Thursday, July 2, 2009

The solo trekker

Whenever I tell people that I am off on a walk, the reactions I meet with range from dismay ("what? Alone! Wont you get bored? Wont you get scared?") to pity (poor thing..has noone to go with). Which surprises me a lot, because I would think that the natural reaction would be envy. Though I suppose that's just because I think tramping over the foothills is such an utterly fabulous thing to do.

It is definitely true that I go alone because I don’t have a standing (walking?) arrangement with a fellow trekker. But I suppose that if I did have such a thing, I would waste a lot of energy trying to wiggle out of the arrangement. Because I love, love walking alone.

And this is why.

Firstly, planning and logistics is incredibly simple. The negotiations involved are only between I, me, and myself- which is hard enough to make adding another bunch of opinions undesirable. I can change my mind enroute and no one will object.

There is no loss of izzat. I, me, and myself have seen each other sans any dignity whatsoever, which makes us pretty relaxed with ourselves. I can sit down and slide over a difficult slope, no worries. And I can be goofy. Remember the deer at Pari Tibba? I did not see it because I was gaily ricocheting off trees with the 'George' theme song in my head. Can't do that with a partner, uh uh. And the question of being embarrassed when i puff my way uphill does not arise. Just as trees that fall do not make a noise if there is no one to hear them, women saunter easily up the steepest cliffs when alone.

And on weekends, I pack away my sartorial common sense along with my spreadsheets. I am not going into details, but paint splattered kurtas are involved, and socks with orcas on them, and pink umbrellas. Be very glad I choose to walk alone.

And finally, there is responsibility. I am enough of a controlling Lady Macbeth that I prefer to be in sole charge of route planning, and enough of a Bottom that I goof up the reading of maps, instructions and signboards. When things go a wee bit awry-and they do- it is a lot easier to think that I am the only one 'paying for my mistakes'. Also sometimes, I am in enough trouble already without having to worry about the seven kinds of hell my poor friends might be tempted to pack me off to.

The downside? well, photos. This explains why most of my photos are of the scenery. But sometimes loved ones insist on seeing one in the snap. And this leads to efforts like this:


Anonymous said...

Hi, I am very much impressed by your solely trekking attitude. Hats off to you madam.

Ashutosh said...

I must say, the sense of humor or humour [depending on which English you follow] shines through most of your posts. It is an incredible quality to have; even if you choose to walk alone. Afterall; it's not always others that we need to thrill :)