Ravikant Banka, Founder & CMD, Eggfirst Advertising talks about his initiation into the world of trekking and how his first trek to Hampta Pass in the Himalayas helped him become more observant, flexible and experimental.
BY RAVIKANT BANKA
Founder & CMD, Eggfirst Advertising
Snuggled in my comfortable chair at home, I was skimming through my Whatsapp messages on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Just then, my phone rang and I saw a dear friend’s name flashing on the screen. “We have to go to Hampta Pass,” he said in an exhilarated voice. We had a 10-minute conversation, punctuated by my questions. He wanted me to join him for a trek in the Himalayas. The 14,100 ft altitude, sleeping in tents and eating basic food didn’t really fit my idea of a good vacation. Not to mention my concern about how would I make it through the trek, given that I had never done anything of this nature ever in my life. However, after his persuasive sales pitch, I reluctantly gave in.
I must admit, a little of my friend’s enthusiasm must have rubbed off on me. Trekking in the wilderness sounded like a welcome change from monotonous luxury trips to popular destinations. I had even listed down all potential problems and their solutions. Getting lost in the woods? I equipped myself with a satellite GPS tracker. Health concerns? I packed medicines, lots of them. Attacks by wild creatures? I thought of carrying a gun for self-protection; eventually settled for a small idol instead.
The next few months went by in some preparation, which I would easily label as ‘serious’ given my otherwise lazy approach to any regimen beyond my usual badminton game. I started doing day-treks, worked towards losing some weight to smoothen my climb, got into a disciplined mode of long walks and so on. Admittedly, my badminton regimen helped me to quickly get into the groove, but the trek preparation was at another level of commitment.
Then came D-day. My friend and I left for the trek and reached Manali, our base camp for the trek. We were greeted by people from all walks of life. College kids, home-makers, retired men, men in forties, serious trekkers; they were all there. As a first-time trekker, I felt like an alien. But I soon realized there were quite a few like me - enthusiastic first-timers. It gave me the reassurance that I was not alone in this sudden flight-of-mind adventure.
With a shy sun and chirping birds for company, we trekked for seven days. I had a few difficulties initially and often was out of breath, but I felt alive like never before. While resting and taking in the surroundings, I could hear my thoughts clearly. It was an epiphany. In its own way, this trek trained me to be more observant, flexible and experimental; not just in personal life, but at work too. I also understood why people claim that travel helps you expand your horizons.
Once back from the trek, I congratulated myself for embracing the new. Upon reflection, I figured that this trek gave me access to another world of possibilities. It further fuelled my trust in the simple truth that ‘anything is possible’. I just had to apply my mind to it and everything else fell in place. Just like the Adidas line: Impossible is nothing. And then to get into action, apply what Nike says and voila it works like magic! Now, try saying that to somebody who’s stuck in a corporate routine and be ready to be politely dismissed as senile or worse! But the truth remains, as Shah Rukh Khan depicted in the movie Om Shanti Om: ‘Kehte hain agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaha, toh puri kainaat use tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai’.
Now, I have already started imagining my next ‘new’. When are you creating yours?
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