Campsite Lanterns

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The bright spots of yellow light that welcomed us from across the river were like stars in the night sky, welcoming us after our long and tiring journey from Chandigarh. The raft that helped us cross the river Ganga and landed us safely at our camp destination was the same that would two days later take us back from where we came. The sudden cool refreshing breeze that hit our skins as we neared the water gave away just a hint of what the river has in store for us. As I took in the complete view around us, saw for the first time how we were completely surrounded by steep mountains on all sides and how the silvery white moon hung right in the centre of the sky illuminating our path, I realized my dreams coming true. That sight in the same moment, showed the immense beauty and wrath of nature; the gentle cool drops of water hitting our faces as well as the force with which the river strikes against the hard rocks at the shore; the beauty of mountains illuminated by moonlight as well as the fear induced by hidden howling wolves.

Our camp site was covered in white sand and surrounded by mountains like the shallow of a hand. And as I let my bare feet wash in the ice cold water, it absolved me of all tiredness, pain and sorrow and I could feel a fresh burst of energy within me. It reminded me of my time in Mumbai, of how immersing my feet in the water of the Arabian Sea had such a calming effect on me. I thought it was the salt, but I guess it is an inherent nature of water to purify all that stands in its way. I couldn’t help but compare how the water here was different yet similar to the Sea. The waves here were all cold and full of energy, rushing ahead in a mad race to show off their individual power, whereas the Sea waves were more calm and worldly wise; warmer, as if they had absorbed all things impure that they could on their way down and at peace with the knowledge that they were more powerful as a whole in their entirety then wave wise.

Reveling in the charm of the flowing river, a mélange of emotions coursed through me, uncovering before my eyes, my truth. There was awe and fear of the terrific forces of nature on display in front of my eyes, yet I was unafraid in knowing that there was greatness which man cannot outdo. I understood how even after claiming to have tamed nature we are still small children in nature’s eyes, playing with her tresses and she can put everything back in place with a shake of her head. Anger flowed through me for all that I wished and was denied; for all the mistakes I had committed; all the dreams I had failed to chase of those that I chased those which failed to take shape; but a unique calm set unto me when I realized how life very much flows like a river, it meets all kinds of rocks and boulders, takes twists and turns, rises up and goes down under but the essence is in flowing and adapting, making routes where none existed, sanding away your problems bit by bit and bidding your time till you can flow with full force and show your complete might.

And I stood there, watching the three-quarters of the moon go set behind the lofty peaks and then waiting for the sun to rise from amongst the crevices in between, with a sweet smell wafting from another time well, as if I had been stranded at an intersecting point where times converge and wait for us to take the path which would define our tomorrow.


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