Saturday, August 18, 2012

Oops, Tasty Bhindi

Many people/individuals talk to their girl friends as if they are in a question answer round where they can answer with hmmm, no, or yes only. Though they stick to their mobiles for hours, but to remain silent. Believe me or not, but these discussions kept pinching and suffering my mind. So I wanted to know everything about them.
I inquired my friends about their discussions with their girl friends. Most of them ignored me, but they did not miss to pass a scary glance at me, and rest others answered miserly. Most told me that these discussions are general chat about their day to day activities. But, believe me, these answers did not satisfy my curiosity. After neglected by friends, I decided to achieve the enlightenment at my own. I decided to dirty my own hands to figure out the truth.

So I started searching a prey for my experiment. It was hard to find a girl who was as desperate as me. Though I was kicked out of many coffee houses and disco bars, but I did not lose the hopes. Finally, I found the girl who could help me to attain the salvation. She was decent looking, though socially awkward, but physically marvellous blonde.

Her name was Sam as her actual name Sameera was too old fashioned and embarrassing for her. She had the henna coloured hair, big and dark black eyes, long ear having big long earrings, dimpled cheeks, and aquiline nose. She was 5'6 tall, hot, and cute girl.

Actually, I was on the 7th sky. I did not get a chance to talk to girls ever, but now I was dating a blonde. Though I thought, She might be different from general Salvar-Kurta girls and my experiment may fail, but I did not want to screw up the only chance I got.

After seducing and convincing her for the couple of weeks we were in a serious relationship, and we started sharing many sleepless nights. Initially I used to speak, and she used to listen me, but later everything changed and she started driving our conversation.

I used to return to home from office at 10PM. Our office AC was not working well and used to stop cooling building everyday after 8PM. So these two hours were heat massage for me. Though sweating was merely a problem, but my bigger problem was; her call. I did not know, how she synchronized her calls with my entry in the house, but my cell would surely ring once I was here. Though I had seen lot of science fiction motion pictures, but nothing helped. Even after multiple check-ups, the doctors could not find any transmitter in my body (ha ha ha kidding).

Her call was not pain until we had a lot to discuss, but within few days we did not have enough topics to discuss. Apart from that she wanted to dictate herself. The discussions were very similar everyday.

Our discussion used to start with hi darling, did you have your dinner? If I would say NO, then she would start explaining medical and scientific reasons to avoid late in the nights. She would give more unwanted suggestions to improve my bad eating habits. So I did not have any option except a lie. My answer was not good enough to stop our dinner about discussion. Now she would insist me to tell  her specific details about dinner. She always wanted to know cooking capabilities of her 'to be' mother -in -law. Oh fuck, is all this necessary now? But, you cannot show your frustration on phone. I told her that I eat Bhindi with Chapaties. Bhindi brought her back to life. She screamed, and told me that Bhindi was her favourite dish. She started to describe  all the possible ways of preparing Bhindi. According to her, Bhindi could be prepared in four different ways, and she described all of them to me. I think, she was expecting me to cook Bhindi for her in her next visit. I was adding few Hmmm, okay, no and yes to the conversation. Somehow she introduced her Mausi in this Bhindi preparation methods session. She had already told me her Mausi's story millions time earlier, but Sam would reiterate her Mausi's struggle story. I remembered this story word by word now, and this story has been taught to me with very hard way.

Before disconnecting the phone call, she would not forget to ask these questions  again. "Baby, do not you love me any more? Why do you not speak to me as you used to talk to me earlier?". I would need another half an hour to convince her, "she is best thing happened to me in my lifetime".

I can understand the fear in my friends mind now. They never told me the whole story as they did not to reiterate it one more time in the day. They, not my friends but their girl friends, always talked general daily routine. After enlightening myself I defended myself from humiliation and got back to same life which was before introducing the blonde bug in life.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Himalayan Adventure #1 - Day 2 : Tungnath

DeoraiTal was a great experience to us, but our fun was not limited to this place. Saari is a small place so shared taxis are available till 8AM in the morning, but after 8AM you have to hire a private vehicle to commute. Our guide had instructed us to reach to Saari before 8AM, but we could not leave the lake  early in the morning. We reached to the village at 9AM, but as expected this place was already deserted. Shopkeepers were the only people who were left behind to assist us. In the end, our guide arranged a cab for us which cost us 800 INR.
Distance between Chopta and Saari village is 35 KM. Roads are spiral, narrow, and steep, but these are maintained well. Both sides of the Roads are covered with big and old oak trees. Drivers are trained well for such roads. Though these drivers drive on such risky roads with considerable speed, but they understand their responsibilities. At last We reached to Chopta around 12 noon. 
Chopta is small settlement and Commencement point to 3rd of Panch Kedar. It is 2680 meters above sea level. This place is resting place for trekkers and pilgrims. Chopta/Tungnath is more commercialized than Saari Village as it attracts higher number of Hindu pilgrims. Hindu pilgrims prefer to spend their nights at hotels available at Chopta whereas trekkers prefer to trek to Tungnath and enjoy spectacular Sunrise/Sunset. 
While leaving Saari, we didn't have appetite for breakfast, but we were starving now. So we planned to trek right after lunch. Lots of shops and restaurants were available so we stuffed our stomach. Before starting our journey, one gentleman offered us his help. He asked us to contact Mandir Samiti people and hand them the piece of paper that he gave. He has mentioned his name on the Paper, but forgot to provide any other information on it. (BTW you don't really need any information. At top you will not find many options to confuse)
Started for Tungnath trekking from here.

