The Man & the Mountain
By Imtiyaz Khan
Date of Publication : 2016
Publisher : Notion Press
It was unfortunately abnormally hot that day and the sun was now shining brightly and directly on us, without any shade of trees. This made our movement, particluarly mine more painful. There seemed to be every danger of sunstroke, and the heat made things worse not only for me but also for him, even though we were at a higher altitude. We perspired a lot and began to consume more and more water on that dry mountain until all the bottles were empty. My energy now waned with each and every step, but I moved forward. I was feeling very hungry, but I could not tell him as he was moving normally without showing any sign of fatigue.
I enjoyed nature in the beginning but now I began to move ahead under complusion and remembered what he had said to me earlier. I slowly started losing my patience as well as strength which is contradictory to my name Sabir; meaning a person who has patience. In a fit for frustration, I began to question his role in my life. Who was he, just a strange unknown person with whom I had nothing to do? Why should I care for him or be afraid of him. He was also tired, more tired than me. If he was self-inflicting torture for fun by moving up slowly why should I also unnecessarily torture myself?
With the passage of time, I felt the strong urge that it was useless for me to move up to some goddamn place where great lakes existed and where I had nothing to do. Losing all my patience, ultimately I gave up and decided to move back. I hit upon a plan that I should tell him bluntly whether he would like it or not that I am not moving up and we should part our ways.
I said to him boldly, “Sir. I don’t want to go where you want to take me and therefore I am moving back. I have no interest in the hard trek you want me to undertake. I somehow don’t want to move to some place that I am not concerned with. It was finally nice meeting you, and I greatly appreciate your company.”
There was this sudden unexpected change in the tone of my voice which not only surprised him very much but also shocked him. He began to wonder what had happened to me all of sudden without any obvious reason.
Looking at me sharply he gave a wise reply. ‘Aren’t you comfortable with me, and don’t you like my company? My boy, I am very much confused by your sudden change in plan. I don’t understand why you should think moving back at this stage. To me you are just a dead and a lifeless person, who by coincidence happens to be alive. Dead people are a different breed and I believe you belong to that breed. They have nothing to aspire for; they are lifeless, without reason and emotion; without dreams and motives in life. Their minds are empty.
To be continued….
About the author :
Imitiyaz Khan has done his schooling from CMS Tyndale Biscoe School, Srinagar, where like many of his school mates, he got interested in trekking and mountaineering. He was born and brought up in Srinagar city and has lived his entire life there except for brief stints in Delhi and Bangalore. He works in the banking sector and trekking is his passion. He likes to travel, explore new places and roam in the wilderness whenever he got an opportunity. Fond of photography, he spends time reading and collecting books. ‘The Man & the Mountain’ is his maiden attempt at wordcraft.
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