Disclaimer: I have tried to recreate the events, locales, and conversations from my memories of them. The below-expressed views, opinions or analogies are personal and may not be in line with the widespread conceptions. Please go to Motorcycle Diaries -> India: Ocean To Mountains (or Click here) to check out the previous events.
Date: 13th August 2016; Route: Pang – Moore Plains – Debring – Leh
The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from. – Agent Smith
I was suffocating like someone was trying to choke me to death. I opened my eyes and realized I was drowning. I tried to move but I couldn’t, as if I was paralyzed. I have never been that scared in my life. I opened my mouth and gulped a gallon of water. And all of a sudden, I woke up and sat on my bed, it was cold and I was sweaty. I was falling short of breaths. Everything around me was floating, I felt I was high. I just closed my eyes and started breathing from my gut for few minutes. It helped me to calm down; I lay down on my bed and again went back to sleep. And everything just blacked out.
I actually wouldn’t mind waking up from a dream where I would ride with a girl into the horizon. It had been a few years that I had dreamt, I lost my touch, and of all days, it was today; and it was not even a dream, it was a nightmare. Fuck those people who say a dream is a sequence of images generated by your brain which your subconscious wants to see. For god sake, I don’t even know how to swim and I know for sure that my subconscious knows, and it wants me to live; I know, it wants a lot of things but to see myself as shark bait is not one of it.
Anyway, I had a rough night. Even though I felt better, I didn’t wanna wake up and go outside no matter how beautiful it was. I thought of going to a nearby Army Medical Camp and get some medicine and rest there for a day. But after a cup of tea and a glorious shit, like the one which makes you feel a pound lighter and your face glow, I felt better, so I decided to skip the medical checkup and ride on to Leh.
I couldn’t have made a better decision; the beauty of this world had healed my AMS. It was one of the most beautiful landscapes I had ever seen. I stopped my motorcycle in the middle of nowhere and there was a pin drop silence. There were no living things in the vicinity. But it was breathtaking, something that I cannot express in words. I just wanted to spend the rest of my life over there. It was surreal. I had a grin on my face as I rode the second highest pass in the world, Taglang La. After crossing the pass, I noticed, my partner had stopped. At first, I thought he might have stopped because I was lagging behind or let’s just say busy admiring the nature’s beauty. I stopped beside him, he said, he was dizzy. Though I wanted to say “Come on dude, this is not the place to get dizzy”, I told him to get down the bike, relax, drink some water and take deep breaths. He was still chased by AMS.
While we were relaxing, few riders passed by, and if you have been to Leh-Ladakh, you would know, there is a ritual that every rider follows; we acknowledge each other with thumbs up or any other sign to make sure that everything is alright and to strengthen the rider’s spirit. And if you are bogged down with something like AMS, that gesture is more than enough to keep you going. My partner started to feel better after few minutes and finally we reached Leh by evening.
P.S. Oh yeah, getting there is not easy and that’s the best part 😀