The proposition came out of the blue. My immediate reaction was a straight NO, but two important points about the proposition changed my mind. First was that Nandini must have been in real need to ask for my participation and secondly what better way to spend the lockdown than to read a whole lot of mountain literature. It was the second-best thing as active mountaineering was out of bounds.

The first challenge was to adapt to the working of a well-established team. Nandini and Aparna work like well oiled machinery, with a proper established structure. It took me some time to adjust to their way of working but to their credit they tolerated my amateurish work and guided me through the nuances of editing as needed. I don’t know if I was of any help to them but on a personal front, I learnt a lot.

The challenge was collecting articles for THJ. This year with hardly any worthwhile mountaineering happening in this part of the world, collection of climbing articles was a challenge. After several mails and phone calls we managed to get a few good ones and as usual some great ones on science, art, literature and sports.

During these tough times I found people beginning to venture into the mountains—this gave me hope; the spirit of adventure that has existed from the beginning of civilization still ignites fire in a few peoples’ soul. That is heartening.

The lesson that the expanse of the Himalaya has taught us is the same lesson that is now being thrust on us by humanity’s most formidable foe in current times (the Corona virus)—that we are a miniscule part of nature and not it’s master. The sooner all humanity realizes this, the better.

Hopefully, the spell of the virus will be over soon and next year we will fill the pages of THJ with lots of new mountaineering ventures.

The Himalayan Club
September 2021