The bond so called, “friendship,” can be so beautiful and unexpected too. I am not talking about the friends those who walk on two feet, but my new friends I met on 4,200 meters above the sea level on 20th December 2015.
The moment I and my co-hiker Ugyen reached about 3,300 meters above the sea level, he smiled at us and greeted with a few hops and rounds. He said, “Welcome, welcome my friends,” climbing on a rock near by and jumped down.
The clouds above started to engulf the mighty sun and soon the whole mountain was blanketed with heavy dark clouds. Snowflakes started to swirl down on my face and bit me like a rodent with sharp teeth. I was not sure if I wanted to hike up farther into the mountains or not, I looked at my co-hiker Ugyen and he said, “Lets, climb!” “Okay,” I said and so we started to ascend.
But, the dark clouds wont clear up making our visibility really poor. We could hardly see anything beyond fifty meters or so. “Are we crazy? Should we return?” I often asked myself, because I know my co-hiker hasn’t gone farther than that point, except me. When I was a little scared of the unexpected guests in the highlands and wanted to stop, our new friend would climb a few meters ahead of us, sit on the edge of the stone slab on the high ground, facing the wind and let his hair dance in the wind, and then wait for us. The look in his eyes, the dominating sitting gesture with a fore leg over the other told me, “It’s safe to climb up.” And this encouraged us to keep climbing up to 4,200 meters above the sea level. Later his two other friends joined us making our two-lonesome hike, into quite a large fun-lovingly-playing-around hike.
“Oh, my, oh!” The feeling you get when you reach on top of the mountain, it is too BEAUTIFUL!! By then my friend Ugyen offered a Ri-wo Sang-choe, an incense offering on the giant mountain top, and soon the whole sky started to clear up just like that making everything yellow, warm and beautiful. This was when we did some funny photo-shootings jumping around.
Standing at the top of the giant mountain, as I looked around, breathing very deeply occasionally, I couldn’t stop saying to myself, “Sigh, how beautiful everything is in the arms of the nature!” Stayed there for about twenty minutes rejoicing and appreciating the beauty of nature, and at the same time thanking my new friends, it was only because of them our hike was pleasant and successful. I couldn’t agree more how tired I was and my new friend was, when he came by my side and fell asleep.
Before returning, I named my new friend, “Ata brokpa,” (elder highlander in my mother tongue). He really was a good fella and I loved his and his friends company. Later, when you folks go up and if you happen to see him, then kindly give my regards.
Photographer : Ugyen Lhendup
Taken at 42,00 meters above the sea level, at 12 PM, on 20th December 2015
|With Ata Brokpa|