Friday, 20 October 2017

Trek To Remember - Hampta Pass - Part III

Sometimes we do things not because we want to do it but because we have to do it. 

It was the 2nd day of the trek and everyone was excited for the day. The itinerary shared was of 6-7-8 which meant Tea at 6, Breakfast at 7 and we leave at 8 am.
Coming from a city life where the mornings never started before 9 and the night continuous until 12, the essence of the mountain life - Early to wake and early to sleep was the hardest to take in. However, it was surprising that most of the trek mates were raring to go much before the 8 am mark.
I woke up at 7 to the enchanting view of the first light on the adjacent mountain peak.

First Rays of Dawn - Jobra

Being the first true day of the trek, our trek leader Abhirup Paul had us play a game to get to know each other. We had to put an adjective to our name starting with the same letter and the next person had to repeat all the earlier names to acquaint everyone with each other. Luckily enough i was No. 4 and had to remember only 3 names prior to me but the fellows at the end failed miserably to remember 20 odd names often bursting into laughter. 

Soon we headed towards en route to the next campsite. The trek from Jobra to Jwara was of 7 kms with an estimated time of 6-7 hours. The most hyped up event of the day was a river crossing. The trek was quite simple. I was one of the few trekkers who were always on the front occasionally stopping at river points for refilling of our water bottles or fulfilling our wishes of capturing the beautiful scenery that we were passing by.
Building Bonds
A Pit Stop
Just a passing by view

As can be seen, the walk was filled with beautiful clouds, giant mountains and a lush green pathway along the valley. Often we would ask our trek guide Tarabhai for information on the pathway, the livelihood of locals and the adventures of trekking among the mountains. Just listening to the many adventures undertaken by him filled us with an adventurous spirit which helped us on the trek. The stops for refilling our water bottles and catching up with our other trek mates were relaxing and also provided us time to acquaint with each other. On the day we formed a strong bond with Alsi Ashish Victor Vaibhav & Superman Shriniketh. All were completely contradictory to the adjectives they used to describe themselves. Alsi Ashish soon passed on the title to me for being the laziest among the group while the Victor Vaibhav soon turned to Victim Vaibhav and the Superman Shriniketh got a new nickname in called the V-Boy

                             True connections are made when there is no connectivity

Truly having no connectivity was a blessing in disguise as it really helped to soak in the beauty of the amazing nature while building bonds with the new friends being made on the trek. Time went by following the trail with the help of trekpoles and chit-chatting and soon we reached the much hyped river crossing. We reached much earlier than the others and thus had time to just look at the free flowing river and hear the rattling sounds of the water hitting the rocks. The flow was strong and as one by one our trekmates started reaching the point, we were asked to remove of shoes and get ready for the crossing. The water felt Icy Cold coming directly from a melted glacier somewhere high up in the mountains. The touch itself was freezing and sent chills down my spine. I quickly perched atop a piece of rock and looked down as everyone prepared for the dreaded crossing. It was fun looking down at everyone crossing the icy cold river with their shoes tied to their backpacks and holding hands to ensure no-one fell off the trail. Eventually since it needed to be done, i attempted to cross the river along with Tarabhai and Rohan and what an experience it was. Knowing that there was no other option other than the crossing, we soon forgot about the icy waters and only had the other side on our thoughts. However, half way through the crossing, i took time to experience the waters and of course pose for a few snaps on the waters.


River Crossing with the Trek Leader - Abhirup and Tarabhai in frame

The real problem arose after the crossing. Just a few moments away from our next campsite, soon the clouds rose above us and drops of rain started to fall. Not giving a moments rest, we soon geared up our shoes and rushed to the campsite. Luckily enough for us, the rain started getting heavy after we reached the campsite but few of the others got caught in the rains and inspite of having a Poncho were completely drenched in the heavy rains. 

The feeling of accomplishment over the challenging river crossing and the entire day was something else. Such moments are rare to come by and completing them with a smile on the face teaches us a tough lesson in life. It may just have been another day in a trek but the challenges and the excitement going into the unknown truly had an effect of adrenaline rush in us and helped us complete the tests of the 2nd day.

