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My Indian Police Service training started with a 4-month Foundation Course, common to all Civil Services such as IAS, IFS, and so on.

Its most brutal part was a 9-day trek through the Himalayas. Every day, we trekked more than 20-25 km through thick jungles, in freezing cold, rain, and sometimes snow. By the end, sore and exhausted to the bone, we would sometimes halt in a hut with few amenities and little food.

We cursed the organizers, questioning the logic of this seemingly suicidal mission.

Yet, 20 years later, the thing we remember most fondly about the Foundation Course is that 9-day trek.

I think that is a metaphor for life. Our most cherished moments are those where we push our boundaries, and not the seemingly pleasurable experiences of binge-watching TV, or eating popcorn or ice-cream.

It is a lesson I sometimes tend to forget when facing challenging situations. They are just like hard treks – we will probably cherish them one day.

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