Velliangiri Mountains – 3

The seventh mountain.

The most interesting thing with the seventh mountain is that there is no path. In other words, it’s not possible to make one. There still is a kind-of path, for which we must certainly appreciate the locals and whoever who made it.

It’s the toughest. It’s dangerous. It’s the peak. It’s the climax. Well, not exactly. We still need to climb all the way down which is a piece of cake considering that we climbed all the way up. Or, so we thought.

Have you ever had a dream of driving long but never reaching the destination?

Have you ever had a dream of touching something that’s close-by but never able to actually reach it?

The seventh hill of the Velliangiri mountains is a reality version. At least, psychologically.

Up! Up!! Up!!!

Up! Up!! Up!!!

Up! Up!! Up!!!

Up! Up!! Up!!!

It was like an irrational number, with no termination. We gasped every single step. Most people climbed with their butts and hands. Legs were just a burden to pull along.

It was 4:30 am. I heard the voice of people from the top. Alright, here it is. At last!

Up! Up!! Up!!!

It was 4:40 am. I heard the voice of people loudly from the top. Alright, here it is. At last!

Up! Up!! Up!!!

It was 4:50 am. I heard the voice of people very loudly from the top. Alright, here it is. At last!

Up! Up!! Up!!!

It was 5 am. I heard the voice of people very very loudly from the top. Alright, here it is. At last!

Up! Up!! Up!!!

It was 5:10 am. I heard the voice of my body shaking heavily. Alright, I’m going to faint. At last!

Wait! We did finally saw the top of the mountain.

“Namachivaaya.. Thiruchitrambalam..”

“Namachivaaya.. Thiruchitrambalam..”

“Namachivaaya.. Thiruchitrambalam..”

Almost every one said the mantras. It was enchanting and rhythmic, especially with the mixture of the sound of the mountains.

It was 5:15 am when we reached the top. We unfolded the backpacks and removed the shoes as quickly as possible. I massaged my legs and felt pity for them. Ananth and most of the other people climbed all the way in barefoot.

A lot of people were sleeping on the sides. A lot of people were sitting on rocks waiting for the Sun. Dinesh, Sakthivel and Ananth went to worship Gods. We had no water or food since the herbal tea. I opened the dinner bag with shivering hands and started eating with both the hands. As we halted, our bodies started to feel the actual weather of the place. The entire body transformed from warmth and sweaty to cool and numb. What an experience, I thought.

My body waited for the Sun for the warmth. It was around 6:10 am when the Sun came out and everybody worshiped saying mantras. I did too.

The view was stunning. It still stays fresh in mind. The crowd started climbing down worshiping Swayambu (Shiva) on the path. The pathway was small and people were rushing to get to see the God. A few refused to move as they felt they would get more goodness if they stayed longer. A few others refused to move as they were taking pictures and selfies and waited till they get a clear shot. The people who were in-charge forced them to come down and shouted, “Have some common sense.  This is a temple and there are a lot of people waiting behind you. Won’t you imagine how uncomfortable it would if everybody started to behave like you?”

Pongal was served as Prasadam. When I took it in my hand, I felt something pouring down in between the fingers. It was ALL ghee. I had just one handful of pongal and it was no less than 5000 calories. I was about to throw it when Ananth and the others jumped on me to stop. “Dei Jagadeesh, this is prasadam and you must eat it full”.

What a delicate situation! I looked at the pongal again.  Truly, it was disgusting. I tasted a little and it was really tasty as well but there’s no way I can eat it full. “Sorry folks”, I said and dropped it at the side of the mountains. My hand was oily for more than 2 hours even after trying to remove it with water, grass and rocks. If they serve this daily to the God, even He/She/It/Whatever will get bad cholesterol. Oops, no bad mouthing.

Did I say climbing down was a piece of cake? While climbing up is a pain for the heart and lungs, climbing down is a pain for every damn part of the body. After a while, knees start to shiver crying for rest. We couldn’t rest as well as it would start aching too much to walk at all. I mean, we all know for sure that we wouldn’t be able to walk normally for the next two days but we can walk at that time because we didn’t rest. Any resting would fasten up the process of not able to move legs without a lot of pain. So we were forced to walk.

After climbing down a couple of mountains, Ananth couldn’t walk at all. He said that his knee muscles got twisted and every step is becoming a big pain. I was doing okay. His steps were slowing down progressively. After the fourth mountain, he was barely walking.

“Dei, let’s make an exchange”, Ananth said.

“What exchange?”, I know he wants to share his burden with me!

“You give me your bamboo stick, I’ll give you my backpack”

“Dude, that’s not exchange! It’s cheating!!”, I hold my bamboo stick strongly.

He was way too slow and I was accompany him. I walked with him, very very slowly. I let him go in front and realized something very strange. Ananth was competing someone. Yes, with his broken knee muscle and whole-body-aching situation, he was competing. Only that turned out to an ant.

Ant vs. Ananth!

It was a close competition but I couldn’t watch it for more than ten minutes. When I realized that Ananth is losing, I accepted for the exchange.

So, me with no bamboo stick and two backpacks. And Ananth with two bamboo sticks and no baggage. It was with bamboo sticks he was walking. The legs were just pulled along. In places where we had to crawl, he had a lot of pain.

It was a  pity situation but I must say that it was funny too. I mean, how else are we going to climb down all the way if everything is so serious. There is no way down but to walk. While it took around five hours for climbing up, it took us nine hours to climb down. The first mountain was the toughest, and took three and a half hours for Ananth. We reached the foothills finally at 3 pm.

It’s a different experience. It’s challenging, memorable and lovable. I have more to go but just not sure of four Ws out of the five Ws (who, what, where, when and why). I’m clear on the “why” part – because I want to. Age and time are the teachers. Let knowable unknown things unfold one by one.


I shall wait.

Velliangiri Mountains – 1
Velliangiri Mountains – 2



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