representing different times and moods

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

this vacation.travels,experiences, people and me.

so, I told myself, "are you ever going to write now or not?" , my  only excuse is that three trips and a vacations seem like an overwhelming subject to write off in one post. it is not as if  i have not been trying. (now 4)
here's one attempt-

I am sitting besides my brother, holding a book and commenting how I cannot remember who Richard is, wondering aloud if he is the same character I think he is from P.S I love you.  While I did not expect my brother to know, who at that instant was engrossed in a computer game as it were, I do still talk about it to him. As he talks about his enemies and allies and guns in games with me, while I just glaze over , we love to talk.
My memory of the book is rather faded and I am going to have to go over- the cause- the trip. So many memories and  a whole regency romance book consumed in between. While urging my brother to again take up reading “the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” which he has been reading on and off from quite a while, I decided to write a bit.
There is still the small brown and white kitten out there somewhere in our garden. it’s been distracting me since morning. I could only manage a few shots in the early morning, after that it has successfully evaded the lens. While I do get quite near and all, but it just looks away when I get the camera out. I put out milk and it’s mother came and drank it, good that, for I was seriously considering having to take it in. well, it will be happier free, and I am not a cat person after all, no matter how cute they look.
I think it must have been an ostrich in its last life
 updates on that pre life ostrich - i managed to capture it :) and not only one good shot either yuppiee.
see it? -

first trip – (warning- this is more like even notes)

Gandhinagar-Jammu- 1500 Km- two days one night in the train, boredom, games,stupidities, truth and dare and teasing,heat and discomfort, shortage of water,whistling idiots when you get down to get water,starers, talkers,lots of kids and card games,useless audio books as you can't hear a thing in that hub hub,strangers travelling with you who buy you salads which you are apprehensive to eat,silly boys who ask you to "please ask that girl's name in the next compartment" while they are under the impression that you are 15 or 16,so a friend, you disillusion them but still go and get an introduction, that particular girl in the next compartment calls you over for an extensive chat as she is bored witless too,talks of some intelligence with their trainer,but with none other, a brother who sleeps a lot, all in all, fun.

Jammu- stepping off the train at a small station, declaring to the world that it was your first step in that state,glimpses of the far away snowy peaks,the usual big station confusion, the realization of being somewhere with a lot of security and guns,first bomb shell- pre paid mobiles don't work for security reasons, (lending a blissful serenity as far as mobile calls are concerned, no one can reach you), frenetic search for a phone booth,than having one just beneath your hotel room owned by a pleasant old gent, a bath that felt amazing after such a long time :P,bad food,good company.

