"Freezing Cold" is a hyperbole, but not at -12 degrees Celsius. Not when you are sitting besides fire and you see water inside a bisleri bottle freeze. For 11 of us "Freezing cold" would never mean the same as it did before our Doditaal trip.
We, namely Jatin, Ranka, Piyush, Kanki, Maddu, Shweta, MM, Amrit, Rishav, Bose and me, went through Rishikesh, Uttarkashi, Nachiketa taal, Agoda ,Bebra, Maanjhi, Doditaal, Darwa pass and back on a trip of a lifetime in the last week of the year 2009, the year when we got our first jobs!
We achieved many a milestones during this trip. We trekked 65kms in 5 days. We survived on mere bread jam, maggi and rice. We crossed 4000 mtrs. mark and reached upto 4200. We made rendezvous with a frozen lake. We survived a temperature of -12 and the movie "Zabardast". We returned safely.
While we were on the trip, however, there were two questions which needed to be answered. Firstly, What all do we carry in our backpacks? We knew we would need food to feed us for the next 5 days , we knew we would need clothing to protect us from extreme cold, we knew we would need shelter from the cold nights. We realised why they are called the basic needs. We just could not take anything more. Because everything we took was to be carried by us. So the question was crucial: What do we carry in our backpacks?
When we had almost reached our destination, bargaining with our legs all the way,to take just few more steps, came in the second question. Can I go that last furlong? This question was made more important by a funny thing about the mountains. In the mountains, your destination can appear only a furlong further, so then you start walking and after half an hour you realise that your destination still appears a furlong further. So the question became more serious. Can I go that last furlong (which may be more than a furlong)?
We had our trip and were coming back when these two questions manifested themselves in a completely different way in my head. They appeared to me as the most important questions in our lives. We all are carrying our backpacks in life. The relations, the boundations, the norms are its contents. So, what should we carry in our backpack, on the journey of life? And also, in life, everyone of us have goals to attain. How can we be sure that these goals are achievable. How do we know that we are capable of going that last furlong in achieving our targets. Can I go that last furlong?
The trip was titled "finding frozenland" because we were focussed on finding things like frozen lakes, subzero temeratures, snowcovered mountains etc. No doubt we found those. But on this trip we found something much more than that. We 11 people found each other. Sure it was a journey on the mountains, but it was a journey through each other too. Each of us shared a part of his/her life with the others, which everyone enjoyed and would never forget. This journey through others, entangled the threads of our lives in a beautiful knot of friendship.
I got my questions answered:
What should we carry in our backpacks? Friends. Why? Because they make you go that last furlong!
The trip could have well been called "Finding Friendsland"