Altitude Sickness and Some Strange Emotions (The Kashmir Trail – Part 1) !

It was merely 5 in the morning. The harsh sunrays sneaked into the room through the glass façade, heating up my bed like a stove-top. The nausea still lingered, albeit milder as compared to the last night, and though the headache had waned away, my head still felt dizzy due to lack of oxygen.

I sat at the corner of the bed, ushering into vivid memories of the journey which brought me here. I sat for long, as if in oblivion, staring at the void between my eyes, imagining the ponies and the yaks grazing in the lush green meadow by the still lake, which, like a polished sheet of metal, captured the vivid reflection of high, mannish mountains in the distance. On their apex they harbored glaciers that noisily meandered down the slopes, forming rapids, until they merged with the river in the valley.


It was a beautiful valley, painted with flamboyant trees and flowers. Their smell still makes me go wild. The cooing  of young, hungry monals on the trees still fills me with delight. I remember the walk. And the touch of wet grass between my toes. And the gentle wind humming under my ears like a woman during love. And the warmth of the morning sun pervading the skin, dispelling the cold nestled in my bosom. I remember it all. So Vividly.


I feel a sense of existential angst skulking in my bosom like a predator—a devourer  of hope, of faith, of essence. Deep inside my heart is a blob of sorrow. I don’t know what is causing it. I just know that it is there. Can too much happiness make you sad? Can too much joy push you into the alley of an existential impasse? Can too much beauty drive us to despair? At an altitude of 3000 meters, here I was discovering a strange feeling which transcended all the emotions I’d ever known. I look through the glass façade at the snow clad mountains, and couldn’t help but remember Camus –

Basically, at the very bottom of life, which seduces us all, there is only absurdity, and more absurdity.

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