6 mins

"Aaj weather bahot kharap hei babu, ghumne mein problem as sakti hei. Bahaar jaana thik nahin hoga. " ( "Sir, today the weather is very bad, not suitable for travelling. It won't be safe to stay outside. ") says Gaharwali driver Suraj Singh in a trembling voice. Ashmit gets surprised. He looks at the clear azure sky and the scenic splendid snowcapped peaks in the far horizon. They are the magnificent Nanda Devi, sensational Trishul, wonderful Kamath and many more unknown snowcapped peaks.

Some of them have not been explored till now. They are undiscovered, unknown. The whole are is interspersed with the spurs of Kumayun Himalayas. The slopes are rugged and mainly they are forest-clad. Dense forests of oak, pine and rhododendrons are prevalent here. It's a bright sunny day out there. Cool montane breeze is blowing. The Earth has ornamented itself like a beautiful queen. Montane birds are chirping divine chants. But, far in the foggy horizon, there is a cluster of the darkish cumulonimbus cloud, which in Asmit's point of view, cannot make any harm to this beautiful day. So why Suraj Singh is so much tensed! Asmit takes great pleasure in greeneries and sceneries.

To spend his Diwali vacation, Asmit has come to this beautiful hill station of Uttarakhand- 'Kaushani'. First, bidding adieu his luxuriant flat at Yamuna Nagar on the outskirts of Delhi, he came to this scenic Dehra by air and from there to Almora, by the luxury bus of Uttarakhand tourism. And from Almora, he boarded the land rover of Suraj Singh. From Almora, Kaushani is just 50 km away. He reached Kaushani in the evening and boarded the local 'Pine View' Hotel. The whole surroundings has a serene solitude. The staff are very well-behaved, helpful. The manager Rupesh Sharma is very cordial towards him. Asmit was so much pleased at their warm reception and cordial behaviour. Total environment is silent, peaceful and heavenly. Asmit is usually a very early riser and in the morning, he listens to the beautiful chant 'Om Manipadme Hum' coming from the nearby Buddhist monastery.

Asmit is a brilliant student of Geography Honours department in the renowned Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU). He is a topper in his class. He is a keen naturist. He takes deep interests in exploring nature. He has an extreme urge to see the unseen, know the unknown. He loves trekking, hiking and long drives. Asmit has the secret intention to explore the whole Kumayun Himalayas- to explore the rugged thickly forested snowcapped peaks, breathtaking waterfalls, serene streams, which are quite inaccessible for a normal trekker.

Anyway, Asmit gives no attention to Suraj Singh's concern for weather. He claims it to be the false justification of Suraj Singh not to drive and take rest. Somehow, he manages to convince Suraj of the importance of his journey . And, finally he goes out in a long drive in Suraj's land rover.

It is immensely enjoyable. There are hills and valleys beside the highway. In some areas, almond, walnut, apricot and apple are being produced and some areas are infested with lacustrine deposits. There are breathtaking waterfalls and scenic valleys of flowers.

Asmit feels that he is travelling to the heaven through the midst of Alka. Suddenly, a certain peak with a peculiar shape in the far horizon comes to his notice. After enquiring Suraj of that particular peak, Suraj replies "Sir, wo shikhar shraapit hei". ("Sir, that particular peak is cursed.") He also says that there are many horrible things there which science can't explain. Asmit remembers that the hotel manager has also told him about that peak. Many cursed things live there and the vicinity of that peak is quite dangerous even in the daylight. But, with extreme courage in the mind, Asmit decides to go there to bring the fact in the daylight. After many disagreements of Suraj, he succeeded to convince himself about his mission and returned to hotel. In hotel, from his bag, Asmit brings out to books- one is "Yeti, the Abominable Snowman" and the other is "Cryonics and Cryogenics".

Asmit hasn't slept that night. He has planned something, something very serious. Next day, he boarded Suraj's land rover and went to the Tangtse, the village of the Sherpas after five hours drive. This village is located in the vicinity of that 'cursed' peak and from here, the view of the peak is quite clear. That peak resembles a crescent moon . The villagers don't get out of their houses at night. According to them, something very horrible, very frightful wander about their land at night. When darkness prevails, it searches for its prey. It is more cunning than human beings and more fierce than animals. They also say that it is bi- footed, face is like the distorted face of a wolf or a gorilla. They also mention that it is fierce, it is cannibal, has a far-coated body and very frightful get-up.

In spite of repeated verbal requests, nobody agrees to accompany Asmit in his journey to that cursed peak. Finally, a young Sherpa agrees. It is noon when Asmit leaves the village and starts for his final destination. The path is steep and rugged, quite inaccessible. But with great diligence and wonderful valour and wholehearted support from his fellow, Asmit becomes successful in ascending the peak, reaching his final destination. It is just afternoon 5-30 pm but the daylight is fading up quickly. Except of the few birds and beautiful sceneries, there is nothing- even no mountain wolf or other montane animals. Asmit gets fully sure of the fact that there is no'yeti' or other 'something very dangerous' on that peak. Even, there is no footmarks of the 'strange creature'. Asmit realizes it is a myth of the villagers. He gets back his confidence and relaxes in the fact that he will make the illiterate villagers aware of their utter ignorance and will show them he has been successful in returning alive from the 'peak of death'.

The blood flowing in Asmit's vein seems to curdle when he sees the changes happening in the physique of his companion 'sherpa' in the silvery effulgence of the moon. His body starts to be covered with thick white furs, his ears start to elongate, his hairs grow longer and longer, his face becomes the gorilla-like face, canine teeth come out in his jaw. His body grows up in length and breadth. In anger, he roars. Puzzled Asmit finally realizes that it is itself 'the yeti' which has accompanied him all through his journey. And now unfortunate he has been destined to be its prey. In fear, he shouts with all his energy and then starts to run amuck to the village.

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