AFTER FIVE LONG YEARS in a boarding school, I remember my last school day. Together with some outgoing friends, we tossed books and lose-papers into air. Some of us splashed our inkbottles empty and others crushed the blackboard chalks. " The school is all over" we shouted. Then we danced together in the study hall and screamed. Then we made a wish that we will all be together ... together as friends forever. The last day at the engineering college too was similar: the emotions were high and we exchanged our calculators (a prized possession during those days!). We created an address book and promised that we would keep in touch and continue to be friends. Looking back, I am shy about all those lost promises (Isn’t it bad to make promises too quickly and break them so soon?). True, emails and computer-based social networks have saved some of our promises and pride. Nevertheless, most of it was lost for a good while.
After every trek, there is always a deep wish that our trekking team remain together forever. I know it is a dream to wish that way. Trek is the only common element that unites every member in that team. And to wish that the same team came together once again for a similar attempt elsewhere on a strange mountain is a dream! I do not know if 15 or 20 members of a trek team can ever rejoin elsewhere in totality. Fate has it that some will never be able to make it. Hence, the team will never be complete with everyone.
In my life, it is the memories of the past and the thoughts about the future that make me a captive of my mind. If I can disassociate from my past and make no promises to my future, then life can be boundless. ‘Today’ is more relevant than the past or the future... and in life, it is almost impossible to recreate a long lost team. Whether it was my school team, college team, football team or a trek team... they all dissipate once the mission is accomplished. Larger the team, more widely is the dissipation.
Of course, I enjoy this life here and now! It’s wonderful! Yet there is a secret to it: My long lost teams can never come together. Like I keep glimpsing at the great mountains on the trek routes again and again, I keep glimpsing at this secret again and again: the secret of a lost team!
In life, I will never fully understand everything. Half-understood mountains and the long lost teams are some of them! They are ephemeral and fleeting.
Let me keep moving for there is always a ‘now’ and a ‘present’ .... and there is no other choice!