The rains stopped shortly after and the night began to encroach on the sky. The gloomy clouds however still roamed above us thereby always keeping us on our toes. We ended the day with a classical Antakshri reciting some of the most famous songs of Bollywood and soaking into the mood of friendliness. It felt like we had always known each other for a long time and after a healthy dinner and a dose of Ajwine (Pardon me if i am wrong but we argued and guessed for over an hour on what the drink was only to realize we were not fit to know it) we soon rolled up in our sleeping bags and tents to end the day. The next day plan was to reach Balu Ka Ghera fairly easily and prepare for the hardest part of the trek from Balu Ka Ghera to Shea Goru via Hampta Pass. Knowing we still had an easy day before the toughest one was a sign of relief. Tending to our tired legs and spirited journey completed, we easily dozed off to sleep. 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Trek To Remember - Hampta Pass - Part II

You know you are on the right track when you become uninterested in looking back. 

It was ironic thinking we could reach few places in an instant whereas even a tenth of its distance would take us almost 6 days to trek. Hopping onto the flight with bare minimum on my backpack which i later realized was only bare and far less than the minimum requirement, soon i reached Delhi where a small re-union awaited me with my only friend who would made it to the trek - Shubham.

After taking the trip down the memory lane and catching up, we realized the talks would never end and so we headed towards getting the best milkshakes in town. Keventers it was and the place sure made up for the historic beginning of the trek. After another couple of hours roaming about the CP, we were soon on the bus to our trek start point.

Prini was the point where we were going to meet our trek-mates and make new friends whom i could trouble for the next 6 days. There i met my first and youngest friend Aryan.


Aryan was definitely more experienced in treks having already completed few treks before and we talked about his many adventures all the while teaching me about the difficulties of the trek and the things which needed to be followed to successfully complete the trek. The most important of all which he thought and i remembered had to be to NEVER GIVE UP. Difficulties are a part of life but how you deal with them paves a way for the future and the trek is no less than any life event full of challenges and an adventure.  
Soon we realized we were chatting right next to an apple tree and any sane man could never resist the temptation to pluck an apple out of the tree and have a taste of it. Its taste was truly heavenly and soon we found few of our other trek mates had not only eaten an apple but even stored it for the long journey ahead.
不不不

Our trek leader - Abhirup Paul arrived right on time and got down to business. After few health check ups and lunch we headed for the first experience of the trek. Leaving the last point of network, we had one of the epic rides in the sumo and 40 hair pin bends raising our altitude by almost 4000 feet to the point where our trek officially began. Everyone was ready with their trek poles looking all professional and in the best of their appearances. We headed to our first campsite at Jobra being led by Tarabai from the front who always pushed us to our limits just to catch up with him and Dishu from the back who made sure no-one was ever missed out. 

Me with Tarabai

The walk was fairly easy to the first campsite and still the views were mesmerizing. Although the trek had only just officially began, we witnessed walking among gigantic pieces of rocks along a free flowing river and narrow pathways. Only moments of rest came while trying to capture the beauty of the nature through the camera.


Mr. Trekpole


An amazing backdrop


First Mates

"Sometimes you need to try hard to find people like you for a long journey ahead while other times, you end up enjoying with all the wrong ones"
The first walk also led to our first talk with Ashish, Vaibhav and Sriniketh. What we had in common - our restlessness, our impassioned spirits, and a love for an adventure. And definitely the V-Mind. It is an amazing feeling when people around you realize your thoughts much before the words are even spoken by you. Soon sharing about our backgrounds and having small talks often bursting into laughters, we reached our first campsite at Jobra.
  

The view from the campsite


Jobra Campsite

The lush green scenic views of the valleys were absolutely stunning. It was a perfect blend of clouds, mountains, greenery and chilling winds. Felt like i could stay here for the rest of my life just looking into the abyss of mountains and greenery. The beauty of the place can not be described in mere words.

