Thursday, August 01, 2013

Trek to Nag tibba

This trek was on my mind for a long time. It was just that somehow I couldn't find time to do it. But this June it all changed. The 'Nag Tibba' trek was completed though a lot of difficulties came in the way. It was the obvious case of 'So near yet too far'. Though the trek starts only 70 Kms from Dehradun, still it seems to be so far away at least from Gurgaon. So I would start this blog as a guide to all those trekkers who are looking for some source of information on Nag Tibba.

Reasons for choosing Nag Tibba:

1. Duration -Was looking for a weekend trek. A trek which could be done in 2-3 days starting from Delhi. Though it took us 3 days but that’s a different story. This was ideal for a weekend trek.

2. Level of difficulty- Living in congested and dusty cities have already taken the remaining stamina from me, so I was looking for a trek which should be not too difficult to tread for me as well as for my wife for whom this was going to be her first trek.

3. Safety - Though any trek in the hills is safe as far as human aspect is concerned, I was more worried about the weather. Didn't want to go to too interior or too high up in the mountains. By those parameters nag Tibba was perfect. It was at a height of around 3000 meters and the gradient was not that steep.

4. Cost - I didn't want to take some package from Adventure Company and spend my money there. I wanted to do it in less than Rs 10000/- including lodging and travel. Since this time the plan was to camp on the hill, we decided to get a tent. I searched for online tent on rent but could not find any reliable source on net. Finally, my friend Harsh came to my rescue and I took it from him for free :).Besides it , I also took 2 sleeping bags and 2 sleeping mats.

5. Travel - There were some other options in Himachal where I could have gone by bus/train but then having your own vehicle always helps. So I decided to take my Santro car till the base point.

Day 1: We started at 4:30 from Gurgaon - our usual time of leaving. It gives us an extra edge in avoiding the Delhi traffic. But still at this hour there were trucks plying in the middle of the road. Sometimes, I think what economic super power we are going to become when we can't build a simple bypass to avoid Delhi. Anyway, we continued. In around 3 hours we reached Muzafarnagar bye pass. Now there are 2 routes to go from here. One is to continue on NH-58 and the other is to go through Deoband. Since 4 laning of NH - 58 is going on so there are a lot of traffic jams on it, I decided to take the other route. Also there was extra adrenalin rush to try a new route. For around 30-35 Kms the route was perfect. After this our troubles started. Suddenly we found ourselves in mid of no road. The road suddenly vanished and in place of it there was only concrete and mud. Karnika was scolding for taking this route but then it was my mistake also. This condition of road continued for another 20-25 Kms and it took almost 2 hours to cross it. It was my worst ever road experience. We were just praying that there is no puncture.
The road to hell at Deoband

Finally got some relief on entering Uttrakhand

Finally around 1 PM we reached Mussorie taking Rajpur road from Dehradun. Every time, I came to Dehradun, I found it changed. There is a feeling of nostalgia attached in every corner of this beautiful city. Alas, the innocence is simply dying down with modernization. I still vividly remember how 20 years back as a small kid, we used to roam the ECE road and there were big licchis trees in every house. My mausajis house which was in Coronation Hospital complex was a story in itself. It was a big English bungalow spread in 2 bighas with big front and rear lawns and it has been a witness to my innumerable summer stories. But now that everything is gone. In place of it, some builder has made some multistoried apartments. Anyway this is a topic of some other time.
One beautiful house in Dehradun with weather changing in the background
So, the time was 1 PM and we were in Mussorie. The weather has suddenly metamorphosed and it was raining. I couldn't resist getting out of the car and drenching myself in the rain. We decided to spend that day in Mussorie since it was already late to make any progress on the trek that day. We zeroed upon a hotel for 1500 bucks and ordered some chow Mein from the restaurant below. After this we slept. On waking up at 5 PM, we decided to roam around the town and have some good dinner was which not to be :(. The tourists have started pouring in and the whole mall road was buzzing with activity. I generally hate being touristy but for some hours sake, I decided to plunge in.
Weather has started to turn omnious
Now started the search for some good food. I was in the mood to gorge some delicious chicken but Karnika insisted, we try something new. She searched the internet and found the one with the best reviews and it was Kalsang, the Tibetan restaurant. So the ambience was good as was the service. I was very hungry and in my anxiety I decided to have fish which was going to be my worst fish dish ever. I ordered a Pomphret and what the fish was it. First of all there was no single bone. The whole dish was peppered with bones and I had to leave it in between. Anyway, we finished the dinner and headed back to our hotel. Already tired of walking, we soon felt asleep.

