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That Nanga Parbat Base Camp face


Contrary to my belief that not all doctors are heartless, my doctor sitting next to me, asked this unexpected  question with a highly comical expression on his face. Is this your own nose,  or you borrowed it from someone recently? 

For a moment, I sat still. Looking into his eyes like a new born baby who is too confused to comprehend the world around and wondering what did just happen? Did this doctor just throw a sarcastic sentence at my pain? Oh..

I touched my red swollen, bruised, wrecked and peeled off nose. He was right to mock. It was funny indeed. But it was still my very own personal nose at the center of my red face and it hurt like hell.

“oh my goodness its your whole face. ” He poured more of his humor on my injuries. I swallowed down this embarrassment and gave back a nervous smile.

Ow. Even smiling hurt like hell. Since it stretched the muscles near my red nose, with memories of a recent trip. I looked helplessly at my mother sitting across the doctor’s desk. She looked back at me. For a second, I felt like she was also laughing.

Great! My guts were telling me this was to last for at least a week. Not only this. I could feel the other two patients present in the room inspecting me with equal humor. All because I was too interesting that evening.

Ahhh! I thought to announce the impressive context of my current face map. Maybe then he could stop acting like a clown and fix me?

“Actually!” I began to inform. “This happened as I was away on an extremely dangerous and amazing expedition last week that changed the dimensions of my face–and its not at all funny.” The doctor stopped laughing.

Encouraged, I tried to wow them more.

“It was Nanga Parbat, you see. The base camp expedition.” The words spoken like Gandalf the Grey (except that I was red and brown) worked like magic.  I could see amazement in his eyes. Everyone in the room was no longer making fun of me. In fact the situation now looked reverse. I was the speaker & they were all toddlers with their eyes full of wonder , begging me to wow them more. Except my mom, of course. She knew what I was upto.

“And the atmosphere up there was just too much for my delicate skin plus the UV rays oh–”

“It burned your nose and made it look like this. Ha ha !” the doctor cut me in. He was not going to let it go, dammit. Defeated, I resumed my position like a grumpy kid with her nose covered by a handkerchief.

I did not know it was going to be that excruciating even at the clinic. My nose was the center of attention ever since I had gotten back from the tiring journey, and no one, literally no one was sensitive with it. It was a simple Hi and then straight attack on my nose with Woaaah LOL! THAT thing looks funny!”

This was a side effect or should I say, a farewell gift by the cold winds and Ultra violet Sun rays of Nanga Parbat Base camp. It burns you like a vampire. Only you don’t become ashes right on the spot. Instead, your skin first turns red. Then swollen. Then within few hours it goes brownish reddish blackish and you feel horrible pain on every inch.

And then comes the dreadful phase. The peel off hours. For boys I believe that is okay but for girls? Ugh! That’s a catastrophe. A nightmare phase where no cosmetic works. I remember girls on the way back who used 5 minutes breaks to run off to restrooms and use tons of make up to fix up their faces. What did I do to fix mine? A sweet bucket of absolutely nothing! I didn’t even bother wash my face for a whole day. I guess just hoped that If I let my face be , it would get okay on its own. But this is clearly not a natural looking century! So that’s a horrible mistake you can ever make and regret when a pain-in-the-back doctor decides to laugh about it.’

I sat there for at least 20 minutes in front of him, amusing them all with my gorgeous face and brave stories. The fact that I went to Nanga Parbat base camp wasn’t as impressive for my doctor first. Simply because he had been there, too. But the moment I informed him it was my first trekking experience ever without any sort of training or beginner’s level hiking experience, Oh boy! Was his mind blown away or what. I could see that he was in awe of it.

The next few minutes went peacefully at his clinic. Though My nose didn’t stop flowing with flu, nor did the coughing ever stopped. Situation was pretty bad for my knee as well, because the tetanus injection that I should have gotten within 6 hours of the injury, was a day late. But still, I could now take my red nose around with pride and be confident about my wrecked face. Because you know what the doctor said to me when I told him I can’t show my face to anyone now for a month at least?

“Yes, you can.” He said, “Especially now. Because that’s your Nanga Parbat base camp face! Not many people get to have it.”

And there he went on again, laughing!


  • Syed Roshaan

    lol! Funny story!! awesome image of Nanga Parbat! I keep coming back to look at this!

    • Thank you, Bro. You are always welcome 🙂

    • Khanum

      Thank you, Bro Roshan 🙂

  • That’s a very beautiful photograph of Nanga Parbat! Such a gorgeous and imposing mountain, subhan’Allah. Please don’t make us wait too long to read more of your adventure!

    • Khanum

      Its much more gorgeous when seen live, Nadia. I wish you go there, as well.