Friday, May 15, 2015

Why Climbers make better Lovers

If you are looking for your ideal lover, look no further than the nearest high mountain or sheer rock face or an impeccable ice line. Upon such crazy landscapes will you find the one that can make you dizzy, whether you climb with them, upon them or within them. Climbers climb; what more can you ask for! So climb on and see you on top!



The following has no order of priority and have been strictly used in generic sense related to climbing; what kind; depends upon your mental disposition. For me it is all about climbing, from one summit to another.

They really like to climb

They have good endurance

They like to see you on top

They have good grip and balance

They are not afraid to fall

They like new routes to the summit

They need bare minimum

They know how to survive extreme situations

They have all the necessary equipment

They like being high

They climb one step at a time

They seldom give up

They can go for long without sleep, food or water

They can hold on to their bowel movements

They can make the most morbid situation look funny and cool

They boldly go where no one has gone before

They often take leap of faith

They like torturing themselves for pleasure

They can show you holds you never knew existed

They can tie knots that you would love to be tied into

They are really good at hanging

They believe in action

They are generally quiet but may scream at the top

They are willing to try out anything

They have strong hands, ideal for massaging


They never let go of their partners 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Everest Industry

I normally refrain from writing about Everest simply because Everest has already been written about at least a million times by literally every Tom, Dick and Harry and their equivalent women brigade. I wrote one post last year after the incident where 16 Sherpas died (including few of my close friends); and again this year nature has struck leaving many dead, injured and dejected, disoriented and disproportionately satiated. As speculations are flying at the speed of light in volumes defying rational readability, I felt an unbiased to the point practical look is again necessary; not only to dismal fears and ignorance but also to put forth objectively what many fail to understand in totality. I know this prelude sounds confusing, but then it is just play of words. Here follows the hard facts and figures along with hard line thoughts without apologies to none.

I took this picture of Everest BC few days before it was all demolished

Let’s face it, whether you like it or not, Everest over the years has become an industry. It is an industry or an assembly line if you may call it, which provides the world’s largest tourist revenue to one of the poorest nations in the world. No matter how many times you shut it, it will rebound since it cannot be shut down, neither by nature, nor by human, not even by God I suppose. Nepal’s dependence upon Everest cannot be overemphasized. The figures speak for themselves. Over a million people directly or indirectly feed from Everest industry. Even if we only look at the number of Everest and surrounding peaks climbing permits issued in one year, it comes to mind-boggling revenue of around 4.5 million USD. More than double this amount is pumped into the Nepal economy for other things like food, transportation, lodging, Sherpa fee, oxygen, guides, etc. Add to this the humungous volume of trekkers to Everest base camp and surrounding valleys all through the year. They bring in at least couple of millions more in revenues to the country.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Love is blind – blinding love and loving blindly




Note – this is a true story, a short one, verbatim as it happened. Yet the central character of this story, if she is still alive, will never read it. Do tell her of it and that I remember her, if you chance upon her someday. Therefore I retain her real description; I will never look for her but you may. Here is the story:

I was walking along the sunset kissed windswept boulevard of Punta Arenas balancing my camera trying to find a spot close to the sea where a magnificent sun in all its radiance was slowly inching towards the blue horizon of Magellan Strait. Finis Terra as it is often called, or end of the known world, Punta Arenas is the southernmost point of Chile after which only the ocean remains before striking the frozen Antarctica shores. I had been in this tiny picturesque town many times before and hence. On that day I was chasing the sun for a shot when I walked past a girl sitting on the grass, apparently gazing rapturously at the same sun that I wished to capture in my camera.

She was all alone upon the grass, languid and alluring like a siren, her brazen hair galloping into the breeze. The orange glow accentuated her rosy cheeks and her face, eyes covered with big sunglasses, sparkled with the joy of life. She was stunning and I couldn’t just pass her by. I stopped and walked up to her. I stood behind her and coughed, ‘do you mind if I join you and watch the setting sun?’ I asked hoping she would reply in English. She did, ‘sure.’

I sat beside her sinking into the soft grass and even from a non-intrusive distance smelled her fragrance. Rarely had I seen such a joyful countenance. She was beautiful because she was radiant. We sat in silence for a while; she never turned to look at me continuing to gaze at the sea and the sun. ‘What are you looking at?’ I broke the silence.

‘Possibilities...’
‘Of what?’ I asked
‘Life; what could be and what is, what should be, what isn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t...’ she replied pensively. Her lilting voice had a smooth cadence.
Her replies were mysterious and piqued my curiosity further. Mysticism attracts me.
‘Life is simple, isn’t it?’ I said. ‘What is, is, what isn’t, isn’t!’

