Monday, 12 November, 2007
At the peak of Magic in the Himalayas...
Base camp at 234 Transit Camp’s Officers’ Mess. The morning on 5th Nov. had the usual chill there. The curtains of fog were down everywhere. Still, like graceful artistes, butterflies fluttered here and there and winter birds chirped majestically. The Vismay Swaraj Yatra entourage was ready for an expedition to the Himalayas.
Subedar Rajinder Chowdhuri alerted them to get into a modified military bus. The bus had the capacity to protect its commuters from climatic severities. The vehicle moved. From 5 Miles point, army’s specially made apparels to beat the cold were gathered. Crossing the ice-cold lake Tsongu, the vehicle proceeded through elevated, roads that were too narrow to allow at a time two vehicles in opposite directions.
Unfathomable depths along the edges the roads were indeed scary. As the vehicle conquered heights, thick cover of clouds concealed those horrifying sights. After three hours, the magic team was carried to Nathu La, the elevated trade corridor between India and China. They were led to a short passage of steps. Though their hearts were full of renewed energy, the magic troupe moved slowly. They were led by the words of Commanding Officer Col. K.N. Radhakrishnan: ‘don’t try to be a Gamma in the land of Lama’. That means you have to be as passive at Nathu La as you can or will faint of Oxygen shortage. Yes, Nathu La also had a passive history. Even though a famous point at the ancient Silk Route, Nathu La was reopened for trade only last year after a closure of over four decades owing to a dispute between the two nations.
While returning, Mr. Chowdhury complimented: “It’s for the first time that I found a civilian team returning without any of them fainting. This proves that all of you are healthy. Congratulations”. Nathu La has this message: be energetic in your hearts even as you are passive.