V-Boy inside his tent 不不

Soon we were asked to rest and prepare for the 2nd day of the trek to the next campsite at Jwara. After a delicious meal and our trek leader building up the excitement for the next day by talking about a river crossing to reach to the next campsite, we soon called up the day completing the Day-1 of the Hampta Pass Trek. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Trek To Remember - Hampta Pass - Part I

" Sometimes the best plans in life are those which are unplanned " 







  Few of the best moments in pictures. Often the Himalayas are mentioned as abode of gods and truly if you have visited it once, you will understand the true reason behind linking it to the heavens. The majestic mountains along with the beautiful valleys, rivers, grasslands, lakes and what not make up for amazing views which even the gods might have to look twice to truly capture the essence of beauty.

But lets roll back to the time when days were long, nights short and weekends were a tale of myth. Technology has improved so much so that socialization nowadays means swiping left/right, having Watsapp conversations and trying to prove how happy you feel like on facebook/instagram/twitter/snapchat.

The journey started with a message out of nowhere from one of my best buddies - Shubham.

"Dushehra pe spiti valley trek pe chalna hain"

Now here is a buddy who plans 6 months ahead for any trip with detailed calculations taking into consideration all the probabilities/possibilities. On the other end, there was a person - me, in the group who did not even know what was going to happen the very next day. But why not, so a hour long search on google about the trek and i had made up my mind not to go on the trek. After all, which logical being on planet earth could have given up dusshera holidays at home sleeping on the soft bed, delicious meals and just chilling with family .


The pic that changed the decision. 
Looking at the simple snow clad trek route and the majestic mountains on the backdrop felt truly mesmerizing and who can say no after seeing this. And then it was decided. After all,
" The future me wont remember the many days in the office but a few moments that would take my breath away"

The real challenge was not making up my mind to go on the trek but the email that followed from Indiahikes after completing the registration process. To prove that one is fit for the trek, we needed to submit screenshots of 5 km runs and 10 km runs plus the many mandatory items that needed to be purchased for being eligible to go on the trek. 

And so the time passed doing nothing until it was a month before the trek when one of fellow trek-mate (unknown at the time but an amazing person) posted in a group that she completed a half marathon (21 Kms). Stunned for a moment and feeling mortified, i quickly gathered up the courage to complete the 10 kms the very next sunday and indeed the run was completed but with my feet hurting like hell for the next 3 days, it was the moment i realized that marathons were not my cup of tea 不不

The most important for a person is the SPIRIT and the will to NEVER GIVE UP. Gathering few more runs and snapshots which were hard to come about, few last minute purchases and panic backpacking it was time to go.
Destination - Hampta Pass

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Confused

Have a thought ever occurred to you what would happen if you just quit your daily life routine, run away from your life, your job, run away somewhere only you know about. Explore the world just because you know there is nothing exciting sitting in the bus, going to office, coming back home and repeating it over and over again for rest of your good life.
Is this how we want to live life. Definitely not me. I know i can turn out to be just another disappointment to my parents, just another ex to my girlfriend, just another failure to my boss or just some sore loser to my friends. But What i do believe is I am me.
Right now there are so many decisions to make, so many adventures to go on. There is just so much more in life than just a secure job and building a family. There is a legacy to be made, to be remembered at times long ahead in future when i might become just another old man. But at least at that point i might have a tale to tell the future generation.There should be a meaning to everything that happens.Else why are we there in this world. We don't know exactly what we are supposed to do in this world, the simple question of why we are in this world or the straight forward question of why this world is there itself.
There are so many questions in life unanswered as of now. So much confusion for what might be, what might have been and what will be. We have but only one life to figure out as much as we can.
Where our salvation lies is the hardest to find only because it always lingers somewhere we don't search.

Ultimately if anyone has ever come across an answer to what should one live for and why in the world there is so much left unanswered, do contact me on reading this because as of now i have no clue as to what i am here in the world for.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

College Memoirs


It takes 4 years to build memories but those moments when reflected upon even for a few seconds makes them miss so terribly. Even though a year has passed by, it seems only yesterday that we were in college.
Still remember the mornings which led us to deep thoughts of our future and then only by looking at your friend sleeping, thinking What the hell, lets just go to sleep.

