Shared by Alpana on 04 October 2023
16 Sep 23 Chongayi-Resort (Gangtok) 11.00 AM, we walked with our trekking guide BHIM along the village road, passing by a football match between the village teams and a professional team from the police department. BHIM told us that he too has a match in the afternoon. We took note of this information and followed him on the hilly track, leaving the motorable road behind us.
After five minutes of descent, we were walking on a single track, following each other, and guided by BHIM. The sound of water gushing down was coming from far below, the village below was not in our view, and we were confused, about where were we going. I asked BHIM, how far we had to go, and he directed us to the valley below, almost one kilometer below, a village beside a small stream was like a canvas picture.
For a moment, I thought, we had been tricked but at this point when we are already in the midst of our trek our Guide BHIM was confident about our strength and encouraging us. My wife looked at me, she was excited about this experience as she had avoided a day of travel sickness of driving in a car on hilly roads.
Trekking is okay for her but she was a little scared too. But we continued, following the lead of BHIM, every 5 minutes, he plucked some shrubs, and herbs to let us smell as his grandfather taught him that these herbs are good for strengthening the respiratory system.
The firm grip of BHIM's hands, his agility, and encouraging words and stories about the hills and his peoples kept us going and we reached the village and was offered sparkling red tea. Our Local host in the village had seven Cows, seven goats, six hens, three cats, two dogs, and dozens of butterflies around their home, it was a real co-existing community.
Further down, BHIM guided us to the more tricky track, walking just on the ledge, if we fell, almost 30 feet fall, but BHIM was confident enough to guide us to the safe track and finally, we reached the river stream.
Trickling through the boulders and green vegetation, it was like a scene out of scenery hanging on our home in the desert cities of Rajasthan. The Picture of the three of us was taken by BHIM, who has guided us to the happiness we express in our smiles. We had lunch with the family in the village on our way to back to the resort, we were confident enough to follow BHIM's footsteps to track our journey upward to our resort from the river stream.
Two dogs from our host herds walked along with us up to village boundaries and then BHIM asked them to leave and they returned to their abode. We were at the resort well on time, We were tired but happy. BHIM thanked us and picked up his football kit and rushed back to the football match.
After half an hour's rest, me and my daughter went down to see the match. We were tired but BHIM was playing center forward for his village team, fighting the professional team of the local police department. It was a sure shot lost match but BHIM and his teammate played it with all their strength. When BHIM was substituted and benched, he saw us, waved and conveyed his thanks to us, and whispered- "Thanks to you Sir, your family's strength allowed me to return on time and I could play this match." He might have lost the match but Human endurance, Human emotions, and Humanity always win at the end.
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