Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Straight from the heart......4 ............(Trekking too much...the how come?????)....

A recent question that I thought worth answering (by sharing here) to all those that asked about how we manage time/effort/money to trek so much and so often. We have always wanted to do so, but what you see today and and getting there in our circumstances, ha really taken that much time to get there and how..........
Sports in my school days meant only the physical education activities conducted by the School teachers or the then available indoor or outdoor games in the halls/grounds of such educational institutions or some sport gymkhanas. Badminton, Table-tennis, carrom, cricket, Athletics, football, hockey, base-ball, throw-ball and similar ones, being the most popular games to play, then! During those times the likes of today’s famous gym franchisees like “Talwalkars”, “Gold gym” “Solaris” “Endurance”, not to mention a hundred others strewn across all cities today, were never thought, seen or heard of!! So in my school times “adventure sports” , trekking, mountaineering etc were almost ruled out.............Of course , College gave us the chance to participate in NCC, which gave us an interface to airgliding, para-jumping etc, but in a limited capacity!!
Sure, trekking did exist to an extent, but going out to faraway destinations with strange people was ruled out by parents (more due to their peers than anything else!!!!). I remember my mother being in awe of her superiors in the family and was always careful of not offending anybody!! So that anybody pointing an accusing finger at her for going against the “said and set” way of life of children, was nothing she would have tolerated. So whatever trails/treks were arranged by and from Schools is all we were allowed to go to..........
I was both a voracious reader and a dedicated sportswoman at that time......Actually enjoyed reading about anything and everything that I could lay my hands on........though, it had to depend on book libraries and not search engines or Amazon.com..... So also, was with sport that was easily possible and affordable!! All in all, we did easily “do-able” things.
One got to read a lot of books /articles on geography and hence dreamt of places one wished to travel......But yes, these could only be dreams then, as travel was an expensive as well as a complicated affair, especially if you meant long distance travelling. So in those days, we made the best with whatever was available and inspite of it all, was very happy to be doing that much.
Time flew fast and I was now married.............
Marriage brings with it a lot of responsibilities. In the beginning, between the day to day juggling of home, work-life and family-life, not to mention other innumerable other commitments/responsibilities of a then joint-family, sport and travel took a backseat!! We worked our way through life and with the salaries of those times (some 22 odd years ago), managed to save just enough for any unforeseen contingencies apart from running a home and family with its forest of relatives and friends.... Anything extra for a long-distance lavish travel was not affordable...... Still, being a hard-core sports enthusiast, I used to reserve an hour of my day for an aerobic activity, which I love, even today!!!We also did some weekend spend in the places near to Pune such as Panchgani/Mahabaleshwar, nearby kokan spots, day outings etc!!
Slowly the days went by and the responsibilities grew bigger(if not larger). We are a very big family and therefore a lot was expected in terms of celebrations and giveaways at the innumerable family functions , not to mention the monies to be kept aside for expenses that were to be assumed for my son, his education and other extra-curricular! Saving up for making a home on our own(which is I assume is every person’s dream) too, with no monetary help from anyone, also took a chunk of the money earned!!!
So by such time, we, as a couple, thought , we were ready to do our thing, in terms of affordability angle, work commitments had taken their toll and so planning beyond tomorrow was always out of the question.......Also work circumstances were such that my husband had to not only travel but also stay in another town for a couple of years......Thus rolled life and so in the time when we had loads of our other friends and relatives travelling, trekking etc, we both were struggling to make our time/effort and money ends meet.....
Then, I always dreamt of doing so many things. Sometimes, I even felt that I may never have the time left to do the things I want to do, but nothing is permanent and that phase of life ended too!
Suddenly my son was a grown-up , working individual and I decided to call off “working for money” way of life!! Money, how much ever earned, is always less, needed and welcome but for me , now, my life priorities have changed. Now, its mostly about my time for me, ie. the time has come for me to take life one day at a time!!! 
Finally I am there and for the last couple of years, I have been doing what I always dreamt of doing.................working on and off, trekking, travelling, just lazing, reading , writing, counselling the young, doing workshops I like.....the list continues and I hope for this time to last for a long stretch!!
So people, there u go.......................
Reaching here has not been really easy and therefore I value this newfound free time very much!! 
I know that some of the people would say that just because I could manage it, it may not be possible for all. The reasons for saying this may be not only both the ‘health’ as well as the ‘monetary’ aspects, but some other binding responsibility of an elder or a young person, either dur to old age or because of their being physically/mentally challenged , demanding a 24 x 7 x 365 days attention span...........But I don’t think this would be true of all my fellow-readers here, and if one concentrates more on keeping good health by giving oneself some time to do any kind of physical activity of one’s choice(and it need not be something you have to pay for); such as an hour of walk and/or some bending-stretching excercise at home, you will all be able to do much more than I could ever dream of!!!
For those of you who are not bound by circumstances beyond your control, I would say, It is neither the time or money that takes what you feel upto; (cos travel can be arranged within those constraints) but, It is merely your strong and determined will combined with your good health which will take you a long way and help you undertake all that you wish for and much more!!
So to all of you there.............”Happy trekking!”....cheers....