It was a dark moonless night . I was sitting in the valleys of the Parvati river , outside my tent , around the bonfire with my trekking team . It was quarter past 1 and we all were high on Angel’s envy bourbon and I had already lit the hash j . I saved all the way from the start . I planned to puff that thingy on the heights.
I had worked out the last night , it was a chest day and I kinda overworked myself , I really get nervous before trekks like these . That terrain was a bad son of a bitch . It was a 89 km trek . And I wanted to be up to it.
The next day , we started the trek 4:30 a.m. sharp. Our starting point was old kasol , first checkpoint was Malana , the second– Manikaran , third –tosh and then to Kheer Ganga . All this , under the time limit of 37 hours . Our destination finale was a perfect view of The Parvati mountain ( Parvati Parvat) discovered by a fellow trekker .
There’s something so spectacular about people who love being an adrenaline junkie , for them everything is so binary . Either it’s a yeah or a nay .Contemplate me for an instance, I am an emotional person . I like the rush in my bloodstream . That’s why I like heights, I like mountains , I like deep sea diving footages *I haven’t dived yet* , I like stuntmen more than super stars . I like aeroplanes , submarines and much more legit stuff .
So it was 1:15 a.m. , we had completed the trek just as we wanted . We were relishing the high we had . The music was soft and acoustic , allowing me to set my mind free.
It was 2:45 a.m., the team was asleep , but me , I was near the bonfire ,looking at the dark sky and all those mighty silhouettes of the himalyas,covered with white caps . I was down there , thinking about absolutely nothing . It’s a really hard job to be blank for even a second but there I was sipping emptiness on a mountain top.
I was high and my cognitive and auxillary senses weren’t that sharp at that moment . I heard some growling from a bush near by , but I was ignorant about it , I thought I was too high , two minutes post to it, looked back towards that same area from where I felt the sound was coming . I saw an appearance, galloping towards me and before even I was able to zero in on that thing , it attacked me , with its sharp knife-like claws , my back was torn apart , my right thigh was mutilated by that thing . I was feeling it tearing my flesh apart . I shouted out as loud as I could . So that I could be heard by any one of my trekking mates .I was being tossed and flinged like a knick-knack .
I didn’t have any machete, gun or a knife . And by my guesses , I was being attacked by a wild bear ,or some kind of other indigenous or feral animal . It threw me about 10 feets away . I thought I’d just get up and flee and hide and as I tried to stand , I felt that emmense amount of pain in my chest , I knew my ribs were snapped.
Luckily, one of my teammates, Ibrahim woke up , when he heard growling and shouting. He fired two shots back to back on that bear , with his black Remington shotgun , the bear was on the ground and I was starting to feel the pain from the lacerations the bear gave me .
I wasn’t able to get up and Ibrahim galloped towards the tents , he came back with all the members and a first class first aid kit , taking out hydrogen peroxide and spraying all over my body , I felt the burn that I shouted out loud . He calmed me by saying ,”ye infect ni hone dega” . He ordered the team to pick me up and place me near the tents . There Ibrahim accompanied by his younger brother , dressed those wounds. And then those tranquilizers in the name of painkillers , made it easy for me .
In a couple of hours a heli-medical service was there to transport me from the woods to the nearby hospital .
At that time , while I was in the hit of those painkillers and all the trauma , it struck me . I got the answer to all my question ,rather I got which questions were right , answerable . Suddenly I knew that , in the moments of utter fear , there is a fearless hush . All my life I was afraid of being attacked by a bear , and when one actually did, all I thought about was, did I love enough , did I even make an impact.
I try to live to the fullest , everyday . I know , the odds are 50 -50 , either you live or you die . Why don’t spend more love , spread more value . In the end it’s always about that extra mile .
Live More .
Narrator- Abhinav Upadhyay ( former windows employee).
Writer- Umang Dwivedi ( insta- umang_dwivedi_ ) .