Chapter 3: ONE FINE DAY IN DIDNA
The Third Day(30th May, 2017)
I was rambling through an enigmatic autumn forest. Suddenly, I heard an unfamiliar melodious voice from a far. Chasing the call, I started walking through the pathway and discovered a sculpture of a unicorn with twinkling ruby eyes. It was gleaming as the statuette was made of pure crystal. It might have come from the land called Shangri-La. I was about to touch the statue, within a fraction of second it turned into a beatific white horse with one horn in the middle of his forehead and started stretching his large pinions. He gazed at me for a split second, then took his eyes off and started running into the forest. Before presuming anything, I picked up a dried leaf from the ground that was shining in the slight golden sun ray turning orange by passing through it. I noticed all the autumn leaves started turning into golden glittery ferns and making the trail appear like a mystic fairyland. I started following the living soul and suddenly woke up to the clang of the wind chimes. I found myself inside the same rug i slept last night. It was a just an illusion or a vision of something’s going to happen. I wanted to continue my sleep to know more about the unicorn as the dream was giving wings to my feet. I stopped my phantasm as it was already 6.00 am in morning. I ambled towards the window to look at the Sun, probably to find out whether the Sun knows something about last night fantasy.
“Good morning Maya..! ” Sam greeted with a very pleasant voice. Abhi rushed into the room from outside murmuring at me,
“Get ready sleepyhead. We will start the trek at 7.00 am.”. He was very excited so was Sam and our other fellow mates. I giggled imagining how Abhi would look with an Unicorn horn. Sam too busted with loud laugh when I shared my thought with him.
“Fine.. I’m leaving you guys here… Birdbrains, go get ready soon.”, Abhi said.
Realising I’m late, I took a quick bath as the water was cold. Sneha was busy making Dave and Jonathan prepared with warm clothes and backpacks. Sam and Villain went upstairs for the breakfast along with Abhi, dave and Jonathan. I accompanied Joseph and Sneha. It was a heavy breakfast we ate that morning as suggested by Santosh.
I walked ahead towards the terrace with Abhi from where the countryside landscape was clearly visible. We were able to have a glimpse of the towering Nanda Ghunti peak on our right, and the tiny Didna village, tucked away in the lap of the mighty Himalayas. From where we were, it didn’t seem a big deal for a full days trek. Even it’s altitude seemed similar to that of Lohajung.
Didna is on 8045ft altitude and is exactly 6.5km distance through the mountains and forests. Though the village is on the neighbouring mountain, still they don’t have any flyovers to connect two points on different hills. We first had to descend to the bottom of the valley, cross the river, and then start ascending to the top of the next hill to reach at the next stay. It was our very first day. We gathered together, clicked a group selfie and took our first steps towards the walk through the soul of mountains.
Chandar was leading the team. Joseph, Sneha Along with boys walked ahead of us. Sam got busy clicking the nature while Villain was talking to Santosh to know more related to next days. I feel safe when I’m stalk to Abhi though he is younger to me. We kept ourselves hydrated all the time and kept munching energy bars and berries in durations.
If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready; We shall never begin. When you find the path less safer, just take a deep breathe and think; Paths are made by walking. Just keep walking. We kept walking the descending narrow hillside roads until we approached the dense oak forest. It was pleasant to get the shade at last.
……to be continued.