(This post is an off shoot from the main post, “The Endless *wow*.” It won’t really matter if you haven’t read it though.. )
On the morning when we were scheduled to go to witness the sun rising over the Tiger Hills, Darjeeling, we were to wake up at 4 in the morning. In that cold and with a bed as warm as ours was, it is an unbelievably impossible task to accomplish but with a will power I didn’t know I possessed, I managed to get up, get ready and scramble into the waiting vehicles with the rest of the class. The place was expected to be crowded so we were leaving a little extra early to get good places to view. It was still dark (Duh!) as we ploughed to the point and as expected, the place was overflowing with tourists and locals selling everything from coffee to ear muffs.
We dispersed all over the place, finding ourselves the best place we could secure. It was Cold, It was dark and most of us were too sleepy to even hold a camera steadily. The eastern sky was just a shade or two lighter than the rest of the inky blackness.
As I stood there by a railing and watched the tediously slow change in the sky, my sleep started slipping off me. With every passing second, I felt a little more awake, a little more present in the present. Eventually there came a moment where I could feel every particle of air that was entering my lungs and could feel the blood racing through every vein in me. I could see the colours changing from black to a deep purple to shades of the deepest red over a long period of time. It was like magic. Like some invisible had was making brush strokes on that giant canvas.
And then it was like a slow blush spreading across the horizon. The change from the dark hews to the purest of gold was so profound that it held me captive.
I didn’t take my eyes off the spot where the sun was to rise for a long time, but then, I heard a gasp somewhere behind and turned to find another white tip glowing at another point in the distance.
It took me a few moments to realise that the white point was the very tip of the snow covered Kanchenjunga. Over the next few minutes, it was like a competition between the sun and the mountains to out shine each other. As the sun steadily conquered the eastern sky, new peaks were clearing the dark and reflecting the most dazzling light. I have barely seen panoramic sight as breath taking as that. Who ever coined the phrase, ‘to bask in the glory of’ had probably seen a vision like this.
It was so dramatic that I felt like bursting into applause and almost expected a background score to go into a crescendo.
We stayed there for a long time post the sun rise and then made our way back to the cars.
I did leave the place with the class but I know some part of me is still there in that moment of the rising and it will stay there for all eternity.
In conclusion I’d say that though these were the best moments of the trip for me, they weren’t the only ones. In fact there were so many beautiful moments that I shared with my classmates that it is slightly difficult to keep track of them all and I probably won’t be too comfortable sharing a few of them. Yet, these remain the most magnificent moments of the entire journey to me and I’ll always be a little partial towards them.