‘You see the setting sun and the sea it sets into, don’t you?’ she asked.
‘Yes that’s what I see and that’s what it is.’
‘I don’t see the setting sun neither the sea it sets into,’ she said, ‘I feel its warmth during the day and now its coolness as it sets, I smell the sea and the breeze and hear the waves crashing on its shore, I can feel the restlessness of time, of the sun to set here but to rise at another place simultaneously. I see possibilities while you see events because you see while I don’t; I feel...’
Only then did I notice a white stick lying next to her lap on the grass.

At that instance I fell in love with the blind girl blindly. I loved her blindly since it was blinding love. There was no reason, no ifs or buts, no conditions, no forethought neither afterthought. I did not see, I felt, I shut my eyes and saw the possibilities.

I did not return to my lodge that evening and I did not leave the side of this girl for the next three days that I was in Punta Arenas. Every waking hour and sleeping minutes I stayed with her as she stayed with me. We talked endless, walked aimless, laughed without reason and loved as if it was our last moment of life. We made no promises, we offered no explanations, we didn’t see. We only felt and saw the endless possibilities of life. We lived as well as died every moment to be reborn in the next. When we parted as we knew we would, we kissed for one last time and said to each other, ‘we tried all possibilities that life has to offer.’

She came to see me off at the airport along with her mother. She hugged me so tight that I couldn’t breathe. She brought her lips upon my ears and whispered, ‘Love is blind, I always knew, thanks to you I now know that it is true. Go my darling where you must and now I don’t really need to see for I feel the possibilities. I will always be blind in love for you.’



Friday, March 6, 2015

Life is a Fairy Tale

 
Life is a Fairy Tale

Last night I was watching ‘Tangled’. I often watch fairy tales or animated film, those that are captivating not only in their imagery but also in what they teach us. Take for instance Shrek series or Despicable Me, Up or Lion King, Snow white, etc etc. I am yet to see or read one fairy tale that doesn’t have something bad or evil happening. Often someone dies too in such movies and stories. Yet we read these books and watch these movies happily, smiling along with our children. Why don’t we despair when something bad happens to the central characters, why don’t we feel sad when someone dies, why do we keep cheerful and let our children watch all the mayhem and evil doings of the villains. For every fairy tale have villains.

We don’t despair because we know that it is a fairy tale, where in the end good will triumph over evil and the princess will be rescued by the fair prince, we know that no matter how much the evil forces try, in the end the good will win. We have that faith in fairy tales. Then why don’t we have that faith in our own lives!  Why do we cry and worry and fret when something bad happens to us or our loved ones. Why do we want to constantly shield our children from failing, from experiencing something that we consider unpleasant! Why don’t we have that faith in life that in the end everything would be fine and if things are not yet fine then it is still not the end; there is much more life beyond where it is bad.

I think it is time we learnt from the fairy tales and the animation movies and cartoons. That in life good will eventually triumph over evil. Periods of sadness should not make us worry too much.


Life is made of opposites, so it is important to know evil to realize goodness and grief to enjoy happiness. Someone will always die yet we must remember that death is only sad if you think it is physical, no one ever dies since they live in our memories and what they created are all around us to enjoy and cherish. We cannot change life, since life is what it is and to me it is simply a fairy tale. 

Married or Single - Unbiased View

Marital Bliss


I agree I am putting my hands deliberately inside a hornet’s nest but then someone has to, especially someone like me who is totally unbiased, have equal number of married and single friends and I don’t really see one as better than the other in anyway whatsoever. It all comes down to individual choices after all. Some of us learn the hard way that we might have made a wrong choice while some just never learn or realize so they either stay single for their entire lives or they keep getting married again and again. No wonder human are fundamentally masochistic. This is a fun post so take it as one since life itself is fun with all the intended pun. I am not a marriage counsellor and certainly not a ‘single’ advocate. But I can tell you a lot about both the statehoods, since I observe keenly. And yes, for those who do not know me, I am very much single and intend to stay that way for the rest of my life; yes I haven’t learnt anything and yes I am masochistic as well.

Why this post? Well since I am have neutral point of views on almost everything on earth I am often called in to air my views on these two most debated topics, especially when someone is about to step into matrimony or one is contemplating giving up singlehood or when one is about to get into a messy divorce or just plain befuddled by society’s way of treating someone’s propensity to either get married or stay single. I am sure you all would agree that no  matter what your current state is, whenever you want to or think of changing it, some will oppose it some will support. You will never have a complete consensus one way or the other, which actually leads you to even more confusion as to the veracity of your intentions. Often thus confused you do not take the step towards salvation (either way). Whereas if you seek my opinion, I would simply say follow your heart my friend. After all you will find in this post that at the bottom of it all lies the heart.

