Tag Archives: Flash Back

Trip To Remember – The Valley Of Flowers Trek – Part 4

A quick recap from the last blog posts (post 1post 2post 3) in this trek series. We kick-started our journey from Chennai and landed on Dehra Dun via a flight. From there, we hired a cab to reach Rishikesh, our base camp. Then, we traveled to Joshimath by bus and trekked to Ghangaria from Govindghat. From Ghangaria, we hiked the most beautiful Valley of Flowers and the divine Gurudwara Shri Hemkund Sahib.

Day 5: 1st August 2019

As usual, we woke up early and was all set and packed by 7.30 am to commence our descent back to Govindghat. I decided no to repeat my mistake, so along with others, I dropped my backpack to the Mule Guy, hoping he would safely transport it to our bus stationed at Govindghat. I decided to trek down on foot, whereas Buddy, Nigi, Govi, and Thiyaga had another plan, to fly by Helicopter.

Luckily, I got the company of the super-fast Himakar and Kavya for this leg of the journey. We oddly stopped anywhere in between, except for some lemonade on the way. It was a fun and easy downhill trek. In fact, we even waved at the chopper that our guys flew, I wonder if they had noticed it. It was just around 10.30 when we reached Pulna. Again, I was determined not to repeat my mistakes. So, we took a shared cab back to Govindghat instead of trekking down the motorable road. We were a little tired and super hungry as we reached Govindghat around 11 am. Again it was a Gurudwara to the rescue. We had a heavenly Langar before returning back to our bus. It took around 3 pm for the rest of the folks to return to the bus and head to our next camp. In the meantime, we whiled away the time chitchatting and catching up with some sleep. After an hour and a half drive on the thrilling mountainous roads, we reached our next camp, YHAI Badrinath.

Hands down, it was possibly the poshest camp that we have stayed in all our 3 treks with YHAI. As usual, we were welcomed with some hot tea and Potato Fritters. Badrinath is also home to the most famous Badrinarayan Temple. It’s considered to be one of the Char Dham (“four abodes”), visiting which would help in reach salvation. To our advantage, the temple was just a km from our camp and is open only from April to October. So, after a quick fresh-up, we merrily walked to the temple. This one is definitely one of the unique temples I have ever visited. The front face of the temple looked more like a Buddhist monastery, rather than the typical towered structure. After the temple visit, we roamed around shopping souvenirs for our families. Then, after heading back to the camp, post our dinner, we had some fun time dancing and singing at the common hall. And, that’s how yet another awesome day came to an end.

Day 6: 2nd August 2019

I woke up with all the excitement, cos we would be visiting a place of both geographical and religious importance. The camp had a long-standing tradition that every group visits the camp plants a sapling. So, we planted a couple of plants before starting for the day. A 20 mins drive and a couple of mins of walk bought us to our next destination, a significant one. Around 8 am, we reached Mana, the last village of India. Located 10,500 ft above the sea level and 26 km of the Indo-Tibetan border makes Mana the last inhabited village of India. Quite interestingly, while exiting on the other end of Mana, you would notice a few shops self proclaim themselves to be the last shop/tea shop in India.

From there, we had to trek another 6 km to reach our next spot. The first half of the trail was kind of flat, and the next half was quite steep and challenging. Nevertheless, it was the most scenic route of the whole trek and a bit adventurous too. As we approached, I was awestruck by the view of the magnificent Vasudhara Falls. The scene of the water cascading 145 mt tall mountain cliff and the sound of the water splashing down the rock bed was absolutely breathtaking. Views like these signify how minuscule and weak we humans in front of nature’s forces. We spent almost an hour at the falls enjoying its sheer beauty, before returning. It was already around 2 pm when we reach back to Mana, and we were super hungry. So, we went to “India’s Last Tea And Cofee Corner” and had some Potato Fritters and some Maggi. Then back at the camp, the rest of the day was spent relaxing and chitchatting. Just like the last night, we even had some fun sessions at the common hall. And, that’s how yet another awesome day came to an end.

Day 7: 3rd August 2019

Life is uncertain as much as the mountain weather. We were supposed to start back to our base camp as early as 7 am. But, as it heavily rained the last night, our departure got delayed till 10.45 am due to landslides. The clogged roads and very slow-moving traffic further added to the delayed start, and it was already 1.30 pm when we crossed GovindChat. Again yet another massive landslide after VishnuPrayag caused a heavy traffic jam and delayed us further by an additional couple of hours.

It started getting dark by 7 pm as we crossed the Rudraprayag. And, our driver advised us that it’s not safe to drive on the mountain roads all night, That crashed our hope of reaching Rishikesh by the same day. As advised by YHAI, we reached the town of Srinagar Garhwal around 9.30, where we would be spending the night at a Gurudwara. Again, a Gurudwara to rescue. We were super tired traveling on the bus for a whole day. So, we went and hit our bed straight after having our dinner at a nearby cafe. And, that’s how yet another awesome day came to an end.