Jammu day 1- confusion and more, heat, sightseeing, photography, history and shops, getting a little lost, plus a few temples thrown in, dangling our feet in the cooling waters of river tavi, rescuing a pen, seeing some one slip in to the water, always being the last to come back because of being busy taking photos, misplacing the flowers I had taken from a cave temple for my mom, looking for them everywhere while checking out, the phone booth gentleman coming to help in searching for he thought they were special in a personal way, finding them in my pocket at last :P buying walnuts also with the good meaning advice about quality from the old friend. :D
Jammu Days- sports authority lodgings, meeting people from so many states, fights, performances, photo shoots and national champions, lunch and dinner queues , horrible tea and the absence of milk L ,  karate player that asks you worriedly what is wrong when you run around in a big building- on the deserted floors, apparently in so much hurry as if the devil himself is behind you, while what you are really doing is giving in to a whim to run while searching out your brother while half knowing he will be on the floors below, odd balls, people falling asleep on chairs before their fights, my own brother struggling to stay awake before his fight (the nerves make them sleepy :P ) , cheering ,screaming and booing is a lot more fun when you are doing it, the master flirt who tries to get to you through little brothers asking them recipes and numbers to get it when you don’t chat with them, stories of previous tournaments, the medal ceremony and celebrations with the team, leaving at night for Manali on the third night.
Jammu-Pathankot-111 Km – a night at the Pathankot bus stop, a surprisingly clean station, interesting experience that :D my first.
5 am bus to manali – 341 Km , reached at 5 in the evening, the bus ride included the transfer from the planes to the magnificent views of valleys and mountains, rivers and streams, dense forests, and at nearing the end, the amazing snow topped summits accompanied by the pleasant coolness – we had left the heat behind, the mountains awaited us.
Manali-1-discovering our hotel, a small nice place facing the river with a little temple and lots of red roses, first day trek to Jogini falls, going off the trail and getting stuck/making paths through bushes and brambles on steep wet land, which is of course more fun, cute furry dogs that become your guides, female dogs that distract them mid way, cool breezes accentuated in temper because of perspiration wet cloths, reaching the grand falls, rainbows , slowly but surely, getting down to it, and somehow making it behind the falls without breaking your neck, being ecstatic and totally washed out by the mist and water spray, being horribly cold but loving it, (icy water and breezes plus cotton shirts :P ) shouting at the top of your voice, following the normal trek back, learning how to make rushing water look like spun silk in the photos ( first time for me), beautiful flowers, hunger and the joy of it, getting back in town, honey butter cake, amazing flowers in people’s gardens which bore signboard saying “100 Rp fine for plucking flowers”, Vashisth temple with hot water springs, litcheess –utterly delicious, walking for Miles before reaching , a light lunch, a small trek through the campsite to Hidamba temple, watching the annual sacrifice ceremony’s start, dance and celebrations accompanied by sounds and drums that made children nervous, while dark clouds rolled in and lighting became a bit frightening, a walk back through high oak trees which are preserved around the temple, pitch dark , children clinging to my arms dreading a ghost attack any minute, a walk back to the hotel postponing the shopping expedition.
2- early start for rohtang pass, amazing scenery, wishing I could walk it all- the maximum pleasure in the Himalayas is usually on the way than at the destination, wild horses, beautiful sunrise, magical forests, mad traffic, traffic jam up there :P ,climbing to madhi on short cuts , (the last destination, the snow hadn’t melted enough for the road to open till Rohtang pass) ,writing names in snow walls, climbing and summit a Himalayan mountain top (not the whole of course) without ropes and with hiking shoes on ice, (at something around 3,400 ft), snow flowers, learning to climb/walk on snow without slipping much, sliding, meeting traders of fake Kasturi, -good people note- there were huge tire tubes midway on the ice, where they let you slid down on it for 50/- , I was just slowly walking my way down , absorbing the upper reaches which we had just descended , without any kind of annoyance in form of people, and thinking why would I want to go down there where there were masses, when the tube man asked me if I’d like to slid, I didn’t ,he insisted that I do, I still didn’t ,so he went- “ I won’t take your money and I insist that you go” “but I cannot go on it for free , really” –, “you are like my daughter , do come and sit – I am not taking you money, but I insist that you go and not wear yourself out”,
So, you know “err okay, thank you very much” what else could I say anyhow, the ride which lasted only a few seconds was pretty exhilarating, while I struggled to keep my top from being stuck between the edge and the snow, (it was an old one which my mom used to wear when she travelled to cold places) , while I did miss walking down, it was a new thing to do, and I did pay him half the sum, I gave it to his helper down town while he shouted no from up :P and we waved goodbye.  Yaks, overly priced food and coffee which did feel heavenly after the excursion, while I hate coffee usually, the walk back down, watching the winding road while dark threatening clouds advanced on the mountain tops, bringing with them the realization of the actual cold- which had been held at bay by the harsh sunlight up there. As exhausted children fell asleep, I watched each passing scene wide eyed, trying to memories it all, hold it in my heart till I visited the mountains again, the indescribably beautiful terrain, which is not explained or talked of, but only felt. It needs to be sniffed ,touched, heard, sensed and looked on-each small aspect dissected and felt with a mind and heart brimming over with thankfulness and love, a feeling of calm and peace invades, as ones looks on the mighty one’s beauties, it is a slight mesmerizing of the spirit, you feel so joyous, and it just stops short of making you want to cry, but cry you do not, because you’re more awed than that. it is that amazing.
The same day was fraught with considerable pleasure and excitement, like river crossing,
Video here-
Shopping – dry fruits, gifts for friends, sampling interestingly hued woolen caps while conversing merrily with the shopkeeper, buying something for my brother- discussing politics with that shopkeeper, buying a breathtaking fabric for mom as her birthday gift, conversing with the shopkeeper and his helps along with helping other guys choose things for their beloved females, I actually liked that place so much that I just might order stuff from there, amazing designs and bearable prices. cherries and ice cream. And the most interesting shopping- looking in at every single jewelry shop that came en route. Of course we went everywhere on foot no matter how far it was, that is the only way to get to know a city. we miss out too much when we don’t walk. The tourist city offers some amazing collection as far as silver jewelry is concerned, though you have to know what you are looking at or it is easy to be fooled. I had all the time in the world, something I don’t usually have while shopping, it felt like a big luxury in itself. Pearls, cats eyes, turquoise, moon stone, jade, Zircon, Aventurine and many more, I love stones and I was having a lot of fun.

a few random ones of the many shots of the mountains.

3- the day of departure, saw me ,brother and another team senior dashing out early for the last minute fruit shopping for every one- peaches flowing with juice and some cherries that we finished on our walks to and fro to find the precious litchis , and finding only the last 500 grams in the whole town, which we simply divided between us, though this way we got to see the local vegetable market, gaining some knowledge in some local veggies, the early morning also saw me making my first really big purchase for myself that is,, I bought myself a piece of  jewelry, something for my birthday, as mom said on phone, so hurrah on that. I will probably be wearing it all day that day.
The bus took us-my heart crying out saying goodbyes to the mountain tops, and in the evening , the great Indian plains came in to view, the next morning saw us in Delhi, near the front gate of Delhi Akshardham, I travelled in the metro for the first time, we stayed at a temple rest quarters, and went to the Tibetan bazaar, which was just rows of small shops selling cloths for men, nothing amazing, but in the last corner shop in the basement I found a Tibetan red and turquoise string bracelet. I am a lover of big antique designs and stones. buying A gift for father and stopping the seniors from getting us all kicked out with some nasty Tibetan kicks on our backsides by pulling them out while they were engrossed in flirting with the cute shop girl there, she kept looking at me- I am not sure if she wanted help or if she was wondering what I was doing with the gang of hooligans from hell- while the boys were pretty oblivious to the rising annoyance of the Tibetan males around us.
Anyhow, the next evening saw us home. Relief , and pleasure.
I also went to the beach with my cousin and tried my hand at being a zombie, -
Took lots of photos –while being totally amazed by the unexpected beauty of that particular beach. Went to the farm for a day and came back the next.
Another 4 day trip to Abu, did some heavy trekking in those mountains, saw my first sloth bears and Indian Badgers (very rare to spot in the wild), 3 specimens of both the species, very much near to the kitchen of the place we’d stayed at. (sitting out late on the out cropping of a rock with the camera at the ready on the tripod, after a grueling day full of trekking), As well as swarms of birds, so many of them for the first time, watching them only by sitting still or lying under the big banyan tree-the beloved place of the birds- I haven’t even come around to posting their photos yet. I do not know if I will. Eating the jungle berries, making friends with the caretaker’s children. Getting stuck on a hanging boulder- I got there alright by jumping and bumping myself in the huge crack that divided it from the main rock body, but seeing no possibilities of getting back the same was, as the disconnected edge of the rock body was higher than the edge of the boulder, with the gap – it was not possible for me to go back the same way, it was interesting how I slithered under thorn bushes to get out of that situation. I was trying to connect my mobile to a stray wi fi some where there, by the way. That trip was beautifully pleasant and full of adventure.
Then came the last one, to Pune, Ahemadnagar,
Good things about it-
Getting to go somewhere yet again with my brother.
Lush green valleys and mountains cut by flowing streams and tiny waterfalls, watching them in the morning from the moving train. Lots of tunnels, cool and dark, lovely weather. Green- everywhere.
Seeing a brilliant dance performance and getting- as I think- some amazing shots. Some lovely flower shots
Time with the team, getting to know them more, (mostly with the 2 seniors though) making friends and talking till late joking (half dreading having to go to sleep)
Brother winning a medal.
One and only decent shop in that town, a pastry shop, to which we went to celebrate the victory, that being the only relief in the sequence of “without sugar” food of the place.
the football+basketball matches we played in the basketball ground to while away the time,which included a water bottle filled with sand,each team trying to kick it in their round area near the basket and than getting 3 goes at basket it with hands. we won :D
The dreadful things about it- awful food, more awful lodgings and big rats, big mosquitoes and big bed bugs, enough said.
Anyhow , it’s all over now, and as someone nice said- bad memories and experiences sometimes make for the most inspiring writings, I am going to keep this already funny seeming episode well remembered.  My vacation is going to be over soon too, next Monday I resume college, the temple door project is shaping up and I am going to buy the timber tomorrow if all goes as planned, the carving is finalized, the funds almost ready, I simply can’t wait for my first baby project to shape up!
That is all for now folks, good night from me sitting in a distant land where it hasn’t rained today. The wind is dead and we may expect a drizzle by morning.
I promise a better composed entry the next time. Thank you for reading, I’d fully understand if you don’t :D

1 comment:

  1. it was really nice, u know remembering every piece of detail,it was very paced...u wrote well..