Today I want to tell the whole world that I am now an Author.
Yes, that’s right.
I have been writing for over 5 years now and always wanted to see my work in the form of a Book. Last year in June’19, I started working towards making this dream come true and dedicated a good 6 months to it.
Today, I don’t have much to say as I am elated and humbled by all the love, support and good wishes that have been bestowed on me by my friends, family and last but not the least, my readers.
Therefore, without any further adieu let me introduce you to my first book, Silent Words.
“Hear and connect with the real you, every whisper will be true.”
Standing at 2850 m, Triund is a small hill station situated in Himachal Pradesh, India. It is a part of the Dhauladhar ranges. While the trek is called Triund Trek the magic of this trek starts from this beautiful place named McLeod Ganj.
A few minutes outside the serene and religious town of Dharamshala lies the mesmerizing McLeod Ganj. It harbours so much within itself that you feel all that you need is right here. I wanted to get lost in the streets of McLeod Ganj.
So it started in the month of Dec’19 when I called my buddy from college and told him about my past treks. For some reason we both decided that the next time I go for a trek, my friend Nikhil will join (no matter what!).
2 months passed and here he was. All the way from Bombay and ready for his first ever trek. I am glad that I was the one who got to share this experience with him. It was Mar’20 and we were all set to climb and experience the infamous Triund.
Part 1: Mumbai to Delhi via Jaipur 😛
So this story consists of 2 friends. Let’s talk about one of them here. He boarded a flight from Bombay which was scheduled to reach Delhi at 5:30 pm but due to Delhi’s ever persistent air traffic, our friend Nikhil ended up circling the capital for almost 2 hours or so before his flight captain decided to divert to Jaipur.
Result: We missed our bus from Delhi to Dharamshala that day. It was 6-Mar-20. Nikhil reached Delhi late in the night. But… little did life know that we two are perhaps the most stubborn of people when it comes to plans. We booked for the very next day and handled the minor hiccups.
Part 2: Delhi to Dharamshala to McLeod Ganj
So, it was 7-Mar-20 and time was 8:30 am. We reached Kashmere Gate bus stop and started with our trip. It was a slow but a steady start. The journey was of 10 hours but we had so much catching up to do that time flew by and amidst laughter and nostalgia we reached Dharamshala at 8 pm (bus was running late).
Time flies when you are enjoying it, doesn’t it?
Nikhil & I
Even though the distance between Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj is next to nothing, I really want to share this experience with you all. So we reached Dharamshala and were hungry as ever. Luckily we found this Street food Vendor who was selling some version of Bread and Lentils and Spices and Potato and whatever… I was hungry. We ate and fixed ourselves a cab. The Cab driver took in two puffs and raced Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 on the drenched & narrow roads running from Dharamshala to McLo (McLo is what they call McLeod Ganj).
Talk about SWAG! 2 Puffs and Vroom!!!!!!!
What the heck is this?
Part 3: Now the fun begins (8-Mar-20)
After a good night sleep, both Nikhil and I started our TREK. We reached the starting point where we met a couple of interesting people and bonded over our shared love for adventures and nature. It was cold and thanks to our lucky stars, it had snowed the day before. Good things happen to good people. We were all geared up and fired up to climb this mountain. Let’s go now!
This trek consisted of some beautiful waterfalls and views along the way and we made sure we live each and every part of it. Well at least we tried to. The calming sound of water falling from the top and resonating echoes in the valleys made us forget about music. Here are some pictures for your eyes and soul. (Enjoy the Slideshow)
After a climb of 4.5 hours we reached the top and it sure was welcoming. We were greeted by Snow and a lovely view of the mountains at the front and a valley at the back. What more could we have asked for?
Oh and yes, we also made a friend over there. Man’s best friend. A mountain dog.
We stayed there overnight and once again were lucky because it was Full Moon that night. Good things happen to…
We talked for a while, wandered in the mountains for a while, had the most healthy of dinner (so healthy that we took two plates each), drank tea and coffee, heard someone play Guitar which echoed in the valley and just stared at the vastness of the Mountain that was standing right infront of us with all its might. Once again, I am falling short of words here.
Unfortunately both of our phones ran out of battery and we did not have with us a good camera so we couldn’t click those images properly.
In the morning we met some of the beautiful sun rays and it seemed as if someone refreshed the green paint in the valley at night. It was so lush, so mesmerising, so…
Part 4: Down Trek and McLo
So on 9-Mar-20 we trekked down from the top of Triund and came back to McLo. Trip is not over yet. We, being the explorers as always, decided to wander into the streets of McLo and understand the place that it was. We went to the famous Monastery which also happens to be the residence of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, explored the narrow market roads of McLo and Nikhil being the food fanatic, found this beautiful authentic Tibetan restaurant. Later we visited a famous Church in McLo which was built in the 1800s.
It’s the simple things in life which should excite us for they are true to the core.
Food Food Food
Lost as always
This Church is beautiful from Inside. More beautiful 😉
So yeah, later we came back to Dharamshala and waited there for a while for our bus to take us back to our lives in the cities. But while going back we both had a big smile on our faces because, we just got to live these beautiful 3 days which gave us the much needed boost and happiness.