Friday, February 13, 2015

In Love I Believe

I do everything for love since I exist because of love and I will die one day for love

My obituary should read: on the journey of love he kept on climbing

There is no love without freedom and no freedom without love

I am happy to live as I am happy to die since I love death as I love life

No point in living if I do not live for love

I cannot make someone love me nor how nor when nor why she chooses that love to be. I can only love fully with my mind body and soul and hope that she will recognise it even if she cannot reciprocate in equal measure or manner

Love is the only action that need not have a reaction. Love is complete in itself.

I'm grateful that I discovered love because she passed by and does it matter if she never noticed me bloom within that love!

I can only make myself worthy of love and wait till someone recognises that

It is possible to discover love in one but find it in another. Discovery of love is not always finding love

It is not possible to love truly without living truly


Love just like happiness is an act of choice and not of compulsion

Not all love will be reciprocated but those that will be are worth waiting for

I can love more than one with equal intensity at the same time since the way I love will be as different as they are 

In Life I Believe

I believe only in two things or rather experiences since they both essentially are just that, and everything else evolve out of them: I believe in being alive and being in love; and today on Friday the 13th, 2015 I would like to share few beliefs about my two experiences. Here is the first one: - 

I am and will always be the luckiest person in the world

Miracles happen all around me every moment

There is no one in the world who hates me or dislikes me or bears any ill towards me

Everyone I have met or meet or will be meeting were, are and will be friends. No one is or will ever be a stranger to me

I can only live in and for the moment; past is irrevocably gone serving only as meaningful lessons and the future is nothing but another name for hope

Life is what it is, and only I can find a purpose or make it meaningful; though sometimes it is best to be purposeless and meaningless; like a sail boat without sails amidst a tempest sea

No matter where I am, I am always home

True freedom can only be derived if I am not rooted to a place, person or object

Fewer options lead to simpler life

Money by itself has no intrinsic value; it is either a piece of paper or a piece of metal, it’s what you do with it; and so is life, it has not intrinsic value what matters is what you do with it

That there is no paradise more bountiful than a loving heart and no hell more tormenting than a hating heart

That we all should endeavour to dissolve the boundaries within our heart, mind and soul and only then can we survive and exist as a race

Purpose of destination is to initiate the journey. It’s not about arriving but the desire to reach

Every day is the last day of my life and also the first day for the rest of my life.

Every morning gives me one more opportunity to do something exciting and worthwhile with my life

There are no problems in my life, only situations that need to be faced and when I die there won't be any situations either
Sharing my time truly with someone is the most precious gift I can offer

That I always speak, act and express from the heart, saying exactly what I mean and meaning exactly what I say

That every person in this world is amazing and has an amazing story waiting to be heard and all I must do is to listen

Only I can say if I truly lived because only I can justify my life

I'm on an endless journey upon a mountain the summit of which I would never reach

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Summing Up 2014

Lago Torre, Patagonia Argentina
This time around while summing up the year 2014 that just whizzed by I am completely determined to avoid intricate statistics lest it leads to three mainstream reactions among my readers (like it usually does) – one of admiration (I like this one, especially when I get those delicious mails from delicious women); one of envy; and one of utter disbelief (many believe all these travels and climbs of mine are pure fiction and products of my over productive imagination).

Suffice it to say that I did not travel much in 2014, barely 10 countries in four continents and crossed the Atlantic only four times and kissed the Pacific shores twice. Climbed very moderately and only till around 7000m. Visited only two places that are rarely visited by human.

Air miles covered must be in the region of 100,000 if not more but then this is merely an average human being I suppose. Despite all precautions taken, the year ended with a black tipped nose due to carelessness on my part and a very cold storm in the mountain’s part.

The highlight of the year as always were the wonderful new friends (read women) I made and the old ones I connected with and rejuvenated from the point where we had earlier parted.

My writings suffered obviously as ideas and stories kept cramming my empty head but I simply found no time or means of putting them down in black and white. I wonder how soon I should call my vagabond life to a much needed pause and get down to writing.

Literal high of the year being the summit of Aconcagua in Argentina and the literal low of the year being the shores of Baku in Azerbaijan.