We pulled up our socks for uphill trekking which was a 4 KM's walk. This trekking path is built with stones and cement, and it is steeper than the Deorai Tal trek. One side of the path is covered with the green grass and other side has breathtaking view of the mountains series. We were walking slowly and taking more breaks to enjoy the views, to get familiar with the environment, to maintain my breath in lesser oxygen density area, and to carry our heavy bags. At last We hired a porter to carry our bags which gave us the freedom to enjoy the surrounding. Finally, We took 2 hours to reach to the temple premise.
Breathing time.
Entry Point to Tungnath

Tungnath Temple, It almost remain less populated.

Tungnath temple is the highest temple among all Panch Kedars. Tunganath (literal meaning: Lord of the peaks) mountains form the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys. Located at an altitude of 3,680 m (12,073 ft), and just below the peak of Chandrashila. Tungnath temple is the highest Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to be 1000 years old and is the second in the pecking order of the Panch Kedars. It has a rich legend linked to the Pandavas, heroes of the Mahabharata epic.

The temple is a small premise, you can rather call it a room of 200 square feet. It is built with stones. Simple temple structure is the most attractive and beautiful thing about it. Main sanctum is surrounded with other deities. In compare to other Hindu shrines Tungnath attracts less number of devotees, that's why this place is less populated and polluted.

At the peak there are very less options to stay and eat. In general Hindu devotees trek in the morning and return back in the evening so the People, who stay overnight, are either trekkers or bird watchers. For these people, Mandir Samiti has build one guest house which has 4 rooms. These rooms are cheap (400 INR only), comfortable and spacious. Apart from the guest house there are few other places for overnight stay which might be as good as other room, but we settled in guest house room. Food is quite good, just like home cooked food, tasty and cheap. We were actually tired after trekking so we took some rest before having our lunch.

Chandrashila is an another peak accessible from the Tungnath and it is 1 Km walk from the Tungnath. Lodge caretaker asked us to accompany them in their evening walk to the peak. The way to the peak is quite easy and manageable. But due to less oxygen and non availability of water, I was breathing heavily. So I quit the walk in the middle. I returned back to the room, but Kunal walked to the top with other people.
Sunrise I think.
Chandrashila is  summit  of the Tungnath . It literally means "Moon Rock". It is located at a height of about 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) above sea level. This peak provides a spectacular view of Himalayas,especially Nandadevi, Trisul, Kedar Peak, Bandarpunch and Chaukhamba peaks. Sunset and Sunrise views, from the peak, are the biggest charm of the place.

As our planning was not adequate, that's why we didn’t have enough cloths to sustain in the cold, and it posted little trouble to me as well. In the evening I was down with fever, and we could not find any medicine. In the meantime Kunal returned from Chandrashila. He took spectacular shots with his camera and was too happy. I missed it all, and I was little sad about it, but I did not lose my hopes.

Morning didn't bring any good news and I couldn't encourage myself to trek to Chandrashila in these conditions. So I ditched the trekking plans, whereas Kunal woke up late. He didn't have enough time to climb to the peak before sunrise. But still he found few people walking in different direction. He followed them and reached to a place where lots of people were assembled to view Sunrise. They told him, the view from both the places are same. So without missing anything, he returned happily with astonishing Sunrise shots.


Around 9 AM, we got ready for return journey. We walked around the temple a little, took some photographs and had our breakfast before trekking down to Chopta. We trekked down with our friend and lodge caretaker. We reached to Chopta and took a cab to Okhimath. From Okhimath, we took a shared cab and reached to Rishikesh safely (safely because cab's tyres were punctured once and blasted once, scary is not it) at 7 PM in the evening.
Walking back to Chopta to return back to same Noisy City

Man with hope.

It was an exciting trip with new experiences and challenges. We achieved a lot but I missed a little too. Everything was special as if somebody has read my heart and crafted the surrounding to match my taste. Though I regret to miss Chandrashila and I would come back to Himalayas and I would achieve the height, higher than the height that scared me this time. 

Few Points to Remember:
1. Do not hire private cab, you will surely get some other bakra who has hired it and can take you to your destination in very less money.
2. Do not talk to middlemen, they are little extra burden on you.
3. Take water with you while trekking.
4. Carry minimum weight with you.
5. Must carry medicines in case of urgency.
6. Must carry enough warm cloths.
7. There is no electricity at Tungnath, so carry your own source of light. Candles is also helpful.
8. Cellone's mobile network is only network available there.

