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Last December, Neeraj Narayayan led a New Year’s trip to Kashmir, and this is what one of the trippers Smriti Bahl had to say about that trip:
It was just another day of me not wanting to face the world and be in my own little cocoon. I was restless, anxious, contemplating about some people and some situations, and feeling terrible. And suddenly a voice inside me asked, “Do you want to be this way forever?” And I knew this had to stop.
The only person who came to my mind, who could help me with this was Neeraj Narayanan.
I didn’t even know him till then, never talked to him (except for in a few comments on few of his posts). But I had been following him religiously since forever, reading all his blogs and experiences and narrating all his stories to my friends.
I knew I wanted to travel again, and I knew I wanted to travel with him.
I immediately booked for the trip, without even telling my parents about it (I knew they won’t ever allow me to go to Kashmir and that too with unknown people, also, thankfully I had some savings in my account :P) It was such a sudden decision, which even I could not believe I took, being the over thinker I am.
Cut to the day I had to reach airport to leave for Kashmir, my anxiety was on level 1000. My father was ready to take me back home. But something was stopping me, a voice in my head was continuously telling me that this is going to be life changing, JUST DO IT!
And that’s exactly what I did. Little did I know it is going to be the best decision of my life.
The first day was a little difficult, as I took time to open up with people, but by the end of second day, I was completely in awe of this place and all the people around me (both of which I am going to dedicate a separate post for)
These eight days were the most magical days of my life. Meeting so many new people, knowing them so closely, seeing them happy, seeing them crying, playing on frozen lakes, stopping randomly on seeing something exciting and beautiful to absorb all the beauty in our eyes and minds to keep it with us forever, dancing on roads, trekking in the dark and sitting by the river side silently, experiencing my first snowfall ever, that too on the first day of the year , playing in the snow and making snowman, having some real one on one conversations with some amazing amazing people whom I am never leaving.
From a girl who was sitting in a corner, scared, resisting to meet people, pressurising herself seeing others strike conversations with each other and not being able to do that herself, to this girl, who is so happy and content, who didn’t even feel any kind of anxiety or felt the need to take her pills even for one day on this trip, who cried for the same people she wasn’t even sure of talking to, who is now wanting to meet more and more of such lovely people.
I think I have literally grown up on this trip. Whatever I couldn’t do to make myself feel better in the past 3-4 years, this trip made it happen in just 8 days.
I won’t say my anxiety has completely gone and I am all fine, but I have started healing on this trip. I know it’s going to be a long journey of healing, but I found a way, which I wasn’t able to since so long.
And nothing is going to stop me now.
So since the time I booked this trip, all my friends were teasing me, calling me “Naina of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani” and how my story resembles so much to YJHD and then all my fellow trippers telling the same things. Little did I know that I was actually going to be the Naina who rediscovered herself on this trip to Kashmir. I can actually compare myself and relate to that character who was shy and scared at the beginning, but took back the most amount of memories and love by the end. I lived my own Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani.
Neerajjjjjj I am coming back very soon. You know God wanted you to be that person to help me overcome a lot of things, this trip with you wasn’t just a trip for me, it was a life changing experience. It wasn’t just for fun, it was personal to me. I Love You so much. You remember you told my dad “uncle aap chintaa mat karo, this will be the best trip of her life” , how true was it. It INDEED WAS THE BEST TRIP OF MY LIFE. And I am so happy that I DID IT. ️
Thank You for everything you did. And most importantly, Thank You for being the only person who let me be, not asking me even once that why am I sitting alone and not talking, yet being around me if I needed you, for understanding and respecting my space, for making me feel comfortable, for everything basically.
Also, how lucky was I to get the one seat that was booked and then cancelled by someone (I want to thank that someone from the bottom of my heart though)
I think all the powers in the universe were working towards making this trip happen for me. ️ And how special and fortunate do I feel to have gotten this chance. ️
I have never spoken about all this so openly ever in my life, but I think to let certain things go, we need to let them out.