[Thread on survival, and being granted a second life]

7 am, started the trek to Tulian Lake.

1 pm, Reached the majestic lake after the single most gruelling trek I've been part of, and which I had duly and thoroughly underestimated But what followed was sheer horror.
4 pm, We started our descent as it began to get dark. To make matters worse me & my trekking mate lost our way, separated, each of us left on their own. It was past sunset by now.
7 pm, I had to trek through the forest in pitch dark & the forest was playing tricks. Faces, images, it's eerie enough being in a forest, imagine being there in the night. Especially that part of the forest very often frequented by bears.
Every sound is ominous. Getting paranoid is only natural. To further complicate things, I twisted my ankle and broke my toe nail.
I decided to stick to the only hack I knew. Following the river downstream. But like I said, the forest is a maze at night, it plays tricks. I would walk beside the river for an hour & then I'd suddenly find myself trekking upstream rather than downstream.
As desperate as such a time can be, your survival instinct kicks in. I survived close shaves, sliding & slipping almost into the abyss of a ferocious river, hanging on to a tree with dear life.
I survived getting sucked in by the wet earth, a bit like quick sand, drenched & sucked in up to my thighs, somehow found it in me to scratch & crawl my way back, couldn't save my shoes though.
11 pm, after 4 hours wandering the forest in the night and with no hope left, I decided I had to sleep over in the forest itself & hope to God that a bear doesn't devour me & I see the morning sun. I wrote down a few farewell notes in my phone for my loved ones.
Completely starved, dehydrated, broken bones, achingly, as I lied down to sleep in dread, I looked to my right & I saw what was nothing short of redemption.
I saw a hint of human civilization, human contact, a light flickering in the dark & I picked myself up, ecstatic, I struggled towards it with whatever life I had left in me & my legs, or the lack of it. It was a temporary shelter of the Gujjars which they call a Doka.
They took me in, gave me shelter, fed me. A family of a mother & her three daughters. Four women who I remain indebted to forever.

I was born again, 12/09/2020. And as I write this, I'm just one day old.

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