Day 2: We woke up at 7 AM. The temperature must have been around 20-21 and it was perfect for some outdoor adventure. Only it begins to rain and my worst fears started coming true. There was no option. After all the payments at hotel, we proceeded towards our next stop Thatyur, around 45 kms from Mussorie. Now to go here take the road which goes towards Tehri. After around 10-12 kms there is a bifurcation. Take left from here to Thatyur. Straight will take you to  Dhanaulti and Tehri.
The drive to Thatyur is amazingly beautiful

Beautiful vilage - Raoten ki beli

We don't need to take that. The road to Thatyur is amazingly beautiful with small villages like 'rauton ki beli' along the way. The drizzle has stopped by now and the weather has cleared and we could see vast stretches of fields and farmers ploughing their land in early morning. It was truly a mesmerizing scene. After one hour and a half we reached Thatyur. I had already talked to Mr Sushil Thapliyal, the previous day. The deal was set at Rs 3000/- including transportation to base site, food and guide. We were taking our own tent so that part was saved. I had borrowed a small tent from my dear friend Harsh and it was quite OK for me and Karnika. The only problem - No one including the guides knew how to put it: D. More on that later.
The weather was also amazing

So we reached Thatyur at around 9 AM and have aloo ka paranthas at the local dhaba. There Mr. Sushil has arranged a trekker for us which was to take us to the base village, Munglauri,around 11 kms from Thatyur. The road is not suitable for a Santro, so I parked it near the dhaba and we proceeded towards Manglauri.Now there were 3 other people in the jeep. They were quite surprised to see a young couple with back packs and tent :).So there was a good chatter in the jeep about what we 'sehari' people do and all those stuff. I need to mention one thing here. Though we both, Karnika and me were going in an unknown area for the first time, surrounded by jungle and high mountains, there was not an iota of fear in my mind about the other people sitting in the jeep. This is the best thing about hills. That innocence is still there and I fell lucky to be born in this beautiful state. So after half an hour we reached Manglauri village.

The trek started and in no time we were out of breaths
The weather had again turned hostile and I could see the clouds looming at the top of the mountains. It started raining as we started our ascent. The villagers were kind enough to give us their umbrellas. I was really touched by this. An old man offered  me his umbrella saying that you are like my son, though I politely refused the offer. Soon it became too heavy that we had to take the shelter in a school which was on the way. It was closed at that time since it was Sunday. For good one hour, were stranded there. I was looking back at my decision to trek in this season. Karnika was busy in her photo shootouts.
Devalsari village can be seen in the background
Finally it stopped and we decided to move ahead as it was already 11 AM. Now there are 2 routes to reach nag tibba from here. One is short but steeper and the other one is long but gradual. We decided to take the long one since it was  also more picturesque. The weather has cleared by now and I could see the clouds touching the summit of many mountains in the background. Soon sun came out for a brief moment and with new zeal and enthusiasm, we proceeded towards our goal. We were 4 people, me and Karnika. Sushil and a guide which was like his friend. They were carrying the back packs and tent. I don’t think we both could have trekked with 15-20kgs on our back. The trek path was clearly laid though broken at some places. Due to rain, everything was sparkling green around us and with clouds caressing us, it was turning out to be one hell of a trek. Karnika was also keeping pace with me and was going good. After trekking for 2 hours we reached an open space from where we could see the Devalsari village in the background. That village is also the base for alternate route. Stopping there for brief moment we proceeded. Now we were gaining height and could feel the air becoming cooler and cooler. Just when it looks that we had reached the top another top would emerge in front of us. This went on for quite some time. Now we had started to feel a bit hungry also. After 4 hours of continuous trek, we reached a place called Taal,

