I started this year in Dharamkot, Himachal Pradesh. I decided I needed to start 2019 off with a trek.
Shortly after that escapade, I interned with a company, located in the heart in the Tirthan Valley. It was three hours drive from Kullu, in a district named Banjar, where I stayed in small village named Bihar for nearly 2 weeks. It was winter, I hadn’t fully prepared myself with winter clothing, which resulted in me getting frostbite,after which I needed to be sent to a lower altitude.
I went to Shimla on my parent’s recommendation as my dad’s close friend stayed there. I was on bed rest for a week, I couldn’t walk, couldn’t feel my feet as my toes were all cramped up.
Frostbite is an injury caused by freezing of the skin and underlying tissues. First your skin becomes very cold and red, then numb, hard and pale.Mayo Clinic
It’s all thanks to the uncle and aunty that looked after me, gave me breakfast in bed, that I was fully able to recover. All I did was sleep and soak my feet in warm water.
My extremely ambitous plans
While I was on bed rest, I had plenty of time on my hands to scrutinize my past decisions and all the things,’I should have’ been doing’ but didn’t,cause I hadn’t prepared myself well enough.
Volunteering in Spiti
I’d have completed two months working in the Himachal Pradesh, then would pushed off to volunteer with India’s most recommended organization in Spiti, known as Ecosphere.”. I would work on their conservation projects and help co- assist their cafe and run their restaurant.
I had wide arrays of plans
From doing a Masters in Gender Studies to travelling to the valleys of Ladakh
But as you know by now, nothing panned out. I felt inexperienced and weak that left my internship midway.
Months later I realized it was the best thing I did was to go back home to my parents.
Where I promptly went for a shower and got my head burnt when the shower pipe burst. So now I had a mild stage of frost bitten toes and a burnt head.
Weeks after I got back, I hatched another plan to visit the villages in Uttarakhand that I worked with 4 months. You already know what would happen, thanks for sparing me from saying it myself.
This song sums up how I felt
And if it all came crashing downPush Off by Palms
Just know that it won’t bring me down – well
The doctor advised me not to visit the mountains for around 8 weeks. He looked at me, realized I wasn’t convinced with his answer and said, “no climate below 15 degrees”. In my head I was like” dammit the bugger got me.”
Tragically I went home, this time not only with a broken foot but with a broken heart as well. I began catching up with all Netflix shows. A couple of weeks later it struck me, if I couldn’t visit the Himalayas that didn’t stop me from visiting the south.
I hit up my college roommate who recently started working with ‘The Gerry Martin Project’in rural village in Mysore, known as Hunsur. Before I began that journey, I decided to give myself a deadline and complete my application form for the Gandhi Fellowship.
I enjoyed Hunsur, thoroughly went brilliant people there. I learnt so much about snakes, I even caught one myself.
There were loads of people from across the globe as well as parts of India that came to visit and track the Russel Viper Project.
After Mysore, I took an evening bus to Bangalore. Now that I think about it, I always wanted to visit Bangalore but hadn’t, and that honestly irritated me. I met two trekkers from Indiahikes, and another Indiahikes colleague on my overall 10 day visit in the south.
From public parks to bookstores,I began to see this wonderful city.
On one such gallivanting visit to a bookstore, I picked up Prisoners of Geography that completely changed my life and got me into reading more thoroughly.
Fast forward : 3 months
If you remember, I had filled up the Gandhi Fellowship form before leaving for Mysore. They got back to me while I was at home in Kerala, that I was shortlisted for the interview and the Group discussion to be held in Mumbai.
So this is the story of how I basically keep messing up in life, but as the quote states above I have kept an open heart and remembered everything happens for a reason.