Trekking and mountaineering had always been my dream. However, belonging to a middle-class Indian family which valued high education and a secured job, I got drifted apart from my soul, not for too long though !!
I followed the rules set down by our society and my family like a good son not knowing or rather not paying attention to my inner callings. I studied Engineering, earned a good job, a high salary, and respect from my family and community. However, soon I realized that I wasn't happy from my soul and something unknown was eating me up. It took time for me to understand the reason which until then I had wrongly thought to be a more difficult job, shifting to a foreign country or much higher salary. Having experienced a lot of multi-day long treks in the remote corners of the Himalayas, photographing it, sharing my heart out with so many unknown people as if I knew them for so long, becoming a child once again.. My soul remained in the Himalayas itself. Only my body was going to the office and no job in this World or any amount of salary could get that back. However, it took a rock-climbing accident and a broken tibia to get my mind clear of the things that my heart wanted. An accident which I thank till date.
I left behind all the luxuries of life and a high-paying, fast-growing job of the corporates, went against the wishes of my family and the laws of the society, to get back to the Himalayas. Himalayas had always been my first friend right from my childhood, where I grew up in. Be it running away (and getting beaten for it) from my home to swim in its rivers, or going for hikes around to the corners of the mountains nearby with friends, looking out for exciting elements (as a child ) to play with, be it hidden waterfalls, caves, birds, oranges and lots more. After I had started to earn, I went further up in the mountains and travelled extensively in the remote regions of the Himalayas. That's where my soul wandered around, and when I got back to the Himalayas, detaching all my materialistic ties with this World, I started to breathe free, again after so many years. That's where an Introvert me became an extrovert self and got back my life with myself on the driver's seat now.
I used to trek before but after leaving my job, I truly proved the freedom to myself. I trekked deep in the Himalayas alone, unguided or rather guided solely by the moods of the mountains and my interactions with them. I made lots of new friends from the mountains, slept alone in a stone cave, climbed mountains, and experienced everything that the Himalayas had to offer. Never scared, as I knew the Himalayan Goddess would keep me safe, cause I loved her truly and made it a point to never harm any elements of it. I understood the importance of training to be further self-accomplished and climb higher. I Completed the mountaineering and Skiing courses to be a better trekker and climber. I followed my honest instinct and set myself free. Everything I did came naturally to me, without judging myself too much. Trekking the Himalayas unguided and guided, picking up skiing, bicycling, motorbiking, making new long-lasting friends each day, I started to live my dream life, a free soul.
Money was important I knew that. To earn money, firstly I cut down on all my useless habits like heavy smoking, drinking every day, watching movies in theatres, wasting money on trendy fashion etc. I returned to my village and initially, I freelanced as a software developer to make websites and application software for small businesses in my hometown. However, I didn't like it too much as it started to grow and meant the same corporate life again which I ditched. So I gave up on that too.
I wanted to travel, climb, and see experience the Himalayas from every corner, from every angle. Soon, I joined an organization as a Trek leader thinking that it would allow me to earn money as well as stay connected to the Himalayas, and give me opportunities to explore the Himalayas further. For a hint, they call themself India's Largest Trekking Organization that has taught Indians how to trek. Well, they could not teach me anything about trekking, but they did teach me a lot of other non-sense things around trekking and the business around it. I did not know until then that this will be one of the major turning points of my life - a big eye-opener rather.
For the first time, I was confronted with the commercial side of this travelling in the Himalayas. In the past, I had never used the services of a Tour Package Provider. Hence everything was new and felt very wrong to me. Being a purist, I did not quite like the way we used to make people trek and the negative impact of the same on the fragile ecosystem of the Himalayas. I did some 18 treks in a year leading about 550 trekkers and managed about 2000+ trekkers as my added responsibility of Operational manager. What I experienced was great learning but below the par for my inner soul's conscience. I could not continue but it was not just about continuation, but solving a problem and leading by example.
My conscience was awaiting a major change. Here from inside, there was everything in the name of the Himalayas, but the Himalayas were not in it.
That's when this strong idea overtook my mind to clean the space with my own ability as much as I could. It was not possible without making trekkers realize the actual might of the Himalayas, the spirituality of its presence to be inspired from, the rare beauty which makes you go silent at, rather than making it loud and showing it off !!
To start with, I started an organization and named it "Himalayan High Altitude Treks And Expeditions".