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Trouble in Paradise

sunny 30 °C

"Another day in Paradise" was a familiar refrain as we hitchhiked from Vaashist to the Solang valley to play amongst the rocks.

Richard fell over 20 metres, hitting his head, without giving a noise. He broke his neck. He's lost his left eye. He lies unconscious (sedated) in the hospital at Manali. Our friends have given the news to his parents in Germany.

He was climbing with our group, 3 or 4 people, the day we traveled to Macleod Ganj. The weather was so good the keener ones changed their plans to move on from the bouldering we'd enjoyed.

Some accident, some momentary lapse, some failure of equipment: we don't know.

The mood here amongst his fellow travelers is sombre, sober, stopped. Relief that he's alive, not paralysed, in the best hands - perhaps flown by now in a helicopter to Delhi. More than a sprinkling of 'there but for the grace of God go I'. Sympathy for his family. Deep concern for our friends that were there, had to deal with the immediate problem, co-erce a foreign ambulance to an imprecise location, handle the aftermath - and now, who knows what's going through their heads. I want to give them my support but am not sure how.

A quote, not from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, though I looked.

"Life begins on the other side of despair"
- Jean-Paul Sartre

The news filtered through as we sat with other friends from Vaashist, Ebba and Driva, at the low tables of the rooftop restaurant in Macleod. The name: 'Carpe Diem'.

Posted by Pharkie 18:25 Archived in India Tagged india vaashisht

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