Chalo Bhai !! chalo chalo !! Come-on….

Only 16 minutes to sunrise. We have to make it. Can you see that orange flag, that small temple? Just beyond is the summit. This was ‘’Sehwag Ji’ , our trek guide stimulating us through his revitalizing voice in the final stretch.

It was 2 AM. We finally got the wake-up call for the summit day. Though I couldn’t sleep that night but was officially aroused at such a high altitude in thrilling low temperatures. The hands and legs were almost anesthetized even inside the sleeping bags. We managed to muddle through and started wearing all possible layers and packing our bag packs. Getting up with all the gears and come out of tents is itself more than a pure stretching exercise.

With all the stars and moon accompanying the gang we started the ascent and could barely have any visibility if the full moon wasn’t there. As expeditiously as we have taken the initial 20 steps we rendezvous with the freezing winds coming through the pine forests. With complete focus and striking each step at one time, the super-charged gang started chronicling various motto to get the boost start. Sehwag Ji– the ever-smiling, waggish guy was also adding the humor intermittently with his superb comic timings. Slowly the horrendous windy sounds amidst the long pine trees and the elevating gradient started challenging with each step ahead. The 360-degree view was the complete snow-capped mountains together with the illuminated stars under the sky. It was wondrous as if it was adding oxygen to the soul amidst the challenging ascent. The sparkling stars were getting brighter and brighter and witnessing our ascent towards the summit.

I have heard of the Brahma Muhurta time in scriptures and stories and I was able to relate that feeling with the divine energy which was perpetually providing the internal momentum. Indeed, the land was DevBhoomi-the Uttarakhand and we were heading to Kedarkantha-which has a deep-rooted mythological connection. As per scriptures Lord Shiva used to meditate here before moving to Kedarnath. With these notions and the marvelous surroundings, my soul was getting supercharged by the eternal satisfaction and supreme pack of energy. And this is what a Himalayan trek gives you, once you raise above all pain and extreme challenges. And as it is said for any seeker the challenges grew bigger and by dint of them, you grow beyond that.

We took our first short break at the first junction point and what we see …a whole lot of groups heading for the summit the same night. We got to know there was incessant snowfall from the last 3 days and ascending towards the summit was cancelled owing to too much snow. As a consequence of that, the trail also got more slippery and we have 4–5 feet of snow across the trail. There was a turn where we could see that queue of glittering torches moving step by step. Sehwag Ji- though keep pushing us bit by bit also meticulously briefed us that we need to skip our next chai break and keep walking continuously and rhythmically to make it for the sunrise. In addition to that, on such snow trails with more number of people crossing by, makes it slicker and riskier. This gradually decelerates the confidence along with the speed, making the ascent more and more grueling. For a moment we can’t figure out this turbulence feel is due to the thrilling winds or the kind advisories of Sehwag-Ji !! Emotions were amalgamate of fear, thrill, determination, and what not ?? my mind reminded ..dude no space to think. Everything worth in life comes with its own set of hurdles and especially in Himalayan treks nothing gets fulfilled in an undemanding way.

I just tried to take each step at a time and took a deep breath to gather all possible energy during the spiritual penultimate phase of the day-the Bhramha Muhurta. I memorized the warmness of the sun and wanted to get that glance of raising golden rays. With the clock ticking towards the sunrise we just little counting minutes left for the sunrise. A peculiar sort of anxiety was grilling as we could view the summit along with the final elevation now, but ‘hemming and hawing’ to glimpse the sunrise from the top. We could not take any shortcut or an alternative way but yes only could make it with rhythmic breathing and ceaseless footsteps.

Amid my heavy breathing sound ‘huh’..’huhhuh’ there was again Sehwag Ji ‘s reassuring voice –Come On!! encroached through each cell. With full concentration on evasive rocks, counting my breaths I pumped up within the last stretch and took the final leg on the summit plane. And as soon as my breath started to get normalized within the same minute we had the awaiting euphoric moment. The Horizon has begun acquiring divergent orange shades with the golden sunbeams scattering through the Swargarohini peak along with the Gangotri and Yamunotri adjoining ranges. The spectacular periphery, the strong breeze, the white-capped mountains together with the warmness of the sun embraces and energizes your soul to overcome any life challenges. They make us realize and comprehend that despite having a befitted planning, erratic challenges will undoubtedly be a part of your life but important is to surmount them and rise above, which exactly you have done during this ascent. That was the moment with emotional blissful tears accruing the precious experience, perceived analogous to the real assets getting deposited to the lifelong memory bank.

‘Aaj phir ek nayi subah aayi hai,

Saath apne ek nayi ummeed laayi hai,

Hai asar raat bhar ki taqleefo ka aisa ki,

Hawayein bhi apne saath jindgi ke marham le ke aayi hai’