Mountain goats near Taal

It was an open wide small bugyal(grassland in English) and there was supposed to be a lake at that place but currently it was dried up. We decided to have some lunch here. Sushil has already packed some paranthas with him. He made the tea and we took a well-deserved break here. Some goats were grazing there and at one moment, they came dangerously close to us, thinking us to be some intruders. Anyway, it gave me a good photo opportunity to click these beautiful animals upfront. Now we were at same level as Nag Tibba and it could be seen in the background. We had started to feel the muscle pain in the legs as after so many days we were walking this much. We would have covered around 8-9 kms walking. Still it was not there yet. But in spite of that, the jungle was beautiful and one could feel the fresh air going in and out of the lungs. In between we also found some time to capture this amazing beauty in shutters.
Route from taal to nag tibba base was mesmirizing
After 2 hours of wandering, we finally reached Nag Devta temple. It is a small 2 storied temple dedicated to Nag devta, meaning the ‘snake god’. This temple is very pious to locals here and Sushil made sure that we took our shoes off while entering the temple compound. They performed a small pooja there and gave us some Prasad to eat. From here it was hardly a 5 minute walk to the Nag tibba. We were still not at the top but as it was late we decided to camp down there only. The Nag tibba base is a small grassland around half a km in stretch and on a clear weather, one can see the Himalayas from here. But our luck was not to be that good as it was very cloudy that evening. The government has made 2 rooms there for tourists but they were in no condition to stay. I can’t understand why we people can’t treat a government property as our own. And then we complain that government is corrupt. It is also amongst us and it should be our duty to maintain our surroundings clean. Fortunately, the tent which I had brought was water proof so we decided to camp it outside and Sushil and other guide decided to stay in the room. They told us not to be scared as they were nearby. We had only Maggie to eat so I and Karnika went up the hill to gather some wood. We managed to light some fire from our stock and it was a very surreal feeling to have done something that day. There was no other trekker that day, probably because of weather. Now came the hard part - setting up the tent. Sushil and the other guide were behaving as they had seen the tent for the first time in their life and were very confused what to do with the tent. So in the first attempt, we set it wrong with the inner side coming on the top. Finally on our third attempt, we managed to set it right.
Finally the tent was set and how set it was :)
 The temperature has dropped to almost 10 and it was cold outside. We sat around for some time and then had the Maggie. After an hour we went inside the sleeping bag. However, in spite of being so tired, the sleep was not coming easily as the tent was not on a horizontal surface but on a gradient and sleeping in a bag was not my cup of tea. Finally I managed to get some sleep only to be woken by my disturbed growling stomach in the middle of the night. It was all because of that 'healthy' Maggie. Soon the stomach pain and pressure becomes unbearable and I decided to step out of the tent. Though I was a bit scared of taking the nature's call at that hour of the cold night and in midst of a jungle, but finally succumbed to pressure. I would not say it was the best moment shitting out there but the relief was amazing and I could see the stars watching me from above. Soon I was asleep again in the tent only to be woken up by the wild horses galloping around in the morning.
Early morning 5 AM shot
Day 3: We woke up around 5 in the morning and decided to proceed as we had to still ascend our way to the Nag tibba top which was a further 2 hour ascent from there. We had quick tea and started packing our tent and bags. From nowhere, a sudden burst of rain started -so powerful that in no time we could see waterfalls gushing out from everywhere. It rained heavily for full one hour. We dropped the idea of going to the top since it was already late and we had to get back to Gurgaon same day. It would have been better if we had one extra day but the idea of going to the top in inclement weather was too treacherous. So we headed back to the base site. The rain has stopped by now and we were proceeding fast. On reaching Taal, our guide said that we should take the other route which is a bit steep but short.
Looking at the accomplishment just achieved
We blindly followed him. But it was not a good decision as the path was really very steep. In fact there was no path as such. It was just going down the mountain. Initially we were enjoying but soon it became dangerous as the path was slippery with overnight rain and it was very difficult to even stand out there. I scolded them for bringing us from this route but then we were already in the way and there was no point going back. It took us 4 hours to finally reach Manglauri village and the time was 12 PM. So anyone going to Nag tibba should be beware of this route, especially when there are females in the group. It might be good for an adventure activity but its definitely not safe, least in the rainy season. One wrong step and you would find yourself in deep ravine.
Even our guide was feeling short of breath :)
Finally we started from Thatyur at 1 PM and reached our Gurgaon home at 10 PM in the night. So, the trek ended with a lot of lessons learnt. On the one hand there was a sense of accomplishment of ascending a mountain with 12 km of trek, there was some disappointment also as we could not reach the top and could not see the Himalayan range. May be next time we would try in winter. But overall, it was great escape from the mundane city life and we look forward to further more adventures in future. Happy travelling :)
Below is the map from Google maps route from Manglauri village:
Google maps view of Nag tibba

