We left Gilgit that day and headed back towards Islamabad. It was the last day of the mind-blowing trip to Hunza, and we decided to stop at Babusar Top for a while. The heavy snowfall from the nearest clouds, the cold breeze at its fullest, and a breathtaking view from the top of the mountains made those few moments worthwhile. All my group members were sharing their stories, cheering up each other, laughing over the smallest incidents they remembered. They looked happy and satisfied as if nothing had ever gone wrong. As if staying away from work, family, friends, phones was something they always yearned for. As if they wanted to forget how life had been unfair to them. As if they could live that very moment and stay in it forever. As if they were complete and required nothing else from life. As if they had achieved all that they had ever dreamt of.
I was there with my teary eyes, trying to hide behind the falling snow. I thought this snowfall was aptly helping me, making my face not clearly visible to even the people right in front of me. But surprisingly enough, I was caught by one of the members who asked,
"Oh! I got you! You're crying. So, you're missing your family?"
"No. It's just that I don't want to go back," I replied.
I wish I could tell them and yell out to the whole world that it wasn't the distance from my family that made me cry, but the fact that I was going back and I didn't want to. The fact that I had to part from these beautiful souls and go back anyway. The fact that nothing is permanent, and we always have to return. Be it leaving the sky to live on the earth or moving away from family to spend some time alone, we always have to go back. We have to go back to where we came from. We have to go back home. No matter how relieving or distressing it is.
Amna Sheikh has recently completed her Bachelor’s in Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, with a major focus in Psychology, from the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi. She does not only have an entrepreneurial spirit by running a few small-scale projects in her homeland, but also travels frequently to understand life from a deeper and holistic perspective.