Thursday, February 21, 2013

'Where the land ends and sea begins' and I got caught in between.

See and imagine the sound of atlantic 

'Where the land ends and sea begins' and I got caught in between’

Where it all happened:
"Breathe, take a deep one and come up. You can either come or get lost here. There's no other way around. ", compassionate or not, those words were the only flicker of hope for me when I was stuck at the bottom of the cliff at the western most tip of Europe,Cabo Da Roca, in Lisbon, Portugal.

Commotion in my mind:
Because apart from those words, there was no hint of living beings (or perhaps there were a few in the North Atlantic Ocean, had I waited and stuck around for a meeting). And the water was lashing out loud against the shores. But it didn't sound life threatening when I had climbed down there. It was one of the most exotic natural settings I had seen. I closed my eyes and told my friend to shut up.  My mind spoke out loud inside me at that instant, “You have to live a long life to see such miracles of the world again and again. This is no big feat.” Believe me, for the fat me, it was. It's a different thing to tuck your tummy in and not breathe for a few seconds when you get photographed. Yes, even then one thinks of the life ahead and the pictures you have to live with and answer for. But this one was different; I wanted to live to see more of life.

The thought of why the hell did I follow my friend down there. He was lean and agile, things I can totally not relate to. Everybody else had stayed up the cliff, taking in the serenity of the scenery around them. What madness had wrecked my mind? After every 10 steps I climbed down, I was sure I couldn't do it further. In a rotten and fearful tone, I used to lash out at him every time, “I CANT DO THIS!”, and he retorted, "Tum fattu ho, world's biggest one" (In a humble translation, it would mean: I am a loser, big time). I sincerely believe you shouldn't take such mockery seriously like I do.

But I did and invited all the misery that followed.

An hour ago: Ranting and bickering, I had climbed down real close to the shore. I could hear the sound of the cascading spring by the side, but couldn't see it. The view, curtained up by the rocks around, was playing with my curiosity. I had to make a final dash down to the bottom. When you re that close, you do get enticed into taking another leap. But this one was tricky, I could have managed to jump down but coming up from the shore leading to the narrow opening beside the spring was surely going to be a pain for me, I knew it. And yes, that was where I was stuck for that moment: An hour later.

Right in the moment:
Back to the deep breath: I kept my eyes closed, didn't look up or down. Sized up the distance I had to hop and latch onto the next rock. Tucked in my tummy (while not being photographed, this time around). With a countdown in my head, in those dark, blacked out seconds, I was there, latched onto the next rock, still precarious, yet happy to have made the move. Life seemed simpler in that moment. Even though my favorite kohl and what not dropped out of my bag, while I was avoiding to see anything and care for anything in that one- make it or miss it moment- of hop!(Yes, I cared for carrying a side bag full of belongings for a trek. I am just amazing).

That one hop buzzed in Neil Armstrong’s words loud in my ears (adapted to my situation): One single hop for me, was one giant leap to live on for the next many years!

However it went, thanks to the experience, I got to see the best ever place I have been to. Thinking of those gushes of water pounding at the shores, making roars and escaping out from the arch of the rock in the midst of the ocean, I feel Wow! I have the answer to the most adventurous thing I have done till now. 

P.S. On climbing up, which I did a lot faster than climbing down, I found out that I had seen something down there, about which I hadn’t enquired about at that time. I was too busy scrambling for my life. It was a stick tied down to the rocks with a message floating in the air. Later a localite informed me that it was in the memory of a Norwegian pianist who had perhaps slipped and died there in Cabo Da Roca last year. Bless his soul. Numb yet taken aback, I felt lucky to have escaped that fate.

Sharing with you a few of those moments captured on  a phone cam:

This is a step away from where I got stuck. 

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