I have been standing here for some thousands of years. Year by year, layer by layer, my ever-changing existence took this present form. On the surface, I am all covered with tender and soft snow. But on the inside, I am made up of hard and resilient rocks which have stood with me since times immemorial, through all thick and thin. Every morning the sun plays hide and seek with me, hiding behind me, it changes its colours and bewitches my visitors. The moon smiles at me every night. It seduces me touching me with its shiny light. My visitors get overwhelmed watching such a grand play of lights and colours. Some just bow out of veneration and love, seeing such a spectacle of lights playing. Reflected lights from my snow-clad peaks go piercing into the hearts of my visitors and when they pay their respects to me and my mother nature, I smilingly acknowledge them with a peck of soft breeze touching them on their faces.

Thousands of them come to visit me every day; some seeking adventure, some seeking solace; some to celebrate their happiness and some to find a safe haven in their sadness. I watch them all; I watch their expressions and I study their faces. I have seen the sad and the happy faces, the mischievous and the sincere faces, the restless and the relaxed faces, the grave and the smiling faces, the mournful and the jolly faces. Just like my many layers and mutilations, I have witnessed many layers and mutilations of my visitors too.

This is one such story of my visitor.

Shifting her glances from the rising sun behind my back to the fresh white snow down on my foot; she was looking at me one moment and into some far off distance in the sky in the other. The deep brown eyes moist with tears, hair dishevelled with the wind, hands trembling with a mixed feeling of cold and fear, legs struggling to stand firmly on the ground beneath; she collapsed and fell down on her knees.

I looked at her closely. Her eyes though teary, had a sparkle in them. I could tell that she was stronger than she felt she was. She stood there staring silently as if waiting for me to speak up and answer her questions. I don’t know what brought her to such ruins, but what I could see was my own reflection in her face; she thought she was the snow but I could see the mountain beneath. She was a mountain to be, the burning sensations inside her were just like the lava which would shape her being. The fire, the smoke and the rising sparks were an indication of the explosion that would redefine her.
As she turned a step closer towards the edge of the cliff, I called on the heavens to guide me into protecting her and motivating her. My mother nature was watching me over as always. Being a mother, how could she not get moved seeing such a plight of a beautiful young girl! Hearing the wailing cries of the girl, she became mournful too. Tears of my mother nature fell down from the heavens and it started pouring heavily. The wind started blowing violently. I did not understand the plan of Mother Nature first, but soon I realized what message was hidden in the rain and the storm.

Sometimes when you reach an extreme, you need to be pushed towards another, to bring your balance back. This pretty young girl had seen the serenity, the calmness and the peace that my arms bestowed on its visitors, she had known my warm reception to all with a shining white smile. Now she needed to see what the shake of these arms could do. Harming her was not a part of the plan of Mother Nature. It was only to remind the girl about her hidden strength. It was just to remind her that no storm was greater than the storm going on inside her; it was to push her closer to her real self, which was as strong as my own foundations of thousands of resilient rocks which never let me give up.

The rain started pouring more heavily. The thunders and lightening woke the girl from her numbness and she came back to life. She started running to find a shelter beneath a tree. It started snowing and the winds became more unpredictable changing the course between west and east, north and south. My hands and legs gave way to the violence of winds. The trees lost their branches in the wind. As the violent winds started stroking me with their touch, I was forced to open the knot of my hands, which led to the drift of the snow held in the knot of my hand. The girl kept standing under the tree with a look of dread on her face. As the snow started drifting, the unstable layers beneath tiptoed and triggered a series of drifts. I could see the horror in the girls face. The giant mass of snow was drifting down swallowing everything that came in its way. The winds were even more violent uprooting the trees and plants. The tree under which the girl was standing fell off right in front of her, separated from her feet by just two inches or so. The look on her face had changed now; from numbness to dread and horror to incredulous disbelief. She had the look of a fighter now. She was struggling to keep her feet stable. Sitting on the top of fallen tree and holding on to a branch of it, she was gasping in terror and excitement. One layer of snow was running down on another. The speed with which the snow was sliding down raised a hell inside her. Everything was getting washed away with the avalanche. Her demons of despondence and depression were overpowered by the thrill of the moment. Her heart was beating so heavy that it could pop out anytime and fall into her hands. The white monster was shaping from these layers of snow which was progressing relentlessly and unwaveringly, with its wide mouth open to eat up anything and everything that dared to come in its way. This white monster was knocking my pristine white snow crown down in to shreds. It proceeded with a thirst of tearing everything apart. The girl was not spared. She tiptoed, lost her balance and was carried along with the flow of white monster. She literally lost her breath for one minute. The vigour of the descending white monster was beyond her imagination and capacity. She tried to hold on to some tall tree but the velocity and force with which she was going down was enormous to be able to gain any control over her movements. The winds made it worse. The roaring sound of the descending snow monster, the lightning and thunder stopped her mind from working. But she could not simply give up as yet. To collect her scattering spirits and to motivate herself, she started shouting at the top of her voice. She was shouting to keep her spirits up while going down with the giant mass of snow. She was waiting for something solid in her way that she could hold on to with a firm grip. The plants, the branches and the trees were getting washed down with the snow. She had no control over her feet; she could only slide down with the snow. The gigantic mass of white snow was looking like expanding smoke which would suffocate every tiny thing into death. The power of these layers of snow was infinite; it rendered the girl helpless. But the look on her face was different from the one I saw her wearing initially. Though she was appalled at such majestic and deadly event, she was courageous and brave; she had the spirit to keep fighting till the end; she had the spirit to fight death which was staring at her directly in her eyes. She kept sliding down the mountainside, till another bigger mass of snow started coming down from another layer. Before she could process these happenings, the snow ran down covering her head and her body. She was screaming and trying violently to keep her head above the snow. But the giant white snow mass was ready to swallow her. She shook her head violently to rebel against imminent death. She was getting suffocated. She became unconscious and the snow kept covering her up. If the spirit of the giant mass of snow was relentless, the girl had a relentless spirit too. She woke up from her daze and started scratching and digging the snow cover above her. She could not die as yet. She was all ready to defeat death in its game. Her hands came out first from the layer of snow she was almost buried into and then followed her legs. She jumped up and reached on the top of the buried layers of snow. She screamed and shouted and kept sliding down with the snow.

Slowly the rain stopped and the winds became silent too. The giant snow mass finally started slowing down. The girl had got the grip of a tree by this time. She was almost above the snow. As the avalanche stopped, the snow started hardening into concrete. She lifted herself up above the snow by digging the hard snow mass deposited around her feet. She rose on her feet and looked around. She had a head on with the death and she had just survived it. The victorious look was evident on each detail of her face.

I looked towards the heavens and recalled my Mother Nature. Her plans are always meaningful and abstruse. The night was setting in. The moon appeared from behind the clouds and patted my back with its light. I looked at the girl. Her timidity was buried into the many layers of snow and her boldness and candour erupted like a furious outflow of the hidden potential of the majestic nature.

Not only the avalanche of the snow had stopped, the avalanche of thoughts in the girl’s mind had also stopped. My Mother Nature succeeded in her plan of restoring the strength and the spirit of that lost girl. Her adventurous soul was laid naked in front of her, so that she may see it in full and never forget. She carried a look on her face of being able to conquer the world, when she headed back.

I gave her a final farewell by hugging her with a gush of cool air all around her body. I smiled at her and let her go.



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