Monday, April 11, 2011

Standing on the Clouds

Let me tell you a story, not a new one, an old one which keeps enthralling me whenever I think about it...

A trip, a journey to the lap of nature, wandering and trekking in the wild hills of Chembra.

I walked 4 kilometers into the sky with a bunch of friends, dragging every inch of myself toward the summit. Eventually, after a 4 hour trek uphill, I reached the destination. The experience was to say the least, exhilarating...Nature held a surprise for me. When I looked down to the foothills from atop, all I could see was an ocean of white mist covering the entire area. It was as if the firmament had descended just to bewilder me. I felt I was suspended in mid air, somewhere between Heaven and Earth. And once the mist cleared I could see miles of greenery and rivers...

Standing proud on the Wayanad Hill ranges of the Western Ghats, the peak held its head high into the sky at 2100 meters (6900 feet) above sea level.Chembra Peak might not be very tall compared to other peaks in the country. But nature beheld a green carpet for me to tread on, it quenched my thirst with water when I was tired from its many streams and it fed me its fruits and berries. To me the trek was nothing short of a 'Stairway to Heaven'

Going there from Hyderabad via Bangalore through the midst of the so called city life where I have to go in search of fresh air, Wayanad was a treat only a privileged few can enjoy.I felt a need to protect the forest land which is a rich source of flora and fauna. Beyond all that I would at least protect it for a self interest, that of going there occasionally and blending with the purity of nature.

I cannot but quote Robert Frost who once wrote in a poem 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' about the beauty of a winter forest charm. He wrote:

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

And I had my office and my responsibilities calling me back to earn my bread for myself, so that I can go on such expeditions again.

No words or descriptions can do justice to a nature's peak who stands tall braving all odds and witnessing generations pass by. You have to be there, feel the wind on your face, the mist upon your body, the trek in your stride and the mountain inviting you to its bosom... muse, my whore, my beloved.


  1. That's a lovely account of your expedition arun. The vivid description brought the scene alive in my mind...It was a nice break from this stupid number crunching that Iam doing right now...
    Got reminded of another W H Davies...

    What is this life if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.
    No time to stand beneath the boughs
    And stare as long as sheep or cows.
    No time to see, when woods we pass,
    Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
    No time to see, in broad daylight,
    Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
    No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
    And watch her feet, how they can dance.
    No time to wait till her mouth can
    Enrich that smile her eyes began.
    A poor life this if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.

  2. @ Karamjeet: Thanks, for the compliment and for sharing the poem here. Lovely poem.
    I believe one should go on such expeditions often. I can hardly wait for the next one whenever that is...

  3. Loved your naration..there is nothing like being with nature..Keep writing :)

  4. @ Richa: Thanks again. Nature humbles you.

  5. Good article.

    2 thoughts - Punctuations marks (don't know how relevant/irrelevant) will add ease to the pleasure of reading. Also, when you know your language is good, you can be more descriptive. Everyone loves to read about a trek to a scenic place.

    Also, "nature, my whore" ? Are you sure? Isn't this the very word of consumerism that we are supposed to be fighting against? Or was it just a poetic expression? you gottu tell me

    good one on the whole. keep writing. cheers!

  6. aliya amazing article,
    wu luv 2 c ths in outlook traveller , in print

  7. @ Gautam a.k.a Musings of a troubled mind:
    Thanks again for reading my blog, honored.
    @ Punctuations: I don't re read my posts, whatever you see here is the first and the final draft. So pardon me the typos and punctuations. I don't believe in beautifying my vomit. I feel, when I try to edit it after I write the first draft, I lose the originality.
    @ Descriptions: I felt the charm is more in leaving a mystery and not revealing the entire trek uphill. So left it at the crescent.
    @ Whore: I am not too sure what you meant by that comment and I didn't get the relationship between consumerism and the word whore, so I'll wait for what you've to say.
    All in all, thanks for the comment. Criticisms are accepted and constructive criticisms with a smile.

  8. @ Vishnu: woah...thats a compliment!! lets pack our bags again, maybe sometime later on, we can start our own magazine!

  9. Oh! Nature my whore..when I read that, the first thing that came to my mind was the people who abuse nature for their own personal benefits regardless of what is gonna become of this world tomorrow.

    Well, a writer always has his freedom and choice of expression. I will take this that way. Makes it more easier.

    And of course, criticism always comes with a smile. Some cynic, some genuine. And I believe in the latter, for now.

  10. @Arun John: Good one.
    I want to comment more, but I'm afraid it'll be mistaken for defensive dialogue, even if I have a valid point. So I shall message you and let you know my comments.

  11. @ Gautam:
    I used the word whore on the same lines and in the same breath of my muse and my beloved. But again, each word's meaning is what one perceives for oneself. It is very possible to think the way you did. I can assure you, I am not such a person, what I said about nature, I mean it.

    About criticisms coming with a smile, I am not too sure. All I meant is, if the criticism is constructive and will help me be a better writer I will accept it with a smile and thank the person. Will keep that in mind while writing post that. If it just a baseless cynical comment by somebody, I would just brush it aside as if its just some noise.

  12. @ arun john , nice one dude.
    how was the climate there??? cos am plannning to go this weekend but some are telling it will be very hot and few are telling its lush green!!! how was it??? can you pls give some details about it???

  13. @ Barghav:
    Dude, I went during the winters. Now is not a good time I guess since, the rains are bad in Kerala as of now and it could be quite humid and difficult to trek. The trek is also slightly difficult.

  14. oh OK, thanks for the suggestion. do you know any other places to trek in this season???

  15. Yes dude, Ethinabhuja, Karnataka. My friends just went there, apparently its just too damn good. much better than chembra!