The Climb – A Life Lesson Learnt

– A Travelogue

The Backdrop- The Build-up to the Nature Trips

The Himalayas have had a fabled charm for me since the days of my infancy. Later, as a 6-year-old, I recall my walks by the banks of the river Alaknanda (a Himalayan river), while on my way to and back from school. I would feel the aromatic verve of the breezing apple and peach-laden trees spread along the course of the river-bank. Those were the days, I would collect the little pebbles and cowrie shells like the rarest of diamonds and pearls! As kids aren’t much given to the logics that condition the adult world, I talked to the rivers, clouds, and the hills back then and found them all to be talking back to me! Only that, I wasn’t quite conscious of the constant mental dialogue that I indulged in with these divine emblems of nature.

Subconsciously, my mind got programmed to love the quintessential beauty of nature- the numerous hues of the sky, the myriad teeming wild phlox that glisten in the dewy morns, the blue-green hills that beckon the ageless horizons, the ravishing rivers gurgling in eternal jest through the ravenous vales, the swans, quails, and cuckoos that chirp and coo through the brushing winds … it is the love I carry to this very day.

 A Life Lesson at Khajjiar, Chamba District

One such trip that took me back in time was the one that I made in January 2020 to Khajjiar– a tiny hamlet nestled in the Dhauladhar ranges of the Western Himalayas. This tiny fairy tale of a town is located in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh (a Union Territory from North India). It is just about 15 miles away from Dalhousie. So, by default, it is counted and called Dalhousie even when it’s NOT. And, I am, most unwittingly, guilty of this miscalling as well.

The almost baffling volumes of snow that hadn’t melted since 14th December 2019 (last year) adorned the coniferous-pines and the arching hills of the blissful refuge. My main attraction was the road that led to the Chamba National Park which is 8.6 miles from Khajjiar.

The next day as I walked along the pearly snow-white route to Chamba, I came across a snow-covered steppe of sorts that sported a resort and a woody retreat right at its peak. From the looks of it, it seemed too easy to climb the steps through the hillock and reach right up to the very top of the steppe. Although the road I was on would have eventually lead me to a legal and cobbled street showing the way straight into that resort, I choose my way via the steppe.  And so began my epic climb that lasted well over an hour.

There is something uncannily mercurial about determination. It quickly slips away, if one doesn’t persist with it.

Yet, if your resolve is worth more than a mere half-hearted acknowledgment, then it crowns your efforts with success. This spectacularly enjoyable yet arduous uphill climb re-enforced the determination back in me. It is the desire to get to grips with the uncertain terrains of my life. Life that apparently might be perceived as easy yet discerned through experiences as tough is worth the sincere effort of a push and a climb.

Watch the video to discover more …

Take care …


Rajat Kapoor
Rajat Kapoor
His name is Rajat Kapoor. A former FM radio show presenter in English for 5 years (2000-2004) around the national capital region of Delhi, India. In 2005, he transitioned his career path to communication/soft skills coaching that notably and remarkably lasted till April 2020. Rajat shares distinct views on a range of topics viz. environment protection, climate change, human evolution, disruptive innovation, spirituality, holacracy, change management, assertive behavior, and more. Has an innate penchant for poetry. He celebrates the miracle of the cosmos, human existence, and the mystic message that springs from the everyday common and not so common occurrences. Rajat thinks of the green hat solution-based industry approach. Aspires for resilience and an inclusive model of work-culture that respects diversity and personal freedom. A new management style that nullifies hierarchy/bureaucracy. Contributes to the creation and networking of self-empowered and free global communities. Desires an ecologically stable and resplendent Earth that gets enriched by giving it's bounties to Man and not be plundered the way it does presently. Cheers!

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  1. Charlotte,

    Heartened by the fact that you took a liking to the view captured in my video 🙂

    The mountain ranges I captured are called Dhaulagiri Ranges (Western Himalayas). The undulate at a height of 8000 ft above the sea level. The place’s name is Khajjiar- a small hamlet near Dalhousie (a popular Himalayan Retreat) in India.

    I too felt breathlessness (like you do) up there specially when I climbed the stairs. But, I would trudge and halt every few minutes. Deep breathe and move further down the snow. You mentioned that you ski. I’d love to hear more about your experience with it?

    You are so right, unless one is adept and skilled with sking or walking in the snow, venturing out should be avoided.
    I had put on sportwear to help me get a grip. But to be fair, unless trained it shouldn’t be risrked. I self-coached my self before the climb began. I pounded deep into the snow to get a grip. The snow hadn’t hardened and my feet seemed to stick in- and that did the trick for me.

    My life lesson learnt – what seems to be apparently easy, at times isn’t so. (Snow steppe from the looks of it seemed to be an easy climb), yet as I began the climb, it seemed a near Herculean task. Even so, I gathered my determination and grip (on level 2) and in the next 1 hour was able to make it to the woody resort (that sat on the top of the hill).

    Keep Shining …

  2. What a beautiful view, Rajat, thank you for sharing it with us.

    How high up is this? Feet of Meters as suits you. I always find the first couple of days on the mountain it is hard to breathe; I wish it was just because the views are breathtakingly beautiful.

    Particularly because snow can be a bit slippery, I always find myself very present when walking on snow or skiing. There can be a high price for letting the mind wander – to be paid in both bruises and humiliation.