Eyes filled with fear, care, anger and tears were looking at me. “Listen to me, Dad is not happy, girls going out is not safe, don’t you read newspapers about all those incidents? Are there any girls with you?“. “Please Mom, I won’t stop this time now. I have been eagerly waiting for this day, I am going and that is final”, my words were determined. “Why do you have to go?”. I had no answer to this question. I preferred staying quiet. “Can’t you stay here and help me, spend time with family…?”, she uttered in an agitated voice. “Sleep mom, I am leaving at 4, I will be fine, don’t worry.”, my attempt to quell her worries was in vain. With a fierce look, she left.
“Am I doing something wrong? Mom and Dad are not happy. I have never been to Panvel, I know nothing about the place. What if something really goes wrong? How will I face them? “, my inner guilt was crying out loud. I closed my eyes and I could only see this image Kalavantin Durg it was, the ant hill..!!!This instantly emancipated my critical inner voice. I was motivated now.
Yes, I was going, I was going for myself.
This ant hill drove me crazy. After earnest efforts, I learned about Brahmanti365, a Mumbai-based hiking group. I was going through them to fulfill my desire.
I wished I could directly reach Panvel to avoid slow bus ride of 3 hours. A bumpy ride of six-seater to Thakurwadi from Panvel and the wait was over. Amused eyes of the trek lead and other group members welcomed me. After a short introduction session, I took my first step to encounter the most memorable moments.
It was a muddled village route. A baby waterfall welcomed us at the start of the rocky climb. I preferred taking brisk, muddy routes through dense trees to avoid longer trails. There were no drizzles that day, I missed the rains. But, the cold breeze kept me motivated. For first timers, the climb was exhausting and many of my group members were panting.
We had reached a plateau, where all decide to take an energy break. There were many nature lovers with cameras, attempting to capture the mesmerizing views.
My cheeks were flushed with enthusiasm when I saw the Kalavantin pinnacle standing with pride. I could hear an ardent voice of the pinnacle was calling me to blend into the alluring clouds.
So, I could not control myself and I continued moving ahead, while others decided to chill. The ascend hereafter was through forest and thus was quite slippery. A small slip of foot would have hindered my journey so I was climbing cautiously.
There it was, I had reached the foot of Kalavantin Durg. It was like a rock pole carved with stairs. Thank god it was not raining..!!
I took my first step towards the peak. Water was flowing down through these stairs, as it had rained heavily the last day. The mud from my shoes made it more slippery. The steps were uneven which made the climb a tricky one.
On the midway, I overheard “good going girl”. A middle-aged man climbing at his slow pace cheered me. “Good going by you sir, you are an inspiration”, I said to myself. Now I took faster steps in the urge to summit Kalavantin. After a few steps, I would look around and get engrossed into the lush greenery.
Once the steps were done I reached another flat area. A scary buddy was welcoming everyone at this point. Many cameras were pointed at it, as it stood still with its pose.
Now, I was just one more hurdle away from my conquest. This was a difficult section, so the trek lead laid down ropes to ease the climb.
Wohhhhooowooohhh….!!! I was at the top. My anxious nerves had calmed now.
Nature was amazing. The clouds were amazing. Prabalgad was amazing. The silence was amazing. The feeling was amazing.
Holding this victory banner made me feel as the conqueror. I had seized the battle with myself. The battle against my fears, my insecurities, my negative inner voice, my regrets.
Yeah, I am a conqueror..!!
I had surrendered myself to the serenity of Kalavantin Durg. I don’t remember myself being so happy and satisfied earlier. A vibe of inner peace and happiness brings a smile on my face even today.
I now don’t have a grudge of not obeying my parent’s decision.
“Why do you want to go again?”, I finally found an answer for you, Mom…!!!