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Passport Renewal at Gurgaon Passport Seva Kendra

It all started with my Director asking me - "Do you have any problem in going to UK client site for 3 weeks?". I said not at all. But to my utmost surprise when I checked my passport,I was stumbled by what I saw. I thought it will expire in 2014 but it was showing in very clear text - Expiry date - July,2013. So I had 2 weeks to renew it. Though I had known that passport process is transparent now-a-days, I was not sure how transparent it really was. So here is a description of how I went about renewing my passport.
20th April - Tried getting appointment online.Now this is an interesting activity. The window opens at 6 PM in the evening and is closed in 2 minutes. So the first day , before I could figure out my favorite slot, the window was closed.
21st April - This time I thought to just select any random appointment but again I couldn't get it.
22nd April - This time, I logged in before 6 PM and started trying 1 minute before opening.Since internet speed is good in the office, I was able to get appointment. HURRAY - first step cleared.
28th April - Reached gurgaon passport seva kendra at 11 AM. There is no parking so had to park the car at quite a distance. It was hot April afternoon and the tension was building up. I had an appointment at 11:45 AM.I went straight to the guard.He very rudely told me to wait for my turn. I came back to my place and again went to the guard at 11:40 AM . He look at the appointment and guided me inside.Contrary to my previous expereince 10 years ago when as a student I has visited Bikaji Kama place in Delhi , this was quite good. There was AC, water and people to ask for.
                                                  A welcome change I would say. Now coming to the passport documents, I had taken following things with me:
1. Ration Card with current address of residence.
2. Pan card as ID proof. 
3. Online application receipt. 
My turn came after an hour. The first screening process is managed by TCS guys where they check your documents. When my turn came, he asks for the marriage certificate or affidavit since my status has changed from 'Single' to 'Married' :). Gotcha- I didn't have that. He asked me to make an affidavit and come again later. So it was over in 2 minutes. I was a bit disappointed since the information on passport website is not very clear.With heavy heart, I left and went to home and slept.Was in no mood to go to office. First thing I did that evening was to get the appointment again. Due to my previous stint at it,I was able to get appointment with ease this time - 2nd May 11 AM - 11:15 AM
2nd May - Reached passport office well before time. In the confusion and nervousness, forget my keys inside the car.Its only when I reached the office I realized I dont have keys. Anyway waited for my turn. After half an hour my turn came. I had got the marriage affidavit made the previous weekend. Now as an address proof, I showed him the ration card with my address on it. He told me that only cards which are one year old are valid so this is not applicable. GOTCHA again !! I asked him to tell me clearly what documents to bring. He told me that bank statement will also do. He told me to come back in 2-3 hours and it will get cleared. I ran and outside I realised there is no key. I had to call taxi walas sleeping nearby to open the gate. They used the steel scale to open the door. I went to the bank and got the statement but as already so much time and enery has been spent, I thought of going next day since I had heard that you can go next day if you had some document missing the previous day.
3rd May - Reached the office at 9 AM. The guard let me go inside on the basis of previous appointment letter. My turn came in 15 minutes. To my utter amazement and disbelief, he told me how can you come without an appointment. This was his reply - "We had to process 700 applications a day and you are coming without appointment.I had told you to come back in 2-3 hours. Its not possible to process it today. Come only if you had appointment".On my way back an agent approached me - Sir I can get you an appointment. I smiled at him and walked away. That evening itself, I tried to book another appointment. To my surprise , I got the appointment and that too on saturday. I was a bit confused since appointment window is only opened from Monday to Friday but any way I booked it and got an appointment for 8 AM next day.

