On 9th July, I had one of the best experiences of my life. PGP17 was taken on a trek as a part of the foundation course on sustainability. The day started with a walk through the sacred forest of Mawphlang. It felt like I was stepping into an award-winning photograph of an exotic forest. The sheer variety of the shades of green that I was seeing was in itself stunning. To add to the beauty, we were walking along a large stream that lent itself wonderfully to photographs. We were privileged enough to see the sacred spots inside the forest where the locals conduct their rituals. It was a truly refreshing experience.
Lunch that day felt like an excerpt from an Enid Blyton book. We picnicked along the river Umiew, which means “flood of tears”. Sitting there, with that view, and with nothing else on our mind was a very different experience. Post lunch, we got to go into the exquisiteness that is Ladmawphlang. It started as a walk along the river. Soon, we approached a small hill and began the ascent. It was not a very challenging trek and gave me the energy to fully appreciate my surroundings. We could see the valley slowly open up as we went higher up the hill. It was a great view. However, it was still only the villages and towns that we could see. It was after one particular point where all we could see was just a green expanse. Since we were allowed to go at our own pace, we were all free to sit and take in the splendour for more than two hours. Sitting there, one among nature, with no signal or connectivity, was an amazing feeling. It was almost a spiritual experience. The view was so stunning that it did, in fact, need those two hours to take it all in full.
As we were getting ready to leave, we realized that none of us actually knew the way. We then were sitting around and waiting for some local to pass us so that we could request them for some help. After some time, we got lucky and found someone to help us find the way down. However, since there were still a lot of people behind us, we got yet another chance to sit and enjoy ourselves. Once we got to spot from where we could manage to return by ourselves, we settled down for the wait. By now, everyone was too tired to engage in chatter, and so the ambience itself was one of absolute quiet and peace. I felt a little sad when the rest of the group eventually caught up because that meant that my sojourn into the mountains had to come to an end.
This day is, without a doubt, one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The goals of the Foundation Course on Sustainability were fully achieved through this one trek; a love for our planet along with an appreciation of the fact that everything is finite and it is up to us to protect it.