More than skin deep.

The hot smoke blows up from the engines of a train and one’s face contorts and burns under its sensation. The rush of cool air once the train sets in motion creates the perfect mood for a good night’s sleep. Leaving the nauseous and sultry heat of urbanity to enter the chilly atmosphere of the hills in the early morning hours in a car leaves a sensitive trail of goose bumps along the pores of one’s skin.

The chill of the hills welcoming us as we slowly go up the altitude. En route from Siliguri to Maneybhanjyang, October 2019.

The sense of touch brings a stronger rapport with our surroundings and lets us feel all those beautiful sensations. Just as a needle pierces the skin and blood starts oozing out, a strong sensation of something makes one exude gallons of emotions to comfortably drown in, and that gets etched in the memory like a wound settles permanently somewhere on the body.

After a few hours of continuous uphill trekking, a hiker feels his or her muscular legs getting heavier, requiring a bit more strain with each step. The straps of the rucksack bear down on the skin of the shoulders, provoking chills of pain along the spinal cord. The sharp rays of the sun burn the skin and droplets of sweat run down the forehead. The accumulation of these sensations constantly challenges his or her peace of mind on this rugged terrain, and makes him or her look up at the sky and harness more spiritual energy to tackle this ordeal.

Just hiker things. On the trail to Sandakphu, October 2019.

As the raindrops gather momentum in the middle of a thick grey mist, those uncovered heads get soaked and ready to catch a terrible cold. Feet begin to rush for the nearest cover despite dangerous slippery rocks obstructing the way. Yet some overjoyed souls welcome the rain and are happy to be drenched completely.

When the strong fingers gripping onto narrow cracks and pinch holds to supply balance to the body climbing a formidable rock wall eventually lose their hold, the climber falls and gets a nice bloody scrape on his or her forearm. Then the blood trickling down the skin spells out pain and also an unmatched thirst for thrill, serving as a souvenir of a well-spent adventure.

The balance of your feet is very important while climbing. Mathaburu Hills, West Bengal, September 2017.

In a cold, shivering environment in the cradle of a mountain, the evening creeps in silently, bringing along with it bone-chilling winds that freeze every bare patch of skin, crack open hard lips which bleed and make fingertips go numb. While huddling inside thick layers of wool or wind-cheating jackets, the warmth of the crackling flames of a bonfire offer a good solace. The sensation of a hot glass of tea nestled between cupped palms with the steam wafting up and comforting one’s cold face are very welcome indeed.

The stories of the skin are stored up carefully and come back to tingle us when an old memory flashes by. Whether it be a painful accident of slipping on an ice wall or lying down on green grass to rest one’s tired muscles in a beautiful valley, all those memorable sensations return to drag our hearts back to those places again.

P.S. – The last photo had been clicked by one of my college mates.


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Published by alientrekker

An alien cherishing her best moments on some mountains of the earth.

11 thoughts on “More than skin deep.

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