Remembering Prof. Hameed
You were the soul of adventure
All I could make out of the situation was that I will not be able to make it to the base camp and decided to sit back on a boulder in complete surrender before the furry of nature. When we started in the morning from the base camp, it was all pleasant. By noon we were opening our lunch boxes on the banks of Tarsar lake, deep blue waters decorated by the reflection of surrounding snow capped mountains, lush green meadows, bleating sheep and goat from a distance playing orchestra for the silent song of nature, and we had Sun and all the fun. Nature had arranged a welcome party for us but also had something more in store, perhaps wanting to teach us some lessons to be remembered for life as we were students out on a trek in the high lands of majestic Himalaya.
Sweet and soothing breeze turned turbulent in a flash. Fluffy mountains of white silk floating above turned dark and covered the whole area. With deafening roar, thunder and flashes of lightening, a heavy downpour of rain and hail started. Nobody knew what to do; nobody knew what others were doing as dense and dark clouds reduced visibility. Some could be seen running back for life. But being ill equipped, my situation was hopeless. Misled by the warm morning sun, teenage stubbornness and lack of experience, as it was my first rendezvous with my beloved Himalaya, I started in tee-shirt, shorts and chapels, not even carrying a rain coat or a wind jacket. I was due for a hard lesson from the Mother Nature.
My chapels got stuck in mud and were torn as I tried to join some trekkers who were running down the hill for life. Alone and helpless, the only best thing I could do was to sit, open the nap sack tied to my waist and empty the contents into my stomach. I had no idea about how much time passed as I heard something like a tigers roar, no a human voice. As I looked up, I could recognize Prof Hameed from a distance, his forceful high pitch voice echoed in nearby rocks as he was talking loudly to other people moving ahead of him. Till then I had not even noticed that rain had stopped, dark blanket of clouds had developed many shining holes and I heard Hameed Sahib, “who is sitting there, he is our student” and the small group moved in my direction….He was a rainbow of hope and he had it literally behind him at a distance. Shivering with cold I felt warmth with his reassuring words. Despite hostile weather conditions he had stayed back to ensure safe return of every trekker. Waiving my torn chapel with his stick while looking at my feet, I still remember his words, “man started with bare feet and learned many lessons, now your turn—get up, walk down and learn to respect nature, you cannot conquer or challenge it, but you can indulge only if you respect it”. The strength of his conviction, his enthusiastic and forceful personality and characteristics of an affectionate leader, nature seemed to respect and acknowledge that statement of Prof Hameed. The weather improved while we climbed down, my feet wearing only mud, but my mind was richer with the lessons taught by nature and Prof. Hameed.
Hameed sahib, you loved Himalayas, and Himalaya finally took you into its lap forever during your last trek. Every mountaineer, trekker and adventure lover will always feel your presence on every ‘trek and hike’ as you were the soul of adventure and the soul never dies. Trek on the rainbow and rest in Heavens… Ameen.
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Lastupdate on : Sat, 16 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 16 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 17 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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