Triumphs and Tumbles: My Misadventures on Kalsubai

As Hump Day draws to a close, I ruminate on the whiffs of nostalgia from the weekend that flew by. It was buzzing with excitement from the very beginning. An exciting Friday night at Van Gogh 360 gave way to a rather slow Saturday morning awaiting for what was in store. Dawn came, and it did not disappoint. It was the night I embarked on my very first trek in my hometown. I had often dreamed of this moment but never imagined it would be realized one day given my aversion to dirt and dust.

The plan was to climb Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra. Although I proudly announced the daunting mission at hand, my lack of trekking experience only filled me with dread. No matter, the time was upon me to ascend this peak. I couldn’t back out as the fear of missing out on the action was even more real. Having seen the likes of me, we were warned early on that we had one last chance to back out. I persevered, fearing my imaginative ego crush.

A girl standing on the top of Kalsubai in Maharashtra, India.
Don’t be fooled by the smile, I am dying inside.

The night only got darker, and the path steeper. Holding onto rocks (and my dear life) while boosting myself through the crevices, I imagined people from first-world countries practising indoor rock climbing with a safety harness (haha, piece of cake). The megalomaniac inside me smirked at their overly paranoid child’s play. But Karma intervened fast and grounded this cocky woman. In no time, I tumbled.

The peak of Kalsubai at sunrise.

Given my lack of hand-leg-eye-everything coordination, I suppose slipping was inevitable on the rocky terrain that transitioned to muddy, uneven steps. Only this time, alongside my ego, was my backside crushed too. Hurray.

Dusting the dirt (and the hurt pride) off me, the “strong, independent, and empowered” woman ā€” that social media claims I am ā€” remained unfazed. As the upward journey wore on, it didn’t help that my mates were better at it than me. There is a sadistic satisfaction in knowing that you are not alone in failing spectacularly at something. Try being the only loser in a class.

God bless these really cool kids.

To their credit, they stood by me, delaying their climb, as I got addicted to landing on the front and back. My Karma must have pitied me in order to bless me with such friends. Finally, the last leg of the journey came. Despite hanging by a thread, not fully alive, I managed to see, almost touch, and witness the sunrise.

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