In the zest of things, sometimes, we are not aware of the enormity of the decisions that we’ve taken. But, after looking back and analysing, we come to know what we have done. Some similar feelings set on me when i rested after long long trip in which i covered around 5400 kms in a span of about 14 days. Phew… so much in so little a time, most of the journey was by road, treacherous roads, roads without markings, without signals, without railings, we passed through some of the most difficult terrains in this country. Terrains where one could only see barren land, road forcefully carved out of the mountains, the mountains resisting in their own unique way by ushering landslides time and again, while travelling one could see huge rocks protruding their heads out and dangling in such perilious positions that one could expect getting crushed under one of such rocks, this was the permanent scene on the left side of your vehicle while on the right side of it were deep deep valleys and gorges. Breathless that we were throughout the stretch of 25 hours long one way journey to Leh (Ladakh) the last of unexplored destinations in our country.
No this is no boring travelogues, i have always noticed that the person who goes for trips and journeys, try to explain their journey with childish fervor to all and one and get back usual boring looks from the other side. So this is no travelogue. We reached the highest motorable roads in world standing high at 5602 metre. It was a sight to behold, the temperature outside was around 2 degree on that icy mountain head. Coats of carefully crafted ice all over the Himalayan mountain ranges looked awesome to say the least. The chilling icy winds also increased our levels of adrenaline.
Not to forget here about the Driver of our tour, whom the manager introduced as not only our Driver, but also our guide. He was a local guy, a fragile but very agile figure of 21 yrs old. His name was Angdu. We liked his way of talking, his unique style of speaking broken hindi was quite amusing. Not that he knew that we enjoyed it. He was born and brought up in those ravines, he was so adapted to these roads that he never thought of driving slowly, the warning board scripted in poetic languages only used to increase our heartbeats. But Angdu was at his cool driving at a frantic pace on that difficult road.
The locals like Angdu have a very tough life not only due to the harsh geographical conditions, conditions where temperature goes below -60 and where only this part of the world is accessible to rest of India only for four months in a year, every year. The driver earned a meagre 5000 rs, he had to supplement his income by working in his farm, rearing sheeps etc.
As we descended towards the other side of the mountain to visit Nubra Valley. One of my friend in spirited mode said he will plan a tour to Europe he said in a determined tone that he would be planning the trip in year’s time. The other friend, and i heard him to be so frank for the first time in my interaction with him for the last six seven years. He said, even dreaming about going to Europe was beyond limits for him, for the cost factor involved. He said it was too expensive a journey for him even to think of it. Suddenly, the five of us kept quite, we were not attuned to this level of frankness by the friend of ours. As the silence spread and increased with the silence outside. Angdu tried to broke his silence. He in his broken accent said, sir you are on the highest road of this world, you should not dream small, why do you feel loomy he said by such thoughts, does our government tax you for dreaming high. Dream high sir, live life king size, he said. The silent group suddenly felt energized after initial silence hearing these motivational words from unthought of source.
Wow.. what words did this man, our driver gave to us. How can a man who is struggling to meet ends, who is fighting so hard against all odds carry such kind of positiveness with him ?? Was the instant question that brushed our minds, with the instant soluiton that, may be these doses of positivity keeps life going in this part of the world, which is why we saw around us only smiling faces.
The driver that day was our guide our teacher, as to how to live life king size that is. The manager was spot on after all, to describe the Driver as our Guide🙂
PS : For all the curious souls who wish to witness the treat the road describes above do watch this documentary http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIRjdJ1L1oo&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLD56D4F7427FBCBD3