Contact Information
Deorai Tal - Negi Mountaineering(Bhawani Singh) - 09410940110
Tungnath - Sandeep Care taker at Mandir Samiti Guest House - 09458081787 

Trip to Deorai Tal 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Himalayan Adventure #1 - Day 1 : Deoria Tal

May-June in north India can not only perspire, but also frustrate by leaving least, next to zero, time for activities except sleeping. So it was really important to find some place which would cool the boiling nerves down a bit. Some place which is cold, serene, silent, natural, unpolluted, and noiseless. So keeping the choice of place in mind, Kunal proposed a trip to Deorai Tal and Tungnath.

We started our first Himalayan trip on 18th May, Friday evening and reached to Rishikesh at 1 AM in the night. It was difficult to find a hotel at that time, but somehow we managed to find a hotel which was good enough to complete our six-hour sleep.

Our journey was yet to begin. As our plan was not perfect so its consequences reached earlier than expected that too very next morning. There was not any bus available for us as most of them were busy carrying pilgrims to Amarnath/Badrinath and this fact was not considered while planning. So it was really difficult to find a vehicle for travel. Hiring a cab was too costly for merely two of us. People understood our problem by looking at our face and they exploited our lack of knowledge handsomely. Our pocket-size and expending capacity were reduced at Rishikesh only.

Exhausted and tired Looking for a Taxi...
After exhausting and tiring efforts for few hours, we managed to get a shared cab which cost us the quarter of our pocket money.

Our first Himalayan adventure started at around 10AM. At the start, roads were wider though spiral, but on higher altitude road shrunk and became dangerous. At one side of the road tall mountains were standing whereas at other side deep valleys were lying with wide open mouth. At some places mountains were covered by greenery whereas at others these were naked. At places valley was waterless, but at other places this was torn apart by water to make the way out to planes. I must say, our complete journey was marvelous, beautiful and scenic, but it was surely scary at times. We crossed Devprayag, Srinagar, Rudraprayag and Okhimath on the way to Saari Village. After 10 hours of journey, we reached to Saari village at 6PM in the evening.

On the way to Deorai Tal
Though we were on roads for entire day, but real fun was yet to start. Time had arrived where stamina and muscles would be required. Lake (Deorai Tal) was in the middle of mountains and the easiest path was to trek through them. As sunrise and sunset were the most rewarding and picturesque moments near the lake so night must be spent next to it in tents. After iterating through all the information, we decided to trek at the very moment considering risks of trekking in dark (Sometimes you might find dangerous animals which are hilarious, but too dangerous).
The way to the lake which is approximately 2.5Kms from Saari village.
After the short recess, we started. I was trekking after a long time so I was little slow to accommodate with the surrounding. We moved with a slower pace which gave us ample time to enjoy the nature around us. Everything was clear, vivid, vast and visible. Mountain, we were trekking on, was surrounded by other higher peaks. There were lots of other peaks visible at far distance. On the way up, we rested at places which were specifically made for enjoying the panoramic view. Though uphill trekking tested our fitness, but it was enjoyable task. We took our time to reach at the top and finally trekked down to reach near to the lake.
How much more, I can not do any further...

Wow, Resting place for trekker and best location to sit and have coffee, though there was not shop there.
Our shelter for the night.
As sun was already set and light was elusive in the area so we were left with few, I should rather say 2, hard choices. Either walk in dark or call the day off. After wondering for some time near the lake, to get acquainted with the place, we called the day off. We settled in our tent arranged by our guide on rent which cost us INR 600 for the night.

Lake is in lap of mountains and it is quite large filled with green coloured water. Lake is surrounded by trees and mountains. Surrounding of the lake was green and luxuriant.

Lake and forest is protected by government forest department, so department has dictated few rules to maintain the place. Forest department has allowed only two vendors who must be locals of Saari village. These vendors are allotted three years contract and later contracts are renewed based on a lottery system. Persons, who had already got the contract earlier, were excluded from nomination list. So every local gets fair chance to earn. These shops are not expensive and they serve well cooked, hot and tasty food.

Next day started pretty early. Even though sun was nowhere to be seen yet, but Kunal's impatient brought us out of our tents. It was a breathtaking view. With passing time Sun stepped out of it closet and started pulling itself vertically up. With every other second Sun was higher and was covering more peaks and mountains. First normal peaks were illuminated with light, later snow twinkled with rays and finally it was high up in the sky and rays mingled with water. Though water was not clean, but rays created magic in it. Every element of the nature welcomed Sun with smile and Sun adored them with own heat and light. After enjoying these extra-ordinary moments we had to leave for next destination. Government has put some charges for night stay so we paid the fees and left the place around 9 AM.

Sun has touched the horizon and spreading its light to everyone.

We trekked back to Saari village to catch some shared cab, but we could not catch any cab from Saari to Chopta, so we hired a private vehicle. Before hiring the private vehicle, we spent some time in the shop, had our breakfast and started journey for our next destination i.e. Tungnath.
These folks were really busy.

Atleast 1 pic to sath banti hai.

Local Kids
PS: Never show your willingness for comfort@money. Planning and execution must not have any mistake otherwise opportunistic people will even put off your clothes.

Tungnath Trip