I also had to take Tina Di with me because she was having blisters on both her feet. So when I reached base camp, initially I thought I am gone…not a single bed was left so that I could at least keep my rucksack! Everyone grabbed their places…..finally I made it up beside soupayan biswas who was from my own city, Kolkata. For the next three days, I experienced the worst weather in my life. Because I have never been to such high altitude, what about others I don’t know. The first 3 days were full of fog, snowfall and rainfall as well. Though on the 2nd day, we went to rathong glacier for training. But we returned to base camp early due to deterioration of weather! We reached base camp on 28th sept and stayed there till 8th oct. In between we did 6days of glacier training where we learnt ice wall climbing, making anchor base, jumering and many more. Everyday after glacier training we used to have hot coffee at the glacier itself. But everyday how time passed there in glacier we never came to know. We used to leave base camp around 7am and return around 4pm.
Because everyday we have to travel 2hrs up and down each because rathong glacier is situated 2000 ft upwards and 4km from base camp. So on the day of ‘mahashashti’ our glacier training ended and everyone where feeling emotional….mine was not the same because I was feeling too much emotional….because at the same time I was missing my friends, my parents, my city…..from trams to jams….yellow taxis and mostly the Durga Puja. Uff! The smell of momos,fuchkas,biriyani,ice-creams were literally beckoning me!! Moreover, when it comes to Bengali girls, how could u just resist from thinking about those who come to baghbazar on the day of ‘Bijaya-Dashami’ donning that lal-par sada sari, nake noth, chul a khopa…and involve themselves in that razzle-dazzle of ‘sindur-khela’…..I was loosing my mind that day. In evening, the sky was clear…I was totally cut off from the world. My power bank was dead, my phone was switched off so no question of phone calls,messages.
I was thinking then what I am doing here?? Why me? Why BMC during the festival which I love the most?? Myriad shitty thoughts were coming into my mind then. But I somehow came out of that loop and had dinner and slept. Next day was a crucial day of my life as well as the course. You know what when u become most upset in life, life brings to u magic that u can’t imagine. Next day was SUMMIT DAY. So, next day we left for Mt. RENOK (16500ft.) around 7am…..that day will remain as a red letter day in my life. When I was at the top of the peak, I OVERCAME MY DIFFIDENCE…. Because I was the one with hypertension, I was the one without hiking shoes and many more. That day I came to know my worth, I came to know about what life is. We returned around 3pm and had our ‘bada-khana’ alongwith Advance Mountaineering Course. In between, on the final day of glacier training, in morning I got metal bite while washing my mestin after having breakfast.
And after that I fell on ground by slipping…because the night before there were heavy snowfall at basecamp! I also thought that I won’t be able to go to glacier because I directly fell on a big stone piece and got hit on my hip joint. Anyhow, gathering some courage I pushed myself to the glacier but that day we all had our ice-wall climbing competition…I tried my best but still slipped from the wall while climbing and I was disqualified thereafter. Actually what happened is that while climbing, my hip was paining but I couldn’t tell anyone and while after reaching a considerable height, I hit a portion with my ice axe but forgot to lock it.
And the patch of ice was also soft and axe couldn’t hold properly and as a result I slipped off. Ok!!! Finally we left base camp on 9th oct and reached yuksom in a single day. And we all know there is a saying, ‘dene wala jab v deta, deta chappad phad k!’ …Same I also got but….an abhorrent ankle twist in Phedang!! Next day the course was about to end unofficially because next day was the day of return to Darjeeling. So while in evening I tried to draw attention of the nursing assistant that I got an ankle twist today morning in Phedang, I noticed he was in a mood of jashn due to navratri and even many were in so. So I didn’t disturb him further and thought that I would adjust next day. But that was a wrong decision too. I must have had my ankles checked that day….otherwise I won’t have been in trouble next day. So we all left for yuksom next day and reached there just in 5hrs….but reaching till Tsachen from yuksom literally took out my breathe because my shoes lost grip and I was continuously slipping on mud.
Anyways I reached yuksom with a few more and had lunch there and left for Darjeeling on the first sumo and reached Darjeeling after long 6hrs…After reaching HMI I took a PEACEFUL BATH after long 19 days and had dinner and slept that day. Next day we all had our written test on morning. After that we all were released for an outing for 4hrs and after returning we all attended the graduation ceremony where the most coveted ‘ice axe badge’ is earned after successful completion of the course. The next day was a mournful day. We all had to depart for our destinations that is home. I got ‘B’ grade. That means I have to again do this course to get recommended for advanced mountaineering course. But I feel no remorse for my grade. At least I made good friends, unforgettable memories….I rediscovered myself, learnt to cope up with limited resources, learnt to adjust with emotions, learnt how to be friendly with 76 types of people with 76 different type of mentalities and many more.