‘Trekking in Himalayas’ was the discussion that I was having with a friend/ex-colleague of mine on one fine day, when we were totally jobless! So, she was sharing her crazy and unforgettable memories from her first ever trek! Yes, the moment I heard that Deo Tibba Base Camp was her first trek, I was stunned! Eventually, our so called ‘chat’ forced me to think, that yes, why can’t I do it. Since my childhood, I have indeed climbed a lot of mountains irrespective of the fact that they were all religious trips. But I have done it. I know it’ll be hard, difficult, but then that’s the whole fun about it...Right! At this point of time, my mind was rattling with the words of appreciation that I received from a very dear friend of mine few years back, wherein she told me that “Mansi, you amaze me by the risks you take and challenge yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone each time.” ‘Bang on, that’s what I needed, I told myself’ and in no time, my google search showed me thousands of results on ‘trekking clubs in Bangalore’. Nothing seemed that impressive, then I switched to facebook, and the first feed for ‘trekking in bangalore’ showed up a quora link by this guy Salwat Hamrah, titled: ‘What are some trekking groups in Bangalore’. Thanks to the name of the organisation, in no minute I decided, yes this is what I want! I need to #GETBEYONDLIMITS. That’s how my journey started for Kunti Betta with Get Beyond Limits. This might look funny, but I registered for the trek that day itself, but restricted myself from making the payment. All this while, I was thinking that, will I really be able to do it? What if, due to health constraints and being a little on the heavier side, I fail! I remember dialling up Salwat’s number that evening before I made the payment. Even without knowing me personally, the motivation I received from him was tremendous! That’s when I decided, let’s just do it!
Moving on to the bright Sunday morning of 14th June, I woke up early as I could barely catch some sleep the night before due to my anxious mind! As I soon as I reached my pick up point, I was intimated that the transport is running late by half an hour! I was wandering on the streets of St. Marks Road and MG Road again with an apprehensive and a fidgety mind. As we kicked off our journey to Kunti Betta, I realised that there are 7 more first time trekkers like me who would experience this beautiful journey! ‘Ab jo hoga, dekha jayega...’ I murmured first & last time. On our way, I got a chance to meet this super woman and an outdoor enthusiast Preethi Shankar, who, after running a marathon decided to hop on for this trek! What a lady...I must say, an inspiration for so many of us!
As we approached the beautiful sister hills of Kunti Betta in Pandavpura, we all had a group tempo shout and I felt a deep and an immense rush within myself... All of us were ready to take on this challenge, before starting our trek we all decided to volunteer for the Project Green and contribute in keeping our nature clean! Within the first 15 mins of our trek, I realised this will be challenging! Keeping the tempo high, we kept walking, and suddenly I heard Preethi shouting, guys, we have reached our first stop, the Croc Face. Oh how beautiful it looks, I said! Everyone sat there sipping on water, clicking photographs, enjoying the winds and chit-chatting! As we moved further, passing through the dense thorny bushes and overgrown grasses, I told Preethi that I can’t believe I’m doing this! To which she replied, well you are indeed! We bumped into one of the trees amidst our trail, the branches of which were so huge and so strong, that all of us actually tried the ‘tarzan swing’!
As we trekked further, we became closer to Mother Nature. The view from the mountains was spectacular. Sliding through the rocks, crossing through the boulders, cutting across through small passages, we finally arrived at our first major stop. We were at the peak of the first hill, fondly called the ‘Infinity Point’, as the view from there was infinite, it was beyond limits! The feeling of achievement was already sinking in... We decided to have lunch atop that hill, overlooking endless beautiful green fields and the serene lake in the background. I genuinely run out of words, if I have to describe what it felt like to be there at that moment! After a good lunch and SWEETS, we decided to descend for our next lap of trekking!
Mentally, I was literally patting my back for the amount of courage and determination I showed, as I never thought I would actually do such kind of RAW rock climbing without the aid of hiking sticks! It had already made me a rugged person. I realised that we always crib and cry over petty issues in life, in spite of having all the facilities and resources at our end, we end up complaining about our life! What for? I questioned myself. The robust, steady and tough nature of those rocks, mountains and boulders urged me to think, that why am I so vulnerable and sensitive at times. One has to stand like a rock, generally in life... Gathering my self-confidence back, I kept walking because I knew; I was already an achiever who literally did Get Beyond her Limits...
As we were climbing the next hill, I badly hurt my right knee while crossing a boulder. It’s okay, I told myself and kept on trekking! I gasped, as I saw myself conquering the peak of Kunti Betta. I DID IT, I shouted...! Preethi who was walking right in front of me turned around and smiled! Literally soaked in sweat and with all the energy drained out, I finally kissed my destination. That FEELING, I just cannot pen down in words. Sitting at that peak with the purest form of contentment, glancing at the most exquisite and beautiful nature, away from all the worldly hustle-bustle, the silence spoke for itself... I kept my bag aside and jumped on to another big piece of rock, untied my shoe laces and laid there watching the serene sky above me; the whole existence was so joyful!
Later we went to vertical drop edge and the parikarma point, only to add on to the much existing adrenaline rush. After spending a good amount of time there at the peak, we finally started our way down to Kunti Kund. While coming down, we strolled through lovely paddy fields, flora and bushes. Since the soil was wet, I again flipped, and this time pretty badly! My hands, clothes, face everything was in mud! Salwat came running down inquiring and I told him, “chill, all okay!” He said, “are you sure, we can sit”. I told him, “yes, all great”, and continued saying, “these scars and marks show, that I have done something.” He smilingly responded saying “Yes, Absolutely...” Before finally reaching down, everyone made their way to the ‘Selfie Hill’ framing all the awesome memories of this trek! And finally, I fell for the last time, getting off the rocks before hitting the road...! Honestly, this fall was the most hilarious and a memorable one! Hahahhahahahahahahaah!!! Me and Rashmi just couldn’t stop laughing... Finally, we clicked for the last time on the successful completion of the trek and our Project Green.
I have always been a strong and a tough person, but this trek made me STRONGER and TOUGHER. I came back home with scars, wounds and a lot of pain but I returned as a BETTER individual!
In the end, I’d just like to say, do not ever doubt yourself and your capabilities, we all are very powerful, we just need to show it up! And always remember; ‘Know No Limits and GET BEYOND LIMITS...’
8 REASONS TO COMPLETE THE ANTARAGANGE & DURGA HILL TREKKING CHALLENGE
By Salwat Hamrah October 10, 2014
KODACHADRI: EXPLORING THE WORLD, ONE TREK AT A TIME
By Sahil Chelaramani June 23, 2014