Worth dying? | Poem written atop Kunti Betta

The thin line between life and death
Admires you as you gasp for breath

It asks ever so innocently
What do you desire so ardently?

That you annihilate your last slice of fear,
In this hysteria of uncertainty, your only savior

Skin looks too easy to scrape
Warm blood won’t be too bad to taste

Those fragile bones I might spare
If you tell me what brings you here

The stars over my head
The stars under my feet

Unsure if worth dying for
Sure not worth living without


I don't remember the exact time. It might have been 1 in the night at the base of the hill named Kunti Betta in Pandavapura. It was after 10 months that my palms felt the texture of a rock. It was different this time, very different. Last time I was climbing like a monkey. The feet were solid. The grip was firm. Breathing was smooth. All had changed. Every time my foot landed a little harder on a rock, I could feel a tremor through the leg. Hands had been reduced to a set of fingers. I could barely grip anything. I breathed heavier in first 20 steps than I did in entire ascend the instance before.

A person who would lead was one being looked after. It seemed I was having my glimpse of old age. A stone would slip here and there, and the tremor would travel deeper than just the leg. I saw downhill a couple of times and could visualize how easy and plausible it was to slip and just keep slipping and skidding. It didn't instill fear. It simply created a 3-D visual complete with audio effects in my head. Good imagination hurts. I kept going, sometimes against my will, sometimes with it. Body learns from defeat, heart doesn't. 

We reached the top. Everybody just lied down.  The last memory I had of lying on a rock was resting my broken spine on one like a cushion, waiting. I myself felt I was over thinking. That moment had gone but my mind was just correlating everything. I just admired the stars over my head and the lights underneath. The nerves calmed down. I breathed in the cold breeze and closed my eyes for a while. I felt peace, which I don't feel on a 6 inch thick mattress. 

Almost everybody had slept. It was at least 2 hours to sunrise. I pulled out notepad, pen and torch out of my bag. At an elevation of 2882m, I began to write. The only instance about which I can say I wrote a poem when high, like truly high. I tried to answer the question, which I knew would be asked again if I reach the ground. I got up and sat near the bonfire. On top of a hill, in the light of bonfire, this poem was written with a half keloided hand, which makes it pretty badass. 

Kunti Betta picture from the base
Kunti Betta, Pandavapura (130 km from Bangalore)

Putting this picture, just to tell that I reached ground on my own two feet. It was fun.

Thanks Abhay, Kurju, Mojo, Akshit for the laughter, support and uncle chips, in short for being brilliant comrades. Thanks Saumya and Nivedita, for making the tempo traveler time melodious, and sorry for stone age songs.

I would like to conclude it with enlightening words of Shri Shri Saurabh Kurjekar,
"Launde, (pause) sher hote hain"

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