An entrepreneur with a deep and lasting love for the Himalayan hills, Mark Butterworth has made Himachal Pradesh his home. Living in a secluded farm, he hikes to remote regions high in the sky, from where he returns with tantalizing tales to tell. This is one such.
We were in a group, hiking to the Indrahar Pass from Mcleodganj in Himachal Pradesh. It was monsoon and raining incessantly. We walked. We climbed. Fourteen thousand feet above sea level, the air was cold and ice covered the tracks. Everyone had crossed over.
I suddenly slipped and fell. I did not know what but something seemed to overpower me. My brother was part of the party. He looked back. I had deep gashes on my face and hands. He told me to go back. He would proceed with the others.
I turned around but what followed was an experience that will be etched in my memory forever. Mist made it impossible for me to see the path going down. Lost and completely alone at fourteen thousand feet, I thought “This is it. This is the end.”
I sat down on a rock. Suddenly, through the haze, a golden light appeared. Some would say, it was the last rays of the sun. Sure, it was. But it was also something else. Something inexplicable. It shone like a beam through the dark. It lit up the road that I was to follow. The light reflected off the pristine ice. Off trees. Off plants. Off flowers. Everything glowed.
Today, I am aware of being in a daze and thinking, “If this is the next life, it is mine.”
To be continued……….