Technically Mr Negi wasn’t our guide. As in, he didn’t take us up the narrow path on to a trek. But he guided us to whatever hiking/treking we did in Narkanda. He works with the government mountaineering and sports cell in Narkanda which is a branch of the Manali headquarters. It was due to his valuable suggestions that we could enjoy the beauty of a small town.
To thank him we invited him for evening tea and general bulla. It turned out that the guide was actually an instructor. He takes skiing courses for the military trainees. And on top of that, he was no ordinary instructor. He believes in, what educationists call, integrated learning. He was telling us how he doesn’t generally like people from plains. Coz that lot is either typical tourist type, who make noise and are involved in all sorts of rowdy acts. Or the tough people who only want to stick to learning the sport and find it macho. When he teaches skiing he likes to take lessons on everything related to skiing. That means he would talk about formation of snow, difference between snow and ice, about mountaineous flora, different types of rocks, formation of rock types, environmental issues, and our mental attitude in harsh climate regions and sports. He stressed that it doesn’t just require lot of strength and will to survive in such climate or master adventurous sports, but also compassion for and bonding with people. In a nutshell, he quite simply combined science, botony, geography, environmental sciences and moral behavior with outdoor sports and activity!
Isn’t it weird how huge corporates get money and fame on such ideas, elite schools get popular in the name of progessive education, so many people have debated on integrated learning teachniques, while a simple man from hills finds it quite natural to think like that? Meeting such people is the best thing about traveling. Traveling to less known places.
FYI: Mr Negi can be contacted at 09418050816.
Off topic one-liner: Staying away from home, in the middle of nowhere, is turning out to be v good for my blog!