I don’t believe in God, per se. I’m not sure if there’s a heaven.
If there is, it is most certainly like Mashobra. If I have to die into a heavenless inevitability, I’m glad I visited this place when I had the chance.
This is a tale from when the pandemic was waning. Nights in Mashobra were peacefully catalytic. Sweet, borderline ghostly night fog, latticed with impromptu acoustic sessions; a blazing bonfire that warmed our fingers, cheeks and hearts; a distant, forlorn wolf’s last night call to remind you of the things you can’t anticipate; a meal of chicken and vegetable broth and the occasional windy rustle in the flora around our tents. The mornings were a seamless contrast- cool morning dew, wildflowers that sprouted in crevices of stoned lifelessness, quiet mountain dogs that lapped at stream water, waking up to bird songs and steaming coffee, and the anticipation of another day’s hike in the hills. You know, there’s so much that the hills offer. These things cannot be matched by the congested chatter and urban clatter of Delhi. I’ve always heard the mountains call out to me anyway.
As the graph stooped low, like all my friends who took to Goa, the travel bug bit me- and boy, it bit me hard. It’s weird how months of isolation did not stop me from preferring the solitude of the hills to five drunken nights in Goa, though. The introvert in me is more resilient than I realised, I guess. I was yet to register for Club Wanderlust’s spring hike to Mashobra when retail therapy got the best of me. I mean, being a mountaineer is as much about looking right as it is about being fit. I wasn’t fit by any means, so I might as well (try to) look the part, I figured.
I chanced upon Jimm on a fortunate day, and I figured I should invest in it. It had a trolley attachment, looked spacious and sturdy enough to shine in a rugged environment and fashioned a laptop compartment. Even if I ended up not signing for the hike, I could comfortably take it to work- it was, after all, an elevated laptop backpack. And frankly, the robin-blue hue looked downright gorgeous. Jimm was available in four colours; all were charming and sported vibes of their own. An olive-coloured Jimm would have probably suited the hills better, but the vibrant, lively blue rolltop backpack stole my heart so quickly and so hard that I did not have to think twice.
I checked out other bags from Strap It, too. All seemed high on the functionality quotient and looked smart. Honestly, I had not come across better online backpacks in India. Still, I wanted to try out Jimm before investing in a couple of other bags. Honestly, I was so excited to put my bag to use that I decided to sign up for the hike.
I was pleasantly surprised when Jimm arrived. I was hands down shocked (very pleasantly, again) when I began packing. One is usually advised to pack light to hikes, but I compulsively prefer staying prepared. Naturally, my companion Jimm ended up housing a water bottle, a couple of pairs of socks, two thin pyjamas, an extra shirt, three hand towels, my GoPro, a copy of ‘The Room On the Roof’, sunglasses, my lenses and lens solution. I packed my laptop and charger too, and it fit comfortably in the bag’s laptop sleeve, but then I decided against it. This was going to be a work and social media detox. I replaced my laptop with a notebook for journaling and a few pencils. I was ready for my, um- what do you call it, soul searching?- experience in the hills.
Also, I ended up slipping my iPad in the bag’s iPad compartment. So much for a detox.
Anyway, Jimm spoke for itself. My hike was callous, and I’m clumsy, but Jimm was resilient. With my blue rolltop backpack on my shoulders, I felt prepared for the worst throughout. The leather details never gave up on me, true to their genuine glory. While zippers have historically been the first problem area in my bag experiences, Jimm remained put at the seams irrespective of all that it carried for me. Jimm’s premium metal hardware gave the laptop backpack a polished look and increased its functionality, too. The external zipped slot let me keep my sanitiser and masks handy, making our mid-trek village visits a lot more enjoyable.
Invest in an excellent online backpack in India if you’re anticipating a hassle-free trek experience. I recommend Jimm because my hands remained free throughout the hike, which was a great help. It held all my belongings securely- even expensive gadgets like my iPad and GoPro- and remained taut on my shoulders with straps strong and mighty. The bag’s rolltop added an extra layer of security for my loose, smaller stuff. I scraped my knee more than once, but the rolltop backpack’s stiff canvas remained tear-free.
And my Instagram feed looks so much more aesthetic with Jimm’s brilliant robin-blue hue shining against Mashobra’s setting sun. My detox trip fetched me quite a lot of clout on social media, thanks to Jimm!