Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gadbad-- Part II

My guest writer, JN, continues. And of course you have to write Part III! :-)

Am sure ‘Gadbad part I’ would have given you a faint idea of what sort of situations you could fall in to on a wild adventure.

The adventure had only begun. Gadbad part II is set in the majestic Himalayas.

We are all ready in trekking gear, sunglasses, cargoes et all. One and a half minute uphill and we see D’s question mark reappear. What’s the trouble now? Our bags are heavy. Even the thickest of heads would have packed lighter. But enthu cutlets that both of us are… It was almost like the ancient chastisement of carrying rocks on your back to some uphill construction site. So one and half minute uphill, I see D flinging his stuff out. He was on a donation drive. He donated a sweatshirt to our guide’s friend and some more goodies here and there and felt lighter.

I was suddenly struck with an OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) of throwing my sack like backpack on the road. Everytime it would hit the rocks with a thud, I would experience an unexplainable sense of pleasure of taking revenge against the sack. I did that a number of times until a sweet fragrance of detergent floated around my nose. Not the rhododendrons, it was Dove shampoo bottle that had broken and poured out and dampened all my goodies (small, shiny things) in the bag. We soiled our hands trying to clean it midway. It was a messy affair.

D, one of the intellectual authors that he is, had the courtesy to carry my very feminine side bag all the way helping me struggle with two heavy bags on a trek. Told you…I was extremely well planned, I also carried my tacky looking, ladies side bag along on the trek for some god-forsaken reason. Any way, these teeny weeny planning fiascos should be forgiven when you are on an adventure.

More was waiting. Imagine a misty cliff, a very narrow trail, you almost balance yourself not to fall in the abyss, the trail is dotted with mysterious pink and white flowers. The mist is thick, you are careful you don’t lose your team. In short it’s a romantic and dreamy trail. A little ahead you hear some noise. When you are in such a setting you tend think of nice things, may be it’s a pretty antelope or a red panda peeping through the bamboo shrubs. Not to forget that we were in the Singalila National Park so such thoughts were not misplaced.

As we approach, the mist clears slightly and guess who it is? It a paranoid looking adult cow looking FB in the eye. Wouldn’t move. It just stared. By then the romance flew and hearts started pacing. D had a bright idea. “Run uphill,” he shouted. According to him that’s the safest thing to do cos the cow might not be able to chase us uphill. So FB and I scrambled, holding the edge of stones, pulling a branch and some how park ourselves in a safe corner. Meanwhile the enlightened soul of D had changed its direction. Diverting our attention towards the uphill task, he was about to run back. Deceived and deserted, we looked on as the mad cow gave us more crazy looks. We somehow escaped a fatal cow attack that day.

More happened at Sandakphu from epileptic seizure-like shivering of all adventurers, to deciding who will accompany whom on toilet calls at night to disturbed bowel movements due to the towering altitude and repeated doses of dal and rice.

But the unforgettable moment was on day 2 in Sandakphu. All chirpy and beaming with inspiration to see the Junga and the Everest, trekked up to a tiny hamlet. Not even a hamlet actually, just a single hut that strangely had very wild ferocious dogs and baby yaks as pets. After yak petting and gulping down glass of yak milk, the much-inspired intellectual authors scribbled notes in their diaries while FB and I stretched ourselves on a bench. You should have seen the enthu on our faces. We were waiting to see the peaks. How many bored souls (office infrastructure) would have seen or been in this moment? So we stared on, waiting for one glimpse of the peak, waiting for the pall of mist to move. It never did. We came back to our hut.

And guess what happens the next day? Early in the morning we venture out to catch the peaks. We realize that the peaks were on the other side. The day before all day we waited for the glimpse on the wrong side. Now that is what I call anti-climax.

More gadbad happened while we climbed a rather steep cliff to catch a view of the peaks. Underdressed lot froze and almost succumbed. The co-adventurers tried PJs, fagging and yoga to deal with the chill.

More happened, FB alleged that Deepa and Anil were on mysterious drugs that gave them the enthu to run up the rough terrain.

We come back to Bagdogra.

Now here you need to listen carefully. Unlike what co-adventurers had alleged that my cool had deserted me, this driver of ours was one of those weirdos who can make you bang your head with anger. He thought he was cool, would make a passing remark on every comment that co-adventurers made and would insist on explaining aloud how things at the hotel can be uncomfortable if one white faced guy accompanied three girls. Now that made me imagine, punching his face hard, shoving the finger at his face and many others. So this sleazy dude takes us to the sleaziest looking hotels.

BTW, the adventure has only started. If the hostess of this blog and co-adventurer, Deepa allows, I will narrate ‘Gadbad part III’. How our lives changed as we tried fighting with the weirdest of circumstances, how the question mark on D’s face reaches magnitude, how team travelers have an expedition in North Bengal, fighting child soldiers, storms and a broken car. So come back tomorrow for more gadbads. Till then, Muah.