There are moments where one is lucky to have their hand over silence, despite a background score. That space consists of loud whispers of reassurance and comfort, gnawing into your brain. .

I was this lucky at Makalidurga. Quietness burst at the seams around the wilderness and the beautiful woman trekked creepily us, 15 people (and a cat named Dawg).  

After a ‘kick ass’ trek to Kuntibetta, I had another Sunday to myself and decided to backpack up with ‘Get Beyond Limits’ again.

After a bus journey with introductions and half an hour of sleep, I got off to a quiet road and was standing under a black stage, dusty with an orchestra of speckled, star singers, listening to a celestial melody. 

Magnetic holes gleamed, richly and lustfully down. If only God could throw down wishes through them.
It was my first five minutes with the Great Gig In The Sky and my first ascent in my head thorugh the spiral staircase of salvation.
I continued walking to a platform, trying to get friendly with a motley crowd, but it was hard for me not to spaz out at 3 am.  

My first long walk on the railway tracks was enjoyable; dodging the stones and looking out for trains so we don’t….die! 
A ‘STOP STOP’ jolted me from my aimless meandering and  we jumped got off onto the sides to let the train pass.
A long and large, blue-dye train clanked through, screeching from afar and chugging past us just for two seconds.

As I stood smiling at the visual treat with Ishan, the wind left back messed up hair, a bright smile and a whiff of childhood ‘train’ memories. 
Tinkles. Steel tiffin carriers. Ruffle Lays packets. Chai-sellers. Notebooks, pens, dolls and creams in a carry-bag. Two Enid Blyton books – This trek is going to be great, I thought. However, I thought too soon as within few minutes of the climb, I started panting, puffing and cursing myself every minute.  

“Don’t smoke too much,” was Salwat’s advice. 

Nerves acted up and I shivered with fear. With no beer to chug, I sat down in a rock and  thought I wouldn’t come back alive. I refused to move but Salwat egged me, asked me to Get Beyond Limits and had it not been for him, I would have been stuck in Makalidurga forever.  

However, Salwat and the power snacks led to a will within to finish what I started. So I continued in the cold, walking over boulders and getting pricked by thorns.  
Grass brushed past me, my insecurities and fears, bringing in a calming effect.
The climb to the summit was beautiful. I looked around for a while, taking in as much of gleaming emeralds, I could, among dusty rubble, knowing I wouldn’t be able to savour this form of eternity anywhere else.  

We were safe, under Her shroud.

We didn’t need torches, we had the stars. We didn’t need people, we had the overgrown grass. We didn’t need money, we had the biggest gold coin above us that was about to rise. We didn’t need education; we had Nature, the best educational institution ever. 

Our communication with her was quiet, yet she gave us the loudest, comforting answer we all wanted. 

After huddling around a campfire and feeding biscuits to Dawg, I went down with Abhishek to see the sunrise. Tiny square houses looked like they had been lit up with earthen lamps, which was better than any Diwali celebration without firecrackers. The sky was slowly turning into different shades of blue; it was like God was uploading it on ‘Instagram’ with natural filters. Colours twirled. Greens smiled at us as they came to life. Fresh dew evaporated. The heat picked up and Makalidurga woke up with a yawn.

As people slowly started moving around, we started descent.

This time, I frisked about like a happy, little lamb jumping about rocks, dodging wet stones, trampling on dried leaves and picking up plastic.` 

We got down for a scrumptious lunch with the locals, that wafted with the aroma of home and then left to the raucous, “civilised” city.

In the bus, I shut off the world and only plugged in to Floyd. 

Echoes filled my head until I reached Silk Board.

I have always believed that there is nothing more political than love, but I realised that language seconds it.   
Why do we use terms for those in the wild like uncivilised, uncouth, tribals and barbaric?. Where does the politics of language start and when do we come off from it?When did we allow evil to become a higher force than us.? 

makalidurga , night trek , railway track , pink floyd


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