Remembering the Hill People

I spent a week with the ‘hill people’, as they called themselves, last week while trekking in the Himalayas. A detailed post on the experience is due on Saturday. I’ve been saving it for the weekend since it’s hard to do justice to a (likely lengthy) post of that nature on a weekday before heading to work.

Our Sherpa’s/guide’s were locals or people of the hills and we occasionally had conversations about life in the hills. There’s only one word for it – Tough.

As I describe the trekking experience to friends, we went from technology, electricity, running water to no technology, no electricity, running water to no technology, no electricity, no running water. We were in places where the nearest doctor was 2 and a half hours away, the nearest school one or more hours away. The needs were very basic and convenience was alien.

(Kids walking to school early in the morning through some of the steepest trails I’ve had to climb)

As is common with such hardship, the people were wonderful. They had almost no sense of hierarchy in their midst. As part of our lunch during the treks, we would stop by in a home for lunch. Our sherpa would run into the kitchen and begin preparing noodles at top speed. Chop vegetables, cook eggs etc etc – no qualms whatsoever. People were friendly, they wore a smile more often than not and were warm and hospitable. Perhaps the quest for survival made them more humane. There was no need to worry about promotions at work, politics and power games, career switches and the like.

In many ways, the life of the hill people reminded me of two things I would like to do.

I would like to stop complaining. I think I have made progress on this front over the years but I still do a bit of complaining and justify it saying a bit is good for me. I’d like to take it off completely and see where I go. This is not going to be easy but really, looking at the kind of untold comforts I have in comparison to the hill people, I really have no right to complain.

I would like to take the stairs more. It’s amazing how much walking these folks do in comparison to us. No lifts to climb the steep inclines and long walks every day. That can only be good for you. I take the lift very very often. I’m going to change that.

Time to start changing the ‘I would like to’ to ‘I do’. Now.