People who love to travel know what it means to travel. They feel the excitement, the exuberance as they hope to explore new places, people, food, culture, arts, music, and an ambiance of the aura. People are curious creatures, nor like other species that flutter around without any purpose or want to be fixed in a place where no one invades. People want to enjoy life, want to explore new territory, experience the pleasantness that the world has to offer, behold the beauty nature emanates, and want to come out of the shell and achieve vindication.
It was a pleasant morning, mid-March, mild, benignant, perfect weather not different from the winter mid-afternoon in the plains. The sky was azure after the rain last night and the green shoots on the tress appeared sprouting indiscriminately. The soil on the land was moist. It was 6 am, the sun seemed throwing its glow from a distance where the land was stretched all the way out. A horde of swallows flew past us and diverged to their directions individually, creating imaginary routes of flying planes and again showed up in a group bringing a gush of morning air.
This further inspired our energy as we were already on the way to Mustang. My wife and I had embarked on our journey with our loaded backpacks. We took a taxi from Pokhara and headed towards Mustang via Benibazzar and Jomsom, two other wonderlands on the way. The taxi driver played a Nepali song “yo man ta mero Nepali ho,” meaning my heart is all for Nepal and continued driving north and west by the brim of the Seti river that flew in a serpentine way up and down. On the other side, some beautiful terraces were being ploughed with yoked oxen. A forest bee zoomed into the windscreen pane and died right there fluttering. My wife was watching either side speechless. I could not help watching what was happening around me. I sympathized with the bee, but the pleasure the morning and the journey gave me was enormous.
In no time, we arrived in Beni bazzar. From there, another river named Kaligandaki would begin on our way. We had way furthermore to go to reach Mustang, also called a district that comes only after one crosses a few snow-clad mountains. We continued. We reached the top of the mountains and looked down out of the taxi’s window, deep down, just to see deep gorges of Kali Gandaki with merely a thin line of blue water, most probably 1000 meters down from where we were.
On the other side appeared gigantic rocky mountains that, it looked, could fall any times and squash all of us. We saw our life with no hope. In front of the granite mountains on either side of us and the deep Kali Gandaki down below made our body feel frail and diminutive. We felt we were so small, such small forms of the energy that was about to fall any time soon. As the taxi was moving, the ideas drove its way through the maze of corridors in my own brain. We human beings were nothing more than a moth that could die while drawn towards a flame anywhere, nothing more than a bee that just died on the taxi’s windscreen fluttering. Mountains and rivers appeared so powerful that not only take our breath away, but might take our breath literally.
Finally, we reached Mustang in the evening. I always used to watch snow clad mountains up in the north and it was my first time I had to turn towards the south to see them. Snowflakes welcomed us no sooner did we reach there. A throng of tourists was clicking and capturing priceless and speechless beauty in camera, I was contemplating the journey back that we could have died any time like the bee. I felt so powerful, but that was a fragile feeling.