What started on 7-Mar-20 ended on 9-Mar-20 and each and every moment in these two days was utter bliss. I don’t know how to convey such a feeling through words. Being a Poet I am falling short right now because this is much bigger than me and I love this feeling. Maybe this image will help.
In the end all I could say to Nikhil after Triund and the entire experience was,
Hey! What about the next trek dude?
He replied: Anytime you call me.
My Best Buddy.
Last Part: The Learnings & Experience
On 8-Mar-20 we conquered Triund and stayed there for a whole day. What Triund gave me was
An old Friend
Lots and lots of Love
Thank you for walking with us. Lots of Love. Take care.
Situated in the Garhwal region, Uttarakhand (State in India), Nag Tibba peak is a part of the Himalayan range. Standing at 3000+ meters, it is one of the most beautiful treks which can be covered over a period of 2-3 days.
It was during the winter holidays that I along with 5 of my friends from work decided to go for this small adventure called Nag Tibba. We booked out tickets, packed our bags, convinced some of our friends to stop being lazy and rushed towards the bus station at 9:00 pm on 14-Dec-2018. Journey from Gurgaon to Kashmere Gate gave us a preview of the fun that this trip was going to unfold.
In the freezing Uttarakhandi winter we arrived at Mussoorie early in the morning around 5 am on 15-Dec-2018. It was colder than we had expected and the smell of mountain’s freshly brewed coffee attracted us like bees to flowers. All in all, it was super cold and super chilly. Struggle was to wash hands before and after we had food.
Shrayash serving us coffee
From Mussoorie we took a traveller cab and reached the base location, Pantwari. In my opinion this is where that mountain feeling started to sink in. Through the twisty and bendy roads of the hills of Mussoorie with a little bit of motion sickness due to the sudden sharp turns, all 6 of us kept looking outside the cab window. The mesmerising view was… (I cannot describe it but I can show it to you.)
Sun Rays hitting the Peak
Water from the mountain
Edge of the world
Might of the Mountain
After a 3.5 hours of journey we reached the base location. From now on the journey was on foot and the trek was about to begin. After fueling ourselves up and getting fresh we took to the mountains. Energy and enthusiasm was high and the feeling of being far away from the hustle and bustle of Delhi was so soothing. Laughter never left our side.
The trek was a two day one. On day one we trekked from Panthwari to Base Camp 1. This part of the climb was dusty & full of rocks and pebbles. Scorching heat of the Sun on the dried winter skin did not do justice to us and we did experience some degree of Sunburn. That’s what happens when you leave for a trip at the last minute, you forget to pack Sunscreen. However the view made up for it. Cars and houses kept on getting smaller along with our worldly problems and at 1500 meters all we had was friendship, laughter, stories & people posing for pictures.
Playlist getting ready
What if I could fly?
So after a 6 hours plus climb we reached our location for Day 1. Even though it was a harsh welcome we enjoyed it thoroughly and those memories are fresh even till this date (evident by my writing I suppose). Our Guide who also happened to be our host was this down to earth humble mountain man. He offered us food, tents and shelter (part of the package) and what we Indians called Mehman-nawazi. We ate a lot because we were hungry from the climb and later set ourselves up a Bonfire and had a few rounds of drink. The cold mountain air at -3 degree Celsius added to the fun. Singing songs till 2 am, dancing to our own tunes, cracking jokes which were not at all age appropriate and most of all looking at the Star studded night sky were the highlights of that night. We all shared a group hug at 3 am before we went to our tents for a few hours of sleep. I still remember that.
Sunset from base camp
Day 2 started off with a beautiful sunrise. We got ready, had some breakfast, took some caffeine and whilst admiring the view, geared up for the second half of the climb. Now this climb was snowy, hard and longer than the one we had done yesterday. We started for the peak at 8:30 am on 16-Dec-2018 and no matter how fast we climbed we were running behind schedule. Gatorade all the way! (or, Gaitonde as my group calls it :P)
We slipped a lot but after a lot of shenanigans we did make it to the Top. It felt like we had achieved something extraordinary. Trust me for some of us who were hung over from the night before, it was. Around 1:30 pm we reached the famous peak of Nag Tibba where situated was this beautiful Temple.
Nag Tibba means Serpent’s Peak and the temple was of Nag Devta where locals come and pray for the protection of their cattle.
We sat there for some time, admired the view and joked around for quite a bit. Talked to some of the locals and got to know their story. Played in the snow and yes, took lots and lots of pictures.
Day 2 Climb
Biggest travel freak amongst us
I have seen him somewhere 😛
Hard worker of the group
On 16th Dec’18 we conquered Nag Tibba and it was my first trek ever. I was proud of myself for doing a 3000+ m high trek being a newbie.
What did I take away from Nag Tibba?
Nag Tibba gave me two things:
It was a very positive experience and till date those views flash back in my head as if it was just yesterday that we were there. I learnt that when you have the right people with you, they help you to rise up no matter how many times you fall.
I hope you enjoyed this journey. Thank you for walking with me. Love you.
Blogging has