“I was closest to my father; he meant the world to me. But as they say, life is uncertain. It took a turn for worse and I lost my father to cancer. My world came crumbling down.
Unable to summon the strength to deal with the loss, I turned to alcohol. I could only go through each day if I was out of my senses. I felt the pain a little less that way.
Besides drinking and smoking, the only thing that comforted me was spending time in nature. So in 2016, after finishing my graduation, I went on my first trek to Hampta Pass.
Spending those peaceful days in the mountains allowed me to come to terms with reality. Plus, I was grateful that I was fit enough to do the summit despite my unhealthy addiction.
The trek brought me back to my senses. I came out of my unwanted habits and started trekking regularly. In the next two years, I went on 8 more treks!
Neha with a dog on the trek
In 2019, I was going to hit the double-digit mark; I was all set to go on my 10th trek. But, once again, the uncertainty of life hit me.
A day before my expedition, I met with an accident. The shin bone of my right leg was broken. To mend it, a plate and a screw were inserted. I didn’t know when would I be able to walk again.
It took me a year to just get back up on my feet. I then gradually started walking. Once I made enough recovery, there was just one thing that I wanted to do - go on a trek. However, the pandemic made my wait longer.
It was mid of 2021 and I hadn’t been on a trek for almost 2 years. I was to undergo another operation, to get the plate and the screw removed, in January 2022. I knew I won’t be able to trek for another year after the operation.
So I decided to go on one before that. The pandemic situation was also a lot better by then.
Neha taking in the views on the Kuari Pass Trek
Finally, in November 2021, I did the Kuari Pass trek. That too without any major difficulty. I was so uplifted that I also went to Brahmatal in January 2022, just before my operation!
The sense of satisfaction and joy I felt after completing these treks cannot be expressed in words. It made me realise that we can achieve much more than we think. We just have to push ourselves a little harder."
- Neha Kotian, Indiahikes Trekker