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Red Riding Hood – The warrior : Ek Kahani ladki aur Pahadon ki (Chandrashila Peak)

Prologue: Her pillow was wet with tears, fear gripping her.. fist’s tight, an unknown power pulling her towards the sky. She held her pillow tight giving into her fear of unknown, resisting her level best. Eventually the hands could hold no more and with a swift lift she went out and over, soaring higher and higher, clenched fist and wet eyes she feared the worst. She fights her fears all thoughts jumbled as to how she can fight and then fear gave way to strength and she felt something soft against her cheeks. Eyes half open she saw the most amazing sight, through the clouds she floated higher into the sky, like a free bird and came the giggling. She looked around and saw how beautiful the earth looked from there, lovely green and blue and earthy, all colours at display. She laughed at her inhibition to taste the unknown giving up to her fear even before exploring the truth and here she was on top of the world, loving it…smiling, the Red Riding Hood conquered her fear !!

‘Ek Kahani’: The door bell rang and with a bang came in reality, the maid was here for work. Still living the feel of that beautiful feeling of the sight she saw had butterflies fluttering in her tummy. Moving into the day with evening setting in, came friends for chit chat and coffee. The buzzing of laughter and talks rolled out into a plan, a plan to try something new, something different, something adventurous. That’s how trekking trip to Chopta-Chandrashila-Tunganath-Deoria tal took shape. Uneasy with the idea still could not express as the excited expression on the face of bubbling buddies were too much for refusal.

Agreeing reluctantly, thinking about just about good times with friends, kept all the negative thoughts at bay. The D-day dawned and lifted her rucksack and moved to the station for the Journey to Chopta. At Haridwar all de-boarded after a non stop laughing riot in the train, drove down to Chopta and the fun moments continued. It was dark when we approached our camp, it was gloomy and the out of comfort zone feeling started to hit. To add on to the woes came in sleet, no power, rocky floor as bed started to build up into the worst living nightmare. Night was freezing and the tears rolled down, not a wink to sleep with thunder and sleet rocking the tent, it felt like the starting of the dream the other day, fear gripped and she was terrified about what was coming up next, fear unkown.

An older friend much wiser did the trick, she challenged her fear and said “You do or not do, but I will”. That did the trick and she started to get her strength together with thoughts ‘if she can then I surely can’. Her pace started to increase, smile started to play on her face, she looked around engulfing in the sight of the ‘bugyals’(meadows) and the red rhododendrons blooms and sighed, “looks not so bad”.

It got tougher as she climbed higher up the Himalayan mountain and the challenge bigger, but she was now charged.. chirping … smiling and loving what she saw. In no time she hit her target, the Chandrashila Peak which offers one of the most amazing view of the Himalayan ranges around, there she stood breathless, eyes wet with unbelievable beauty she was witnessing, beaming with pride on her achievement, just loving every moment of it…

       

It was just like the dream where she saw the beautiful earth from the sky above, here she stood on the top of the world, looking at one of the most scenic visuals earth can offer. On her victory even the nature showered on her…not the flowers as she stood way above the tree line, but with one of nature’s best creation..the butterflies.

Fear and inhibitions was now completely pushed out by her courage and the determination to explore the world – her ‘fear unknown’ took over.  Here realization dawned, it was just all in her mind, the fear, the reluctance to venture into unknown, ending with a conclusive realization of – one gets the best only when you step out of your comfort zone and give yourself a chance, make a courageous try before you quit. A strong woman she is and will be always, just like the little Red Riding Hood – The real warrior !

Epilog: The character here ‘The Red Riding Hood’ or the story here is not fictitious but real, Arpita Sharma from Gurugram, an HR professional, is the brave one, the real warrior. However a little ‘tadka’ of imagination is added for a twist, enjoy reading !!

Arpita Sharma ~ ‘The Red Riding Hood’

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