As soon as we started gearing up for the 1st day of our trek from Mud village, as we were packing our stuff and ourselves up, Max came running from quite a few hundred metres distance and just stood by, watching us pack. It was clear from his enthusiasm that we no longer were just 9 people taking on the mighty Pin Parvati range but had added another member to our group, undoubtedly the toughest of us all.
The local villager told us that Max had accompanied the last group to summit the Pin Parvati pass as he travelled with them from Barshaini in Kullu to Mud in Spiti. He followed them from the lush green valley, with numerous streams and waterfalls to the winter deserts of Spiti valley. And now he had no choice than to wait, wait for the next season, for the first group that would make an effort to scale Pin Parvati from Mud village to Barshaini and maybe try to get back to the place where he had been most of his life.
Max became as much a part of our group, our journey, our conquest as anyone else. While we were dealing with the various harsh natural conditions, both physically and mentally, I wonder if Max had only one thought, one motivation to complete this journey, the joy of returning back to the place he'd been missing, the place he probably grew up in, the place that housed his known ones, his loved ones.
I cannot say all this for sure, mere guesses or speculations, but slowly and steadily as our journey ended and we had put our foot well in the heart of the lush green and the most beautiful Kullu valley, Max sure did look the happiest of us all indeed.
HE WAS HOME.
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