4th May - I reached office at 7:45 AM. There was no one at the office , not even the guard. I thought was I fooled but then I had the appointment receipt in my hand and it was showing 8:00 - 8:15 AM appointment. I waited for some some time and saw a guard opening the gate there. I went to him . he verified my appintment and told me to go inside. To my good surprise, there was no one inside. After 5 minutes , the same TCS guy came and told me to come over. He smiled at me and said - "Sir aap bahut lucky ho.Aaj 2 saal main pehli baar saturday ko khula hai office".I gave him the document and told me to go inside.Now there are 3 counters from where you have to pass to submit your documents.
                        So here are the documents I submitted :
1. Marriage affidavit since I was married now. 
2. Bank statement with current address since my adress was different in expired passport. 
3. ID card - PAN card copy 
 Be prepared with the original copies of above also. Now there are 3 counters -
Counter A : It hardly took 2 minutes since I was the first guy there. He gave me the counter number here.
Counter B : Here it took the maximum time but not that much. Around 10 minutes - bio metric verification was done and fees was deposited here.
Counter C : Documents were checked here. All the original ones. For education certificate , I showed my graduation degree. It hardly took 1 minute.
Final check - There was a counter- not remembering its name where the guy gave me the receipt and Holla - i was done. In all it took less than 1 hour. At 9:30 AM I was outside the office. I could not believe it happened so fast. I was so happy and releived.But wait - this was only half the battle won. After this I went to the website to check my status. Below is the status list and how it transitioned.The exact words may be different but the context is same.
4th May - Process has been initiated.
5th May - File has been sent to local police station for verification.
8th May - Report is pending at police station.
12th May - Got the call from palam vihar poilce station.That same day I went there. He gave one form to fill. I immediately went to my neighbour and landllord and got the form signed.Again I went to him and asked if everything else is remaining. He smiled and said - "Yaha ka to sab ho gaya". I know what he meant but then I also had decided that no matter what happens I will not bribe anyone,even if my passport takes one year to renew. I will fight it. So I also smiled back and said - "Thank you very much" and came back.

14th May - 20th May - Same status - Police verification pending. Some doubts began to creep into my mind that the policewala has written some adverse comments in my report but then I had not done anything wrong and I was prepared to fight. Some people around me tried to influence me by saying that you should have given him the money and goto the thana and give him Rs 500/- but then i want to ask these people and all the people reading this - that if every one decides not to give the bribe and then only we can remove the corruption. Just thinking that what can a single person do will not serve any good.Anyway I decided to wait.

25th May - Police report has been sent to the SP office.
27th May- Your report has been submitted and passport printing is in process.
29th May- Passport application is under review at regional passport office.
30th - 15th June - same status- Passport application is under review at regional passport office.I decided to visit the passport office. On enquiring about it, they told me to goto the delhi regional passport office. I went to the Bikaji same day. There the guard asked me to come again in the morning since enquiry time is between 9 AM - 1 PM. In the meantime, I also wrote to Helpdesk and Ministry of external affairs. They suggested to visit the RPO. I was deciding to file the RTI but same day , I saw the status:
15th June - Your passport has been printed and you will get the sms when it is dispatched.
17th June - Your passport has been dispatched with speed post tracking number #3434XXXX. 19th June _ Postman came to my home but I was not there. My wife was there. He was demanding Rs 100/- from her.She didn't gave him Rs 100/- and told him to give it otherwise she will call me from the office. So the postman gave it and went away from there. So finally I got my passport after around 2 months. Though the journey was long and tedious but in the end it felt great that my conscience was clear and I did everything honestly.
Jai Hind

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Escape to Nainital

It had been quite some time since I hit the hills and the monotomy of corporate life has started taking its toll. So, I decided to break this monotomy and decided to escape to nainital. The good Friday weekend was coming and 3 days was an ample time to explore the hill station. Moreover , this was a special trip for me being the first one after marriage :) with my wife.

