I am often amazed at what the human body can achieve when it’s backed by human will. We can do much more than we think we can, and I daresay we’d be much happier individuals if we listen to our minds than if we listen to the complaints of our bodies. But again, that’s a topic for another discussion :-)

On a bright Sunday evening, my neighbour’s son, who’s a very accomplished amateur trekker, and yours truly decided to venture out on a not-so-often-travelled trekking path; a path, to be sure, that many trek rookies are hardly aware of; something to avoid if yours is not the iron will ;-) To wit, we chose to cross the hills that stretched out from Katraj to Sinhagad. We reached the Katraj ghat section at precisely 5:30 and started out. We were armed with a few litres of water, two half-litre bottles of mango juice, some jam sandwiches, a mini-towel each, and, speaking strictly of my companion, tremendous trekking experience. Within half an hour, we had reached the first of many hills that we had to cross, and had soon crossed it. Within that time however, I, who had not been acquainted with physical activity that even moderately stressed the body, for a period of well over two months, began to be assailed by doubts about my ability to complete this seemingly impossible trek. My co-trekker, however, refused to let me give up, giving me every possible encouragement. I succumbed to the power of his speech, and chose to continue on till either the journey was complete, or I fell down exhausted.

He (my co-trekker and guide) had promised me that as the evening wore on and night fell, the trek would be more enjoyable, especially since we had chosen a full moon day. I found that he was absolutely right. Soon, under the hypnotic spell of the full moon, my negative energies left me, and I was filled with nothing but a desire to see this trek through.

As the evening wore on, we made good progress, though I couldn’t really keep up with his scorching pace and stumbled here and then, not as sure of my footing as he was. But I’m proud to say this – I didn’t slow him down significantly, and found reserves of energy within me whose existence I never even suspected. As we stopped for dinner, we gazed at a fantastic moon-rise – the most spectacular one that I’ve ever seen – and mused on the beauty of Mother Nature.

Eventually, four and half hours after we’d started, we reached our destination, the top of Sinhagad. Since it had become quite dark by then, we couldn’t hitch a ride, and had to walk down the road, all the way to the base village. Once there, we managed to persuade some strangers into giving us a ride till the edge of Pune city, had dinner at a “Chinese” eat-out which was just closing down, managed to flag down an auto-rickshaw to take us to our homes, and then made our way to our respective apartments for a night of rest, each filled with a sense of achievement.

We plan to do this again during / just after the monsoons too, if everything goes well.

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