When we were little girls, we were dragged along to the remotest of villages in the mountains by our parents during our much cherished Durga Puja holidays. When we wished to spend the days having fun, eating, roaming around the city with friends and family. All we got to do was walk and walk for hours on tough mountain terrains. No proper food, no places to stay, no exciting humans to talk to, no new clothes to wear.
This began when I was around five or six years of age and my sister was only five years older to me. We hardly had any idea why one needed to leave their comfortable homes and go to shabby huts in the mountains and call them holidays. Little did we know that one day these nearly forced tours would turn into a ritual in the coming years and into a habit and passion for all of us within a few years.
Little did we know that one day these nearly forced tours would turn into a ritual in the coming years and into a habit and passion for all of us within a few years.
We went on to climb Panchachulli base camp, Pindari base camp, Gomukh base camp, Har-ki-dun base camp, in all the upcoming years when me and my sister were little kids.
By this time we had started to get a hang of the mountains and the amount of strain and days of the tough trek that we had to endure to reach these beautiful destinations. By now we didn’t mind missing out on the crowded Kolkata Pujas.
Back then there was no concept of hotels, homestays, resorts in the trek routes, all we could depend on was fate and the extremely warm local people. Many a time we had no clue about our stay and we would just arrive at someplace and ask around. That has even landed us at the Panchayat Pradan’s home where he was kind enough to let us stay the night.
We started getting older and more modern amenities started coming up in the mountains. But they can never equate to the adventures our parents have habituated us to. These days we generally tend to search for the remotest of the places and travel there. This is like an unsaid understanding where all of us know where the real beauty of the mountain lies.
This quest had led us to small hamlets which are somewhat untouched by the commercial tour companies.
We started getting older and more modern amenities started coming up in the mountains. But they can never equate to the adventures our parents have habituated us to.
Though in the beginning years it felt like some form of torture, now we know that this gift our parents have given us will stay for a lifetime and take us on many more adventures.
The article was first published on Milaap.org and was written by Shrabana Chatterjee. Milaap is India’s largest crowdfunding platform for personal and social causes.