So ,we zeroed on the plan. My friend Satish also agreed to accompany us.Satish is a good company and is always enthusiastic about nature and hills. One more friend of mine was also going on the same route to Binsar so we all decided to go together till common point.

So we started around 4 am from Gurgaon and picked Satish from his home in Safadarjung after half an hour. Harsh joined us half an hour later.I was depending on my 2007 Santro.The tank was filled and we were all set up for the wonderful time ahead. Though it was only 5 am in the morning, the highway was filled with trucks entering and leaving the city. Inspite of all the claims of government, they haven't been able to build any artery routes around the city. As a result ,big vehicles didn't have any other road to cross the city. Anyway the ordeal was over in a short time and soon we were zipping on NH-24.The road was pretty empty after that. This road is in very good shape now. Only around Hapur there is still some more work to be done since flyovers are being constructed. And also since it was morning time we didn't encounter any traffic. Around 8 we reached Moradabad bypass entrance..There is also a McDonald on this same route but we were hell bent on having aloo ka paranthas and lassi.Soon we found a dhaba and had our stomach filled for remaining journey.

The morabad bypass was as smooth as silk and is a very smooth drive. It was covered in no time. I also managed to try my hand on Harsh’s safari dicor.What an amazing SUV it is?After the bypass ended we had 2 choices-either to head towards Rampur and Haldwani or take an alternate route through Kaladhungi.We decided to took later one for it was through the Corbett National Park and also we want to avoid traffic in Rampur and Haldwani.

It was a very beautiful drive with not much traffic. The both sides of the roads were covered with trees and nice cool breeze was blowing. Soon we reached Kaladhungi and from there it was a one hour accent to Nainital.The topography changed dramatically and the soon we found Pine trees emerging from nowhere .The sun was warm and we could feel the freshness of air in our lungs.The road here was comparatively in good shape and we were enjoying the drive and scenery,stopping at places we think can give us nice picture shot. The sun was in full glow and it was time to pull out some beer.

Around noon we reached Nainital.The weather was just perfect and nice breeze was blowing which was a great relief from dusty and parched plains of delhi and gurgaon.Since we hadn’t booked the accomodation,we had to search for the hotel and also this was a long weekend ,people had started reaching the hill station.

We started searching for hotels but all of them were out of budget and not value for money.Finally we found one near the Naini lake for Rs 1000/-.Dumping the luggage into our rooms we headed for the town.It was already 4 pm and rush had started to build up on the mall road.Since we had a heavy lunch, we decided to stroll the town.

I picked up my sweater since it was quite chilly outside.It was an amazing feeling strolling near the lake and feeling the nice cool breeze against your face.There is an entry tax levied on each vehicle which is entering the mall road so we decided to leave the car in the hotel parking and explore the town walking.Also it could be a nightmare finding parking on Mall road so its better to park somewhere else and explore the road on foot.

The rest of the evening and night was spent in taking a boat ride in the famous naini lake ,visiting the tibetian market and exploring the Mall road market .Overall,it was a nice day spent.

The next day,we had a very heavy breakfast in the hotel – the same favorite Aloo ke paranthe and achar and lassi and were all set for the exciting day ahead. We decided to do some trekking to naini top.
The plan was a little too ambitious as soon we were exhausted and decided to return halfway.It was a good trek anyway amidst beautiful pine and oak forests. Only one regret was there-we couldn't see the himalayas for the waether was a bit cloudy and there were clouds.On descending down we decided to take a boat ride again and the afternoon was spent in criss-crossing the beautiful town. After lunch we decided to head to other lakes in the area, since there was less crowd there and the scenery was spell bounding.

