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There are not many things stronger than fear. Some people will say that there is faith, others will believe in hope, but the strength of fear is, at most of the times bigger than any of these other things. People do things or hesitate to do things just because of fear, and it is not something new – it is a fact that we can see through centuries; history proves the same during its passage through ages. There is the need to conquer this fear if we have to progress in life. Don’t we all need to #RiseAboveFear?
I have had my fears, and even as I have never really made a list about the same, I am certain that one of the bigger fears were my fear of the heights. Yes, I have rarely dared to go to the heights and take a look below. Even when I did, I have mostly been holding on to something and chanting prayers. But that had to change with a journey, and it was that day on which we decided to go to Malayattoor.
The beautiful altar serves as a blessing as well as a confidence booster to the journey.
For those who don’t know about this place, it is a pilgrimage centre about fifty kilometres from Cochin, with a church located at the top of the hill, where Saint Thomas the Apostle is supposed to have prayed there. It is believed that, after arriving at Kodungalloor in AD 52, he stopped at Malayattoor on the way to Mylapore. This is one of the most visited Christian pilgrimage centres in Kerala and should be the top holy destination in the whole of India which is not dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
So, when my friend told me that this time he is visiting the place alone as his father was not well and won’t be able to climb the hill, I decided to give him company. This was to be my first successful climbing of a hill, as I have been afraid until then. I have tried to go up this hill, but never even reached near even quarter of the distance, as I got worried and came back every time – a total of three times until then.
The rocks are nothing but just the path to our final destination at the top of the hill.
It was easier for him, as he has already been to the top many times. I was still worried about the slippery rocks which stood on the way, and my inability to maintain balance due to fear was evident. He was faster and had to stop regularly to wait for me. The sights of older people and devotees climbing while holding different types of big crosses on their shoulders were more of the inspiration for me.
The church at the top of the hill awaits us to reach there, surrounded by nature.
I wondered why I was thinking about myself as so weak, and was being too afraid. The fact that it was a pilgrimage strengthened me. I felt that this was the moment to get rid of the fear, and something like this will only strengthen me for future. If I can’t climb to the top now, my fear was never going to end, and I would never have any confidence about myself.
The old altar with its own antiquity also awaits us believers on the top of the hill.
So, I stopped at the beginning stages of the journey and had a Mountain Dew, one of my favourite soft drinks. It has been what I always preferred to have, along with Mirinda and 7Up. So I continued that journey upwards, and I decided to make it as fast as possible. There were so many people around, and as people of all ages were doing the same thing with confidence, it helped me a lot in gaining the confidence.
One of the views before reaching the top – quite strong enough to inspire anybody.
It took me much less time for me to reach the top as I decided not to stop at anything, not for my fear of looking down and neither for my doubts about reaching the top, and I have never been happier when I was at the top. I considered it my greatest achievement against the fear, and I was not afraid anymore. We wandered around there, prayed and had another bottle of Mountain Dew along with clicking a few photos.
And then I was at the top; tired and of lesser strength, but I couldn’t be any happier.
After giving Saint Thomas his due and spending our time in prayers, we slowly came down, and I had no fear in coming down, as I had conquered what I thought I couldn’t. I was sure that this was only the beginning of my big journeys to the heights. It was the end of a journey and the beginning of the confidence which had me not that worried about the heights any more. On the way back, we stopped at the Indian Coffee House at Kalady and had tea to plan another journey, after this victory.
And then it was the time to take a look at the beauty of nature, along with having some rest.
*All photos used in this blog are from my journeys to Malayattoor at different times, taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310. This blog post was written as part of Mountain Dew‘s “Rise Above Fear” Happy Hours campaign in association with Indiblogger. Have a wonderful weekend and Sunday, and do spare some time to check the official Mountain Dew Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mountaindewindia.