Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blessed with luck! The saga of Greg Mortenson continues About a book Three cups of tea...2

The book has been read by many and the world has changed dramatically from the times since Greg lost his bearings in the mountains! It seems seasoned climbers do not wait for each other while coming down. Mortenson was too slow, the effects of prolonged exposure to high altitude, to keep pace with Scott Darsney, a fellow member of the team. He also failed to realise that he was lost. The upper Boltoro is more a maze than a trail. He had even lost sight of his porter Mouzafer, who had appeared like a blessing and had volunteered to haul his heavy bag down.

It was a while since he'd seen a sign of other human beings and he'd heard the bells of an army mule caravan carrying ammunition towards Siachen Glacier, the twenty-thousand-foot-high battlefield a dozen miles southeast where Pakistani military was frozen into its perpetual deadly standoff with the Indian army.

Too tired he decided to spend the night alone, found a flat slab of rock to rest. He knew he needed to drain of puss from his wounds but lacked the motivation. At dawn, he woke up feeling frantic, his mouth and nose were sculpted shut beneath a smooth mask of ice, and  he pulled the ice free and laughed!  Mortenson soon realised that he should retrace his steps to get back to the trail.
 As he went up and down the terrain, he for the first time saw the transcendent beauty of the mountains. which he had missed, 'I had looked at these mountains as goals!' and despite the poor odds for his survival Mortenson felt strangely content.

Boltoro glacier from air
But finally, a mile or more distant, he made out a man's form. Mortenson shouted but the voice did not carry. There was a lot of drama as Mortenson kept shouting and trotted panting and suddenly there was the man, standing on the other side of the wide crevasse,with an even wider smile. 
Mouzafer Ali

It was the porter he had hired. Mouzafer searched for the narrowest section of the crevasse, then leaped over it effortlessly, with more than ninety pounds on his back. 'Mr Gireg, Mr Gireg,'  dropping the bag and wrapping Mortenson in a bear hug, 'Allah Akbhar! Blessings to Allah, you're alive.'

Mortenson crouched, awkwardly, crushed almost breathless by his strength and vigor of the man, a foot shorter and two decades older than himself.

NOTE: Quotes from the book are in Italics!

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