Sunday, March 29, 2009

Another Saturday Hike

I was on an exile last week, enduring a set of difficult final exams. Well, by the end of the day, the sun was still shining and I caught my reflection grinning back at me from glass windows of the science building. Finishing off another quarter naturally makes the world look more beautiful to me. I stop to catch maple leaves before they slip helplessly to the ground, and enjoy the crunch, crunch of the dead ones beneath my feet as I hurry home. My heart is lighter, and my mind is busy delighting itself in holiday plans. Well, as far as my holiday plans go, it looks like they are directly proportional to unforeseen disturbances and deliberate excuses (some real and most hypothetical or invented). So this time when I declared that I wanted to go hiking, I did it without any serious expectations.

I was jabbed awake on Saturday morning by my father with a “You said we’ll go hiking!” Sleep was still heavy on my eyelids, but I knew that my sense of self-worth was in serious jeopardy. I’m not the sort of person who likes to get taunted for being fickle-minded. So I shrugged and decided to get ready. It was to be my little Saturday adventure outdoors…I was granted some time to satisfy my whimsical wishes, and I didn’t want to miss such an opportunity.

Well, for that slow trailer such as me, the these trails are quite a task. I don’t complain though, because there’s such a lovely creek which bumbles along with me as I walk, reminding not to take it so hard. This is exactly why I hike—it’s not because I enjoy sweating so much…it’s because hiking makes me feel like I’m blending into this entirely different world. It’s an escape from everything I don’t wish to remember because I become that silent dreamer when I take a walk—I transform into that annoying squirt who shuts into herself and smiles without knowing why. I’m unusually unresponsive, and do look lost. But the truth is, I enjoy every precious moment of that silent experience…dreams swim and take shape, I become calmer, happier and strangely detached. Somehow, loud jokes and cracking laughter destroy that tranquility within me—they are better suited for those special sleepover parties or family get-togethers. Hiking is everything about catching up with yourself, and everything not about mechanically burning calories in my opinion! :D Well, hiking is also about appreciating the little rewards of mild spring days before sweltering summer and another busy quarter come hurrying into your life.

(The sun has been especially cheerful the last week, as you can see!)

I have also done a lot of prodding around on this trail—everything from disturbing that meek little creek to staring at farm sheep. I had stopped by to listen to this old lady’s lecture about poison ivy the last time had hiked but I couldn’t spot the “dangerous plant” this time…looks like the ivy is scared of the spring! Meanwhile, I can feel it getting warmer here, and the skies are growing clearer by the day. There is very little cloud-cover and one feels the urge to star gaze into the depths of the sky. I wished on a star yesterday, as I stared out into the night, hoping for more such pleasant experiences to bring respite to me in the fast approaching hotter summer months. And I still have my fingers crossed!


Pradip Biswas said...

So you had a wonderful time with nature like i do. To me it comes as a part of my profession. But i wish that Let me enjoy nature like you not on duty. Photographs are very nice. Continue your journey and enjoyment.

Praveen G K said...

Nice, hiking!!!
It must have been pretty good fun, and at the end of the day, you would have had a good exercise, along with great fun!!!

Karthik said...

Hi Lakshmi,

Needless to mention again that this was a very good one. Sadly most of us rarely appreciate the transition in minute aspects of nature. I have been brooding a lot over it for sometime now since I read the following lines supposed to be said by namma Poornachandra Tejaswi sir "`ದೇವರೊಬ್ಬ ಇದ್ದಾನೆ ಅಂತ ತಿಳಿದು ಈ ಪ್ರಪಂಚವನ್ನು ನೋಡುವುದು ಎಂಥ ದೊಡ್ಡ ಅನುಭವವೋ ಅದೇ ಅನುಭವ ಈ ಪ್ರಪಂಚದ ವಿಸ್ಮಯವನ್ನು ಸುಮ್ಮನೆ ಕಾಣುವುದರಲ್ಲಿದೆ' "

praneshachar said...

wow what a gr8 saturday hike I envy you. wonderful narration natural flow and description is superb. keep Hiking and we get lovly posts. have a gr8 time ahead. appreciate your love for nature, and also capturing in lens and putting them for us. great show keep up keep going

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Mr.Biswas: Oh yes sir! I've always loved the way your profession is tied with such wonderful things as nature, tribals, and hiking too!! Throw your burdens off once in a while and take a walk in the woods, it'll be a lovely experience!
GK: Hehe..yeah!! I totally needed to catch up with myself after last quarter...and yup, and tons of fun! :-)
Karthik: That quote made my day! Nijavaagalu, Tejaswiavara matugalu yeshtu arthapoorna!! Extremely grateful for reminding me...thanks a lot!!! I heard it just when I needed to! :D
Pranesh: If you drop by here sometime soon...khandita I'll take you hiking to these very sure you will love the experience! Take care! :)


You seem to have had a wonderful time! And so well expressed.


Hi Lakshmi!
My 'follower' told me that your new post 'My First Award' is up, but when I went there , I could not find it!

I just wanted to congratulate you , and find out what the award is for! :)

Sneha said...

Hey Lakshmi :D Its nice to know your love for hiking and nature in general! Is the place where you hiked near your place? I want to come and meet you! Its been ages! When will you come to Singapore again? Come over, and we can explore the Southeast Asian region, I think it provides more adventure than quiet, touristy Singapore!
(Gosh this is like an email!)
Have a great time, and I really enjoy your posts! Oh, and I shifted my blog to a livejournal:
Take care dear cousin!

Happy Kitten said...

Wow! that was wonderful narration..

"But the truth is, I enjoy every precious moment of that silent experience…dreams swim and take shape, I become calmer, happier and strangely detached"

I can relate with you.. isnt nature so wonderful? it makes one forget everything and just be silent...

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Raji maami: Hehe...thanks a lot!! That was because I had clicked "publish" before I had added a couple of photos. I went back n edited my post. hence the weirdness. I apologise. :)And thanks a lot for your wishes! Makes me feel warm! :-)
Sneha: wanna come!! the very next flight..let's go explore the world together! :D seriously, sneha, no kidding. If u pay for my ticket n make my college mysteriously forget me, consider me in malaysia the next few weeks! :-) Saw ur blog--Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!!
Happy Kitten: Yess!!! Isn't nature soo wonderful? If someone would grant me extra time to do whatever I wanted with my life, I would probably be out there, exploring so many trails from morning till evening and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't ever get bored. :-)Thanks for the comment!!