Some mega budget proposals came my way though none of them materialized due to various reasons; either I wasn’t available or the proposal didn’t pass my ethical standards or the proposer thought I was too cocky for my boots. Sometimes I do quote an astronomical figure when I don’t want to do something yet don’t want to say ‘no’.

The saving grace though were a series of 50 short articles I wrote for India’s prime online travel portal; each measuring 600 – 800 words outlaying some of my travels and climbs and also tips for adventure travel.

Nothing more to add and nothing less to subtract and I hope I achieved my mission of keeping it short sharp and snappy. Wishing you all an exciting 2015 full of dreams and drama, adventure and adrenalin (mine surely is).


And to all my friends: keep rolling for rolling stones gather no moss and they remain fresh and shiny, while to all my enemies: go climb a mountain.   

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ten Reasons why Flying is riskier than climbing Everest

Crossing crevasse on Everest

I often have discussions with friends and well-wishers about the element of risk involved in my ordinary day to day life and I always insist that my life has far less risk than a regular city dweller; where she crosses the roads, drives, drinks tap water, etc each such so-called mundane activity that is actually very high on risk element. We simply do not realize this that your life is at a much higher risk than mine, especially when I climb those stupendously steep walls of ice or step into the death zone. So to give you a point by point comparison, I have picked up two supposedly diametrically opposite activity that can be grasped by all. Let’s say I am climbing Everest and you are just boarding a flight to a vacation or work; here are the ten reasons why you are taking a much higher risk than I: -

Saturday, November 15, 2014

All about Self

Two days back I received a message from a friend who I hadn’t met or communicated for a good number of years. We were in love once. I still am and I am guessing she too is though it’s now more like you love a fool since he is a source of entertainment. The message in exact these words –

“People say you are still alive and I hope you are, yet I think you must be dead frozen stiff actually stuck to one of your silly vertical ice walls in some silly godforsaken corner of the planet. I don’t think you would ever read these words, at least not in your earthly avatar and being dead why would you even care to read mails even if you had the technology to do so. Do they have internet in heaven or hell or wherever in between places you might be? Oh goodness, what a silly question. Now the real question is if you are already dead, according to my presumption, why I am even writing this message to you! I am writing to you because I need to write to my own self, to my soul and I can only do so by writing to you; the only man who reached into my soul and discovered me to me. I cannot write or talk to my own self since it doesn’t listen but when I write or talk to you it goes silent and listens. You are the only one who can silence me into hearing what I need to say to myself. You fathomed me you discovered me you expanded me you buried me annihilated me made me extinct and only after that did you bring me alive to show me what it is like to be me. It was never about you or us, it was always about me, even when you told me your stories of madness and laughter, they were all about me. When you glorified your mistakes and underplayed your triumphs it was still about me. When you kissed me and held me in your arms and whispered that you loved me it was all about me because only by making it all for me made any sense to you. When you left me for the mountains not telling me where you went and if ever you would return it was again for me and when you returned or appeared like a ghost out of my dreams into my life it was all for me. As long as I had you with me I didn’t realize that all I had to do to keep you with me was to keep me with me so I suffered in anguish and pain each time you left and since you never said what was meant to be. I realized all this when you were gone without promise to return. Faced with an emptiness I knew not how to handle or if I even needed to I turned to every word you had ever uttered and to every gesture you ever made or words you wrote and slowly like an archaeologist sifting and brushing through immense debris of time I found that I had you always with me even before I knew you existed since I always had me. You may ask do I need you now and honestly I must tell you that no I don’t need you like I need air to breathe or water to live but yes like I love the scent of a fragrant rose in the air I breathe it would be wonderful if I could breathe you. If you are dead I wish you eternity of love and life and if you are still alive then I wish you many more years of silly craziness. You will never be me and I will never be you; I will always be me. Since I don’t thank the air I breathe every moment I am not going to thank you, acknowledgement of the obvious is neither needed nor desired. It is only to be acknowledged as being there. You are there because I am there. You are not there for me because you are there for you as I am there for me. If you ever read this message then perhaps you would smile and think of me but I know that you will never reach out to me since I already have me. When we love someone or something even beyond the point of necessity then it is enough to just love and be. Let us just be.”

Sometimes even that is obvious must be stated, so as you can see – I am very much alive, I will not respond to this mail, I will not correct or edit her grammatically challenged message and the only reason I put this here is to increase the number of posts in my blog by one. As it so happens I have so much to write in so many platforms these days that my own blog is suffering my procrastination so there it is. Like they say (I still don’t know who this ‘they’ is) – live like you will die right now and love like you never will.

I am out of here, seriously!