The road from Nainital towards sat tal was a driver’s paradise.Uttarakhand roads have generally been in good condition and this road was no exception. The evening was spent in exploring the lakes and drinking beer and chilling out in general.We came to Nauchukia tal for night stay. There is a KMVN hotel here but it was booked so we booked another resort across it which was quite cheap and nice.(Rs 1000/- for one night).In the evening,we again did some boating.This lake is quite big and we could go only explore one quarter of it.The night was a little warmer than it was at nainital,still it was pleasant. After dinner we went for a small stroll around the lake.There was no moon that night and the road doesn’t have any streetlight.It was a very eerie feeling to walk there at that hour of night.We soon headed back still having that eerie feeling of someone following us J

Next morning was very cool.The room was filled with bright warm sun rays and it was time to go.We stopped at bhimtal and had a sumptuous breakfast there.
After that it was a sad feeling as we were starting for Delhi after such a wonderful time here but then one day everyone has to go.Nonetheless we decided to make the full use of our day.On our way down from the hills,we stopped at Gola rivulet and had a great time in the refreshing waters of the stream.After spending 2 hours there,we headed back to delhi with a heavy heart. Santro’s tyre also got burst and we had to change it in between.On entering Delhi,there was a massive jam and we realised we are back to hell but then thinking about those beautiful moments in Nainital made us feel better and we were already planning our next trip to the mountains

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

...nani left for abode

Finally the day arrived in most unsuspecting circumstances....generally for a person in her mid nineties one would have some premonition but my grand nanny was an exception....even at an age of 95 she was as active as any youngster of my age......just few hours before her demise we were sitting in the vasant kunj home sipping tea and nanny in her usual self talking and babbling .Such was her energy at this age that she could just chatter and chatter whole day without stopping.So without suspecting anything I took her blessings and started for railway station as I was taking a week break from the office.The train was on time and my coach was half occupied.Soon I fall asleep in the cool environs of air conditioners.The train reached haridwar and I started off to rishikesh...the bus didn't took more than 30 minutes and in a short time i was knocking at the came out with swollen eyes and it was there she told me that your 'nani' is no more...suddenly the time stopped for me and for first few moments I could not believe that the same woman who was part of my life for so long is no more.
I sat aghast, my all sleep evaporated...just few hours ago I was talking to her and now she is no it cruel on gods part to me or I am simply getting too much emotional. Soon the reality dawned and I got more composed. The past moments came floating in my had been nearly 20 years that i had known her...from the very first time I learned my first steps holding her hand to all those nights she used to sit by my bedside when I was down with fever ...everything starts coming to front and I wistfully longed for all those bygone years.
Now I was going to the cremation ground and for the first time I hadn’t that sinking feeling which I used to associate with cremations…there was some kind of divine force acting which was continuously pushing me to do all this…all the rituals were performed and I was all part of it. The sky has turned black and we feared it might rain. Fortunately everything went fine and I saw the nani’s face for the last time….in a few moments she was all in flames.I could feel the heat of pyre on my face and could heard the crackling sounds coming from the burning of log….the incense emanating from materials put into the pyre and the heat of it was too overpowering for anyone to come close to the fire…..Slowly the body disappeared and all was left after three hours was a black mass of charred flesh not bigger in size than a baseball….it was cruel to see but that’s the end everyone has to go through.Now as I sit and contemplate the proceedings of that day I could only marvel at the god’s way of doing the balancing act.Nothing is supreme.Whoever has come has to go.Such is the strange journey called life whom everyone wants to enjoy but doesn’t want to reach destination.The only final destination-death.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