Reckless, Careless, Thoughtless, Stress less, and all the so much more less. Friends made up the world.
Playing all night long just to wake up for the exam the next morning, looking at passing girls and often thinking out loud " woh toh teri bhabhi hai, buri nazro se mat dekh " ,going out at midnight for a snack and realizing you dont have fuel to get back, being stuck hung over in the city only for your friend to get you back in one piece back to your room, Hah.. how i miss those days.

Even now each of the details is crystal clear. No matter how much time passes, college life will always be memorable. Not because of its perfectness, rather the silly imperfections that made it enjoyable.
Also so many of Firsts happen in colleges.
First love, First Breakup, First Drink, First sutta, First crush, First interview, First time away from home,
First time being totally independent, First fight, First sorry, and last but still the most important first friends.
No matter how far these friends are , No matter how much less they stay in communication, still when called upon ,undoubtedly all of them will be there forever. These are the bonds that last forever.

The last few days of college were also the ones to be missed more. Promises made, forgiveness sought, debts repaid, entering the no summer holiday world. Alas these are the days that are now.
The days are long, the nights have become short , work work work  on everyone's mind.
When will such days come back. When will these friends come back. I want to live like this forever.
No matter what, i am sure these lovely days meant so much. so so much.



To be continued...............

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Decisions.....

I dont care whether my decisions are bad or good or worse. It only matters that the decisions are mine.
People around you will always come up with solutions, suggestions, to guide you along the path of life.
But it is upto us to choose where we want to go. Everything we do, we do it for ourselves, so WHY listen to others.

Make your own mistakes. Learn from them and only then you will have a great story to tell worth listening about. No one can live a perfect life without bad decisions. Leaving home without umbrella on a rainy day or taking a taxi just as the signal turns red, all are bad decisions, but if they are yours then you get all the blame.
Its no use blaming others for listening to them and ruining your moment. Such people will always find a way to get rid of their troubles by blaming it on others. These are the people who enjoy advising others since they themselves had failed to listen to their heart and make their own decisions.

So make your own decisions, Choose your own path, follow your heart, and do what you think is yours true motive. The worst that may happen is you learn from it. Thats not as bad as you must have thought. Is it??
Carve your own destiny, for people dont remember those who follow others, but only those who make others follow them.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Connecting the dots .. (1)

I knew it was a bad decision. Gazing at the dark gloomy pits ,I could clearly make out the reason for the cowardice shown by the other side.
"Today we fight ,not for glory nor for ourselves but for the future that lay in the wombs of mothers. Today may be our last day so make it count for something so that we may die laughing as heroes." Roared the cheif.
There was a moment of silence, reflection and of what can happen ,glimpses of the feared monster swayed across the eyes of the fighters. He continued
" Before we call on the gods to save our world ,let us ordinary natives of this glorious lands where the rivers flow endless, the flowers bloom always and the mountains climb ever so high bow and rise before each other so that we may know this fight is not for our survival but for our chance to live fearlessly. Let us fight together to end this fear in our heart and die with glory and tales be told of our legendary battle for the future."
And saying so he jumped into the pit.
"Not with out me brother.."

And so lay the two brothers staring at each other. They may have been of different sides but their ultimatum was comman. Both wanted to slay the demon who had seperated them.

Start the ritual said the brothers in unison as the priests and necromancers started their chanting. The ground caved and the walls rattled as the chanting continued.
Both could feel the heat coming from the ground but neither could figure out the pain that was to befall on them.

It felt like their fears had materialized. The demon so huge covered in burning flames instilled numbness in most of the warriors. Watching their chiefs in disbelief as to how would they do the unthinkable. Only their oath to fight till the end had them standing near the arena. Else they would have far left the earth itself in search of a safer place. Yet the two brothers looked into each other and believed in themselves. They picked up their swords and prepared themselves.
The demon swinged the burning sword at both of them. They dodged by splitting up.
"Nice arm you got there " taunted the chief of children of light. "Will not last long though "said the other brother, the chief of the bearer of darkness.