing flames of adventure and nothing more. Although the feeling of being charged up excited him, he was also looking forward to experiencing an evocative bond with all things beautiful and mesmerising about a forest – a passion he had nestled in his mind since long.
“Today we shall cover the East end of Hudlum, a beautiful forest strewn with rocky terrains – perfect for the second day of the event”
Abhay sighed and he tightened his grip on the binocular, now hanging from a strap on his shoulder.
‘What would happen if for today he stayed back and explored the forest on his own?’
The thought took form in Abhay’s mind, invigorating him. Not wasting a second more, he ducked behind a bushy sprout and waited for the team to move on. When he was absolutely sure that it was safe for him to come out of his hiding place, Abhay sneaked out and caught hold of the map from his back pack. Few minutes into studying the map, he was sure about where he ought to head that day. He fastened the back pack on his shoulder and set out to savour what he dreamt would be the best adventure of his life.
Before long, he had reached the summit of the tallest mountain of the region. Abhay inhaled deep as his eyes collected the vast expanse of beauty that lay ahead of him. The sky had transformed to a purple shade in places, like a smattering of ink had spilled over the light blue canvas. Not patches, but seamless array of greenery sated his inviting eyes. Cottony bundles of snow sailed around him, brushing against his skin every now and then.
Abhay knew what he had to do next. He kneeled down on the jagged mound of the mountain and loosened his shoe laces. What he did further took him by surprise. Letting out a whistle, he stood upright and yanked his one pair of shoes into the chilly air. The feel of the cold rock against his feet brought a smile to his face. He settled down on the jutting edge of the mountain and imbibed the richness of nature in its complete glory.
Even as he felt his life undergo a gradual transformation right then and there, a question hung at the back of his mind, the solution to which eluded him.
The mountains had been calling him for long, but what made him wait so long, or for that matter, what made anyone wait so long to finally seek refuge in what they loved?