Me @ Yanker Pass
On way to Mumbai, in an Air France flight, flying over mountains.
I have often asked myself if I am a mountain person or a water person. To be honest, I like both the things. There is no better feeling than climbing a mountain, reaching the top and anticipation of the world that lies beyond it. On the other hand, a water body is all I can ask for. I love the concept of swimming, boating, water sports and my idea of fun is actually spending a day with water sports.
If it is not required that I put myself into a category but an introspection on this can be a fruitful exercise. Not that it would help me economically, it would help me frame my thoughts better when I talk about this to someone next time.
So, what is about mountains that I like? I think there are multiple reasons. First would be the sense of achievement that you get when you have climbed to the top of the world. Its like an award for a difficult task done well.
Second could be being at a place where so few people have reached. Not a lot of people think like that. Being able to climb makes you one amongst the few special ones.
Third is obviously the view that you get from the top of the world. There are so many things that you can see from there. The entire world transforms into a giant landscape with miniature objects. All objects are disconnected with each other and yet collectively they are part of something larger at the same time. Suddenly you feel so powerful about the fact that you can see everyone and no one being watched can even imagine that they are being watched. Its like being able to control the destinies of people.
Fourth I think is the curiosity. I want to discover the hidden, create the unthinkable and explore the secret worlds. A mountain is like a symbolic barrier that prevents this movement and exploration. I agree that we now have travel options that are easier and more convenient than sleeping in a luxury bedroom, but still the thought that mountain is a barrier and you can overcome is exciting.
Fifth the sheer size of the mountains makes you feel so insignificant. You can climb on for days and you will still remain as far from the summit as far you were when you started.
Sixth the mountains makes you realize that we the humans are very fragile. We live in our comfort zones and take things for granted. Moment there is a hint of adverse situations, like the ones on mountains; we realize how weak we are. How insignificant are the things that we spend our lives chasing.
Seventh the climb itself could be tiring, taxing and fun at the same time. You invariable come across thousands of species of life including a few human tribes that have been battling the mountains and have survived for ages. These are the people who have fought against and won the evolution battle. If evolution was correct, there people would have migrated to plains, in easier living conditions and would have concentrated on creating better generations. But here they are, living in tough conditions, with old tools, without complaining or leaving their homes. There are times when you wonder how did the very first these men and women reach the mountains and why did they decide to settle there. Still further, how easy or difficult would have lives had been when all they would have had is their courage and few very basic handheld tools. What about the times when they got hurt? When they got sick? And what about the fact that we humans are social animals and anyone devoid of any contacts with other human cant really develop in true sense. Would these people even bother about their development? Before I get on another tangent about existence and meaning of life, need to think of another reasons.
Eight I think climbing a mountain teaches you quite a few things - teamwork, decision-making, crisis management, character development, preparation, adjustability, attitude, fear, courage, strength. I can carry on adding words. Bottom line is that everything starts because of one reason – being in an uncertain and unfamiliar environment. And you develop all these skills because you are trying to be in control of situations. Or should I say trying to cope up.
Ok, now one of my colleagues has wakened up and anyways I am out of my wits on this, better take a break.