01-01-2017, 0610 hours, Kaza, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India:
As soon as I touched the aluminium handle of the exit door, my fingers kind of started sticking to it – it’s similar to what happens if you touch the metal or the metal ice trays inside the freezer of old refrigerators. It instantly struck me how cold it was outside and as Abhishek, Ameen and I went out to load our luggage in the car, I wore my gloves to avoid any injuries – the skin can get peeled off if the body part is stuck too firmly onto any metal object and one tries hard to pull free.
Mr. Sanjay Mehta once again slept in the car last night as he wanted to ensure that the car should be ready for departure in the early morning hours and there are no delays because of the diesel freezing. He was wide awake and waiting for us. We loaded our luggage onto the carrier on top of the car, which was a task in itself as it was colder than any of us had expected. Any part of the body which was being directly exposed to the cold was near to freezing, like the toes of my feet in spite of the shoes.
But, looking at the sky, with millions of stars shimmering over us, it’s a sight which can never be seen in the cities and the cold suddenly becomes something I am least concerned about.