Here is another story from Himankan 82.
Girish and others had gone to setup the Pisu Top camp, which effort had to be abandoned due to heavy snowfall. Girish suffered tendinites. Whenever he touched his feet to the ground, he had pain shooting through his feet. He couldn’t walk on his own.
While we were in the mountains, that didn’t pose a lot of problems. There were ponies around and he could be carried on them. However, once we reached Shrinagar after completing the trek, the whole thing was very different.
As I remember, we reached Shrinagar late in the evening and just went to sleep. Next day morning, we were going out to just roam around Shrinagar. We all got ready. Girish was writing letters home. I still remember those letters had sketches of places we had visited, people we had met etc. We asked him if he wanted to come for a walk with us. He said that he wanted to complete the letter he was writing. We didn’t think another thought and just went out.
Again in the evening, we were ready to go and I asked Girish if he wanted to come. He said “I wish I could come, but I can’t walk”, and I said, “That’s no problem. Just ride on back”. I remember that I didn’t think even for a moment. It felt the most natural thing to do, and I had no doubt about my ability to do it.
So we went out with Girish sitting on my back! Pai and others were walking around us. It was a sight. As we were walking on the roads of Shrinagar, people around would ask questions. “Why is that man being carried?” and Pai would tell them, “It rained yesterday. There is mud on the streets and that man doesn’t want to dirty his feet. That’s why he is being carried.”
We were in Shrinagar for a few more days and we would take turns carrying Girish. All of us enjoyed it.
Those were magical days. All of us were young, very fit. The sense of camaraderie, common cause, oneness were just amazing. The Himankan 82 team was one of the best performing team that I have come across. Three cheers to the whole team.
On another note, the same me who could do this without a second thought, would be unable to walk for ten minutes without having to stop. All because of smoking.