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Leap of faith !!!!

A drop of sweat trickles down the forehead, I have never done this before. in front of me is a chasm whose depth I cannot fathom. No tape, measure, laser has been invented which could reach the end and tell the world its depth. The gorge lay there from ages, none knows what created it maybe a meteorite hit or a dormant volcano. The gorge has a reputation of being a killer, multitudes of trekker and vehicles have met their nirvana at the base of the sharp and craggy edges. I can see my whole life go past me in a microsecond., a kaleidoscope of colours and events vivid and at the same time compacted into a moment.

It is not long back that my kin had tried to dissuade me from going on this adventure, they tried their best to coax me to go to an alternate journey which was equally stressful but relatively safe, relative being the word I am stressing on here. But I was adamant on doing this, it was the monkeys paw on my back. I had to get it off my conscience, I had to complete this journey to feel like I had not given up. It was not just about adventure, about winning, about feeling like it is the best for me. It was a job to be done coz I wanted to do it so that when eventually one day I will meet my creator, I will proudly proclaim myself as the conqueror of something which only the gods could have created.

Zap to the present and my palms are all sweaty now, I cannot afford that to happen. My body parts sometimes have a tendency to rebel and act as independent principalities. I need all the senses to work as one, if I have to land safely across the gorge. At the same time the view is beautiful, I look across and the calm waters of the lake just across the gorge shine back at me, the waves rising and lapping the shores in a systematically serene fashion. I am being lulled into complacency by the beauty around. How can anything which is so beautiful be so dangerous at the same time. A lot of people before me may have felt the same but they have met their fate at the hands of the dark lord at this very spot. Nature has a way of being kind and cruel at the same time, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods hurricanes are all natures creations along with the ocean, stars, waterfalls and beaches. I struggle to gain composure. It seems like ages since I was at the edge of the chasm contemplating the most important decision of my life till now, but when I look at the watch it has just been a minute since my mind going for a toss. I look ahead, I have my aim in sight in front of me, the altar of success, the peak which I set off to conquer from my base camp. It is reflecting the sunlight off the midday sun. It looks like glass in brilliance, unreal in all respects, unconquerable and protected by a series of gorges and crevices hidden and dangerous, nothing more than the one I am facing right now. I cannot back off now. I have reached this far not to turn back.

I check my safety harness and wink at the person behind me and try a feeble joke. I double check the pick axe and the hooks which I will fasten onto the rope to pull myself across. I take a look down into the deep, say a prayer and toss the rope across. It gets entangled in a sharp projection across and when I pull the rope tight it lassoes itself tight. I give it a pull to check if the rope will hold and I am off. I cannot will myself to look down for that would mean a stare down the dark void or nether land, how many people before me have attempted this crossing I do not know, how many will follow I do not know. What drives humans to do insane things I do not know. All that I know at that moment is to get the freaking hell out of there and reach the end before the rope gives up on me. At the half way stage my hands find an opportune moment to rebel, I guess they anyways have been thinking of that for some time now but why do they have to chose this inopportune moment is beyond me, they are also successful in instigating the legs to go on strike against the inhumane dictatorship of my brains. If only my brain knew what a idiot it was for behaving as if it was the only part which could take decisions. So stuck in the middle with nowhere to go, the blue sky above me, the dark depth below, the cobalt blue lake beyond and in some distance my ultimate goalpost. What do I do, how do I get myself out of this mess. Shouting for help wont do any good. There are people around but they have themselves to care about. Its all one for themselves in these harsh surroundings and the perfect setting for survival of the fittest. I am not going to give up so close to the end, I make up my mind to get myself off this situation. My brain the devil comes up with a plan and promises new gloves and shoes to my feet and arms. This gets them moving, promises have a unique problem though no one bothers about keeping them but then that’s another story.

I make it across and clamber down the edge onto safe territory, my hands are raw and feet numb but they are happy with thoughts of the bribe which they have just been promised. I look back and shudder on thinking what I had just accomplished. This is the mother of all of my adventures, I have finally being able to break the shackles which had held me back and done something which will make me proud of myself. I see people behind me look at me with respect showing in their eyes, some were already following me in the path I had blazed for them. Soon there will be a glut of adventure seekers on this route, but I was the first, the first to be here, my name will be covered in glory, the first one to cross P2. Subsequent generations will read about me in history books as follows…
Devesh H Rao, the first to cross the pothole P2, depth - unknown on the road under construction in Powai on the way to SEEPZ.

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