the original superheroes

It was the usual email checking routine for me before going to sleep yesterday when all of a sudden I found a mail from raj comics(of nagraj and dhruva fame) in my inbox...i remember signing up once on the site for my favorite heroes...sleepily i decided to browse the site to find out how they have changed in all these years..suddenly all those bygone years statred coming on screen....i remember how some 12-15 years back I used to be the staunchest fan of thier comics..the love affair has started in the 93 summer vacations when i was still in 5th class and my landlord's son introduced me to it...the effect was immediate...the moment i got introduced I couldn't take my eyes and mind from the characters....those summer days were spent in knowing every bit about the comics for before that i was limited to just fables and disney stories...but now all of a sudden something exciting was happening and I was not complaining.....i remember how i had saved every bit of money,a rupee by rupee and had gone to the extent of even stealing money only to bogged down by some good daily routine has been as many comics as I was like a mania...rebukes from parents had become the order of day...but i was happy ...nagraj and dhruva had become part of my was like living in a virtual world with them and fighting culprits alongside with them and then there was the irresitable character 'bankelal',if ever words had the power to make you laugh those have to the words of his couldn't do but laugh...vacation homework had taken a backseat and all my focus was on comincs...the reality of the images has become so vivid in my mind that i didn't read the hooro comic which used to accompany each set ...yes I was really horrified to read after living alone for so many years I couldn't do but laugh at was some kind of emotional bond which obviosuly was obvious in my case....slowly the initial excitement faded but still I was one of the first in the town to read the new set as soon as it arrive in the as i write my final paragraph I wonder whether the raj comics would be able to regain that lost glory or would it fade into oblivion in this new generation of technology or putting it better would we,caught in this web of busy and running lifestyle ,be able to enjoy those innocent pleasures again....

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

be sport

I often asked this question to me..."Does being fit is really necessary?"...after all how the hell does it going to matter if i wake up at 9 'o' clock in the morning...why should i be worried about my ever burgeoning waist size....what do these silly old people get out of jogging at 6 am in cold delhi winters....but now a sense of realization is dawning on me that I may be wrong...i dont know about these old people but if someone is of my age i.e had just completed a quarter of a a bachelor, worried about his hair count on head and spent his weekends in pubs on 4000 calories of beer then he had enough reasons to be fit..rather he better become fit..being fit doesn't mean you have to be cast into a chisled hrithik bodytype but it has to do something with your makes you good from inside...your life becomes more active and there is a certain energy flowing in and out continuously within have to take it in your stride and have to keep on reciting "I hate being called lazy"...well its all about becoming fitness freak...go swimming,play squash ,run in the park whatever you can to make your body toil and then enjoy the aftereffects...suddenly you will realize the blood running and massaging your whole body from inside and body tissues finally breathing up and heart beating up as rejoicing in your happiness..once this habit sets in the ghost of laziness will eventually subside and a new identity will born....a sporting identity transcending daily mundane routines and librerating us of our self conceived wordliness....

Saturday, December 09, 2006

the end of a curse

this time it has to be...four years i have lurched in oblivion wondering if ever I would be able to get that confidence back....the confidence to get that red leather across that intimidating green turf ...and this sunday i got it back....I remember how 4 years back I had struggled to do that....just the evening before the final test, I was in the nets bowling,jumping and brimming with confidence...little I have realised all is going to shatter the very next the day arrived...the sun had started heating up that cold winter morning and we were ready to go and kill...we got to field first and I was the opening bowler...the first over went good...just 2 runs...the trouble started in the very next over....first ball wide....second wide...third noball...fourth full toss and six on that....suddenly i felt weak in hands...the ball was just not going straight...i tried to reduce the speed but to no avail...i had known that there was serious problem....every trick was boomeranging on confidence had hit rock captain came to pacify me ...i was told to give a slow ball but no was a nightmare....finishing the over had become a herculean task...never before i was challenged in this way...there was nothing left for me in the match....only embarrasment...i was made a joke...i dont think anyone in the history of IIT match has bowled an over of 21 balls...finally it got over and i was sent to third man...i didn't do anything that day though we won the match...i didn't play any cricket match for my hostel team after down I was in confidence that it seems I would never ba able to bowl again.... But,finally this got over this sunday when i went to play a match ....this time i went with a cool headed determined mind but with no overconfidence....I reached early there and went straight to the middle pitch as if saying today I will conquer you...I bowled 4 overs without any wides or no balls ,claiming 2 wickets.My sporting identity got another life....finally the curse was over....