A little walk in the mountains


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As the alarm rang at
6.40 am, on this cold January morning, I did not want to get up for
the planned hike. Then, I tried to visualize what a wonderful
experience it would be – walking up the mountain, on a beautiful
sunny winter morning! How nice it will be to see the distant ranges
of adjacent Himachal! And the snow on the higher ranges- gleaming
like a silver line! The trick finally worked. Carried by the sharp
sunny images in my head, I rolled out of the bed, got dressed and got
into the taxi, which was to drive me 14 km, to the starting point.

Now, this was the
sudden anticlimax…
Everything was
wrapped in a thick mist outside! Visibility was poor. The mist had
condensed as dew drops on the gate outside and everything else
besides. Should I cancel the trek? What fun could it possibly be to
walk alone in a freezing drizzling mist like that? 

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I checked again the
weather applet on my cellphone. It had shown a clear weather on the
previous night. It still did! Applets can make mistake – cant they?
But am I not supposed to use my own discretion, as a thinking human
being? Of course Sharad will be very upset if I send his taxi back
empty now!
I decided to take
the chance…
We drove quietly
through the mist – driver focusing on the treacherous road and
myself, thinking of ITBP exercises in bad weather since long past…
As we arrived Peshta village, it seemed, as if the car had climbed
out of the ocean: we stood in clear sunny weather! As I climbed
towards Bhadraj temple on the pinnacle (2100 meters), I looked back:
The entire valley was still hidden in the thick mist. Herbertpur, my
home, neighbours, Marian – everyone back was still buried under a
thick white layer.


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Since, it was a solo
trek- I had almost six hours to think my own thoughts- undisturbed by
sms, ping or a buzz. I steadily climbed through a mixed forest.
Nature was just a witness. It made no attempts to intrude on my inner
world. I felt as if my early life too was like that valley, left
behind: buried in a mist: disoriented, unhappy, cold – and
meaningless to rest of the world! -while the bright sunny morning lay
just a little walk away. Why did I not do at 14 what I did at 44?
Looking back, I
realized that as a child, I would have been helped the most, if some
adult had stammered openly and told me that it was OK to stammer! End
of chapter, end of verse. That would have been the best therapy! But
may be I myself was not ready to believe that answer could be so
direct and simple.
Since, my stammering
kept coming and going for no rhyme or reason, I believed that
something could be done so that it will go once for all and never
ever return! And till then, I just need to hide it, deny it, forget
it, keep it under wraps. If it goes away without doing anything, it
would certainly go away permanently, if I DID something about it :
that was my childish logic. So, I tried many things- using starter
sounds, breathing out a little, looking away, using a gesture (hand
or head), blinking etc etc. At psychological plane- I tried many
compensatory mechanisms: contempt for the world (!), indifference,
“dump them before they dump you!” kind of attitude etc. Nothing
worked in the long run.
Then, in my
twenties, I came across in a news paper: Best answer for stammering
is to stammer more openly.
I think this was the best advice I had
come across- but being the smart ass (!), I said: How can that be?
There has got to be a better and “cleaner” way..
Many inquiries
coming to TISA today remind me so much of my youth. I was not open to
possibilities. I had already made up my mind as to what a technique
should be like and what should it actually achieve over x days or
weeks. I was not willing to listen to anything else. I was not
willing to risk anything. Twenty years passed. I had suffered, got
mellowed and was willing to check out the risky and the “messy”
solutions. I was willing to leave my warm bed and take a walk
outside. I was willing to climb a mountain alone. 
Things began to

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Had I failed, I
could simply go back to my bed- metaphorically speaking! What did I
stand to lose- except my stammering? Now, at 57, I realize, that
truth is simple but world wont tell you that, since no body will
believe it. Simple truths make no business sense.
So what? 
You can
always find it out on your own, if you are willing to get out of the
bed and start walking – just on trust. Remember, you have nothing
to lose – except your stammer, some ego and lot of borrowed
but useless wisdom..
PS: Bhadraj is a
small temple (white dot in Google earth: 30°28’49.68″ N
77°57’08.40″ E), in the Himalayan range, extending westward
from Mussoorie. Many communication workshop participants have done
this day trek. The view to the north is great!

Post Author: Sachin

6 thoughts on “A little walk in the mountains


    (January 27, 2015 - 3:18 pm)

    Mountains are calling. A trip is due! Such a beautiful post with multiple hue! I think now, a shg/tisa earlier in my lifetime would have made life so much fun. None the less, it happened! Coming back to mountain, their presence and silence speak to you as no else! Thank you Sirji..


    (January 28, 2015 - 5:31 am)

    Thanks for the chill walk on the mountains Sachin. We also need to chill our stammering and give it some space.


    (January 28, 2015 - 11:27 am)

    Thanks Dinesh & Jasbir! Walking really helps us to think more clearly… And if it is a mountain, what more could one ask for!


    (January 30, 2015 - 4:49 am)

    Very true Dr. Sachin.


    (February 1, 2015 - 12:16 pm)

    We cancelled the trip to Bhadraj in jan2010 due to bad weather in the midway..when we can get new chance sir..


    (February 4, 2015 - 3:38 am)

    @ Neeraj Dixit: whenever you can get 2 day leave!

Comments are closed.