It was a discomfort of a freaky sort I have faced on my last Sunday trek. Four of us started before sunrise, to reach the Kondapalli forest range a forty-minute drive from our city. The plan was to trek through an easy to climb hillock and capture the dense terrain of winter greenness.
It discouraged me the moment I saw the steep path I have to climb; it appeared like I need to bow down pushing forward finding the way up through needle-like leaves, hard spiked twigs. Fifteen minutes later, a few scratches on my hand and face, I’m struggling for my breath, and I don’t know where I’m heading. My other trek-mates full of energy, a third of my age (58) were effortlessly finding their way up. They tried their best to keep me comfortable in my climb.
I know it is a two-hour climb to maneuver; I’m quick to decide I can’t make it. And I asked my team-mates to go ahead leaving me and my gadgets in a safe clearing. I’m left alone with a three-hour wait fenced by hard rocks, bushes, trees, and a frightening precipice.
Gathering my wits and my artistic nerve I shuffled around focussing on the leaves, parched bushes, huge boulders, the gorgeous hidden patterns, and a mosaic of colors, interlocking branches, and the trees dressed in colors of green, yellow, earthen brown and thick blue sky as a backdrop. The winter sunlight warmly streaming in bathing my tensed body was a bonus. You can see the results.
Kondapalli forest range is in Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh, India.