I was convinced that sometimes a journey is all you need to learn more about the world and yourself. We are frequently caged by expectations from society, our families and ourselves. We measure our worth in terms of our accomplishments and how much material wealth we've accumulated. This unfortunately shapes our identity and decides our place in society. It is difficult to break away from this prescribed role and discover new facets to one's personality.
As a Bollywood music composer, I have a certain function and pre-conceived identity. Thus, when I mentioned to someone that I was embarking on a journey for a 100 days in the Himalayas, their response was about how I would continue working. For most people, being an explorer and a music composer are mutually exclusive identities. Surprisingly, it is my inquisitive mind that helps me create music. Without this curiosity, I would not be open to discovering new sounds.
A similar trait for seeking new experiences exists in my friend and co-traveller, Dhritiman Mukherjee. Dhritiman comes from a different world. He is laconic, choosing to only express himself through his photographs. Unlike me, he is not on social media. Neither does he believe that social media is necessary for full expression of the inner self. However, people who admire his work can be found all over the world. A renowned photographer for National Geographic and the BBC, Dhritiman is the only one in his field to have spent eight days with the elusive snow leopard. This is no ordinary feat and can only be achieved by an individual who possesses a deep understanding of animal behaviour. Dhriti has the rare ability to read animals and predict their movements. He is constantly unearthing new phenomenon in nature and capturing them through his lens. His spirit to learn about the unknown and pursue it at all costs was a significant source of motivation to me throughout our journey.
The Himalayas are a region where one needs to be prepared for the unexpected. It pushes a person out of their comfort zone and requires a huge level of adaptability. I was surprised by how accommodating we were, since both Dhriti and I are averse to traveling in groups. I believe what facilitated this cooperation between us was our shared vision to spread awareness about the Himalayan way of life. Having Dhriti as a companion made the physical journey less arduous. Watching this man’s uninhibited interaction with nature and ability to survive in extreme conditions encouraged me to go the extra mile. It opened a whole new way of looking at the world as I know it.
We soon understood that The Himalayas are home to some of nature's greatest mysteries. The sheer magnitude and extent of these mountains is the cause for diversity in this region. This heterogeneity is present not only in the landscape and natural life, but also in the unique cultures of the Himalayan natives. Come join us in our journey of a lifetime…