Niyog Krishna - The Man on the Sledge
“Filmmaking & stories have always fascinated me. So, when I passed my 10th dad told me to take a gap year. ‘Travel brings in the greatest stories & lessons of life, ‘ he said. However, I couldn’t complete the entire trip & felt homesick after 3 months. I felt doleful after my return. So, I stopped traveling.
Years passed by, I got graduated & placed in a corporate job. But I couldn’t get my act together. I’d read books about wanderlust, feel idyllic; but, I could never imagine myself in the shoes of a mundivagant. & it wasn’t until I started penning down my first story, that things took a turn.
My story was about a boy who was stuck in the monotony of day-to-day life & struggled to break this loop. The irony was as such that it wasn’t my character but me who got stuck and that day, I decided to break the loop & go where the road led me.
I finally got to experience & live the stories that I’d read about. Soon, the mountains became my second home and a couple of months later, I decided to travel for 6 months straight. However, the catch was to not carry any money.
I just took my backpack & set out to the Himalayas. I’d travel in trucks or end up hitchhiking. Unwinding the day with strangers who’d be kind enough to serve me food was beyond my wildest dreams.
I couldn’t imagine something more epic coming my way. But then, I became the 1st Indian to qualify for the Fjallraven! Coming from the warmest town in Kerala, I couldn’t picture myself sledding down in the Arctic.
I still had chills boarding the flight on ‘the day’. But, once I stepped onto the white land there was no looking back. Be it sleeping in the shaky tents or combating against the storms I endured it all. However, the last day was the toughest – We were taken to a steam room first & they poured over cold water 20 times. Then, we were made to immerse ourselves in a pit of cold water to accustom to the temperature shift. But, it was all worth it!
Because I realized – the best travel story didn’t lie in the books I read, but the memories and adventures I lived.”