Bonding and Brotherhood in Nepal

Article by:
Anuj Agarwal EO Nepal
Anuj Agarwal
EO Nepal

We were 11,000 feet in the air on a 20-year-old plane, passing through mountains so close I could count the leaves on the trees. I knew that I had finally gone over the edge. I was surrounded by 16 of my EO Nepal brothers; half of me was nervous, the other half excited about this journey of a lifetime.

When the hostess pointed out a tiny mountain shelf and proclaimed it our landing site, I immediately thought, “That’s it; we’re the crazy fools who paid for a journey that led to our demise!” But then, just as we were making our approach, we saw what we came for— a brilliant, shimmering blue jewel, hidden in the cradles of the mountains.

Upon landing, we started our trek through the mountains toward the elusive lake. We acted as one mind with 16 bodies, supporting each other and sharing equipment, water and food. Our hearts were racing and our legs seemed to have renewed energy, as we felt ourselves approaching the destination. Before long, we had arrived. We ran down the final slope to stand on the edge of the most beautiful sight we had ever seen— we had reached the shores of Lake Rara.

At 3,200 meters wide, Lake Rara is Nepal’s largest and deepest lake, with a reputation for being one of the most remote places in Nepal. In mall estimates, less than 3,000 tourists have visited the lake in recorded history— we were some of the lucky few! In anticipation of the 2011 Asia Bridge Campus, our first-ever international event, EO Nepal wanted to do a retreat that would help us reaffirm our inner strengths, our indomitable spirit, and most importantly, underscore the team spirit that we believe is the best in all of EO.

There were many detractors, of course. People told us it would be too cold, too tough a journey. There was talk of altitude sickness, the difficulty of landing in potentially heady winds and the overall craziness of the idea. Still, all of my EO brothers stood firm, and we stepped up to the challenge.
As is the habit of entrepreneurs, we faced the odds and overcame! The next two days defined what EO Nepal stands for. We climbed mountains and found hidden temples; we sailed across the lake; we sat around bonfires sharing emotional secrets, tall tales and strong drinks; and most importantly, we bonded. It was a magical time. Away from our families and businesses, we were truly one with nature. We were boys again, exploring, laughing and taking dips in the icy waters. Each member found different ways to describe the trip: journey of a lifetime, the most beautiful place on the planet, a chance to connect with one’s inner self and the universe, a promise to reprioritize one’s life. But the common theme was one of brotherhood. As one of our newest members so aptly replied when asked about his experience, “I have found my brothers.”

For many of us, trekking also produced interesting corollaries to our business lives. We learned the importance of being comfortable with one’s own pace; not to worry too much about how fast the person ahead was moving; to move slowly but to move forward; to not get disheartened by seeing how far the destination was; and the value of teamwork. All of these were invaluable takeaways that we brought back to our businesses and lives.

Before we knew it, our journey was up. It was time to turn in for the last night, turn off our torches and sleep in the bosom of the mountains. We had our taste of heaven, and it was time to return to the land of the mortals. Upon leaving the lake, I turned around for a last glimpse, and I knew that I would always be richer for having seen this amazing place

Anuj Agarwal is managing director of Vishal Group, LTD. Visit www.vishalgroup.com.np or e-mail Anuj at anuj@vishalgroup.com.

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