Day 8: 4th August 2019

As per our initial itinerary, we should have already been in Mussoorie. But, due to the delays the last day, we haven’t even reached our base camp, Rishikesh yet. Now, expecting the unexpected on the mountain had become a new norm for us. As planned, we departed to Rishikesh as early as 5.30 am. After a quick stop for breakfast around 7, we finally reached our base camp by 9.40 am. Then, we got freshened up, collected our extra luggage, and completed the checkout formalities before finally bidding adieu to the base camp.

By noon we got a cab and headed to our next destination Mussoorie, a hill station located a couple of hours drive from Rishikesh. On arriving, we decided to chuck all our initial plans to visit the famous touristy places. And, unanimously chose to relax and unwind after one hell of an adventurous trek. As soon as we reached our homestay, it started to rain heavily. Damn, yet another curveball to our plans. In the meanwhile waiting for the rain to subside, I took a relaxing hot shower and ate my lunch. Luckily, the rain stopped around 4 pm, and our chances to roam around became as bright as the sun that began showing up. Our first stop was the Lovely Omelet Centre, one of the most famous eateries in Mussoorie. I was super impressed even with their plain omelet and was able to see my friends happy devouring their chili cheese and butter versions.

Next, we took a cab to Landour to taste the food at Char Dukan, one of the oldest eateries and well known to be frequently visited by celebrities. There, we had their famous Bun Omelet, Choco Banana Waffles, and soothing Ginger Lemon Tea.

Then we roamed on the Mall road for a while, just for the food to get digested. Finally, we concluded the outing with a sumptuous dinner at Kal Sang, a Chinese & Tibetan restaurant.

Back at the homestay, we spent the night boozing and playing board games. And, that’s how yet another awesome day came to an end.

Day 9: 5th August 2019

The day started well with a yummy Poha made by the homestay people. Being the last day of this trip, and I felt both homesickness and the anxiety of going back to the routine. It was a kind of hard to describe mixed feelings for me. Around 11.30 am, we took a cab to Dehradun Airport, from where we would be boarding our flights to Chennai via Mumbai.

On the way, we decided to try the Biriyani at the most famous Doon Darbar restaurant. Against my expectation, the not so spicy Biriyani failed to impress me but loved their Special Chicken Changezi.

After a splendid meal, we reached the airport around 2.30 pm and checked in on time for our flight scheduled at 4 pm. Our bad, the flight got delayed due to the bad weather and took off to Mumbai only by 4.55 pm. Again, the bad weather played the villain and made our flight circle the Mumbai skies for a while. Only after landing around 7.30, we realized that our 8 pm connecting flight to Chennai would depart from another terminal. Damn, we took an Auto and rushed to the Terminal 2 and literally ran in the airport to board our flight on time. For a while, it felt like “The Amazing Race” tv reality show. Finally, we landed around 10.30 pm and, there is nothing like the feel of homecoming. But, unfortunately, it wasn’t quite welcoming. It seems, unlike us, our baggage didn’t make it on time to the flight, and we had to wait for another hour to receive them. At that point, all I needed was to get done with this trip and the endless curveballs that it throws at me. Ultimately, we got back our languages just past midnight and headed back to each other’s house after bidding adieu. And, that’s how an awesome trip came to an end.

Right from the bus accident on day 2 to the baggage delay on the very last day, this trip was full of twists and turns, just like those mighty mountains. That’s definitely why this is a Trip To Remember.

The End.

Loveu Letter

Dear Love,

Hope you are fine?. Probably, I shouldn’t be asking you this question today. It’s valentine’s day and the whole world is celebrating you. You are the one of the best things that came across my life, wish you stayed bit longer. I can’t blame you either, both villains EGO and religion played their part in temporarily flushing you out of my life. You know what, it’s been years, but I still miss those beautiful moments being with you. You are awesome and magical, aren’t u?. You pushed beyond my comfort zones and made me do crazy things. I enjoyed it all until you left me one fine day, alone and dry. It was hard and disastrous for me. Somehow I moved on, filled my life with things that would fill your absence. But, there is this small void which I couldn’t avoid. The wounds are healed, but the scar remains and reminds you. All I now wish is for someone who could bring you back to me. This time, I am gonna hold you tight and gentle. I have learnt how fragile you are, so will handle you with care. Hope you don’t keep me waiting too long.

Many are happy today because of you, please stay with them forever. Many more are still hoping for you, you are their last hope. Reach them soon and keep them happy too. I can imagine the world with no air and no water, but not without you. Be there for us always.

Love You Love.

Yours Lovingly
Gokoulane Ravi

This is a post written for a Valentine’s Day – Write a love letter campaign organized by The Chennai Bloggers Club.

Visit http://www.chennaibloggers.in for more details.

The one who became a salesman for a while

After completing work at my office, I headed straight to a well know books and gifts store to buy gifts for my very close friend’s wedding reception the very next day. After reaching there I spent some time looking at the books and gifts and querying the sales person before finalizing the gift. As I was informed that it would take some time to safe pack the gift as it’s a porcelain one, I simply went around the store. I saw a couple came to me with queries, they looked like college going boy and a girl. They completely misunderstood me as a salesperson, as I was still wearing my ID card around my neck and the color of the ID card rope was very similar to that of employees in that store. Initially was quite irritated with in, but decided to play along. My initial conversation and queries with the real sales person really helped, Following is the conversation I had with them.

Boy :  (pointing to a gift piece from a distance) How much that costs,
Me :  (Reaches the piece, Looks at the price tag on it) 415 Rs sir.
Girl :  (Pointing to another one) What it is made of.
Me :  Terracotta and some wood.

(Both discussed for some time going around, while I stayed patient)

Boy :  (Now points to a glass crystal kinda article)  Will it break.
Me :  (Wow what a wonderful question) definitely yes sir, You can try it at your own cost. You have to handle it with care.
Boy : (Smiling at me) Ok then we will take this one.
Me : (Pointing to the packing desk) Please take it there, they should help you.

(I left the place as soon as they moved, I saw the real sales person looking at me confused from the distance)

(I was standing in the billing counter, I saw the couple come and stand behind me, they got  even more confused to see me standing there)

Billing Staff : Cash or Credit Card ?
Me :  (hands over the card) Remove the price tag from the box, I wanted it gift wrapped.
Girl : (Rushes to me) You are ?
Me : Just like you people, came here to buy stuff.
Girl : (Points to my ID Card) I am really sorry I miss understood you. I am really sorry again.
Me : (Now the guy also joins and both repeating “Sorry” like a mantra)  No problem Its ok.
Me : (Pointing the guy) Don’t you know glass breaks?
Girl : (Laughs and beats that guy soft on his shoulder) Even I thought it was a stupid question.

(We three laughed, and I left them with a smile)

Their’s sorry even continued when they saw me again at the parking lot. Initially I got irritated when they mistook me as a salesperson, It’s my ego which made me think “I am a SOFTWARE ENGINEER and not a salesperson”. Calming down for a  second and killing my ego for some minutes gave me an unexpected experience. It just reminded me of a Quote “No job is too small”. Has anyone got similar experiences?

Moral of the story : Remove your ID card as soon as you exit from the office 😛 .

The One Who Is A Chocolate Boy

This one fellow who i know for so long is called a chocolate boy not because he is sweet and all but because of his love towards chocolate, show him a chocolate and u can see a big smile on his face and his eyes glittering out of joy.

I wad quiet anxious to know when it all started, So i asked the one who know him more than he knows himself, Yes his mom only and she narrated me the following funny incident :D.

When he is around 3 we want him to get admitted in school for L.K.G, So his dad took so much effort to get admission form for one of the best school in north Chennai (Its quiet competitive even to get admission form it seems). But he has to undergo a small interview to get the admission. The day came and we were seated out of the principal’s office and waiting for the interview. Next to us was a parents who were pointing to another kid coming out of principal’s room with chocolate to their kid and said “You will also get chocolate if you answer correctly”. Next was our turn and we went inside the principal room and sat silently. The principal is a father (Its a christian school) and he was very polite. After looking at our admission form he asked my son “Kid What is your name” and my son was keenly looking at the bag of chocolate on the table and replied “Give me chocolate then only i will say my name”. While the principal was smiling politely after hearing the unexpected answer but me and my husband were completely panicked only then i realized this fellow was keenly observing what happened outside. Again principal asked politely “How many chocolate u want” and my son showed his 10 fingers but ended up getting only two chocolates in each hand. I could see a great joy in his face but my husband’s face filled with panic and anger thinking all his effort would fail. Then he answered all the question asked by the principal with ease. Then the principal said that my son got the admission and he also mentioned that my son talk so good and frank in this young age without any fear unlike other kids who gendraly fumble and blessed him. We walked out of the room with a great relief and my son was busy munching the choclate which he got, Since then i see his love for chocolate never went down even today

As many of you might have guesed that awesome kid is me and the above thing was exactly what my mom narated to me and the school was Don Bosco Schoo, Broadway and i studied there till my 2nd std. Even today many used to make fun of me for my love for chocolate but who bothers, I love chocolate and i feel happy when i eat them 😀 . “Munch” is my most fav chocolate, some of my college friends named me “Munch Boy” cos they could see me munching it all the time. If you want some thing to be done just bribe me “Munch” 😀