This is a slightly deviating blog from my otherwise advocacy engagement posts. But I guess its important to remind ourselves about the small victories too.
So, I could close 2021 with a personal ‘high’ and on the ‘right foot’ by successfully summiting high altitude (12,110 ft) Tungnath-Chandrashila (Garhwal Himalayan mountain range) snow trek.
Its a middle difficulty level trek in Winters and the melting snow and the slippery slopes unquestionably proved it so. Apart from the altitude or the difficulty level it was more about getting out of the comfort zone for me or in Sir Edmund Hillary’s words, “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”
The base camp was at Chopta and after a light, healthy breakfast we started the trek early morning. The trail was horribly slippery due to the melting snow and hence it was extremely critical that we are extra cautious with every single step and don’t zone out as it happens in a non-snowy trek. But I guess its the rhythm that took over and I zoned out and at that very moment I had a terrible fall.
It was so bad that for a moment I felt my spine was hurt and I won’t be able to get up again. Just lying down like that, in that position, in the snow I was looking at the skies with a mind flooded by the tsunami of ‘regret’. My mental strength which is equally or more important for any trek than the physical strength was shattered too.
When the thoughts of not continuing the summit started intensifying at that very moment a random stranger from another troupe just screamed “kuch nahi, hote rehta hai, kuch nahi hua.”
I don’t know, those words acted like a much needed positive medication to at least try to get up.
I just did that, rested for a while, had a bar of snickers that I was carrying, pulled my thoughts together and continued the trek….
I have been going back and forth if I shall put this out on social media, oscillating between two minds and that’s when my therapist helped me re-gain the clarity around the positive mindset shift, the change this information can lead to, more than anything else.
So, that’s my mother in the picture playing candy crush (her cope up mechanism to maintain her mental health), dad – behind the camera, both of them waiting in my hospital room as I recover in my hospital bed from the corrective(revision) – gender affirmation surgery that I had to undergo in Bangkok, this August.
I can’t even fathom how difficult it must have been for them to stand behind me every step of the way in my ‘journey’ all along. Their child, their love for their child has always been above everything else for them. They didn’t succumb to the societal pressure. I give my parents the entire credit for this balance, for who I was and am, especially for still having been able to retain a sane mind. My stress constantly found an equal opposition in the love I constantly got from my parents, my sisters and friends. They held me tight through that darkest of times when I was just an inch away from collapsing.
Even though my parents belong to a conservative milieu they have been super progressive in their approach, and they understand the importance of family support and the transformative difference it can bring in the lives of people who come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. And when parents and families share their stories, they not only bolster them but embolden others to do the same!!
It was an honor to have a conversation with the Credit Suisse employees last month across APAC and EMEA.
Got an opportunity to share a platform with Pips, a celebrared role model and an amazing human being. We touch based upon various aspects such as our personal journies, challenges – measures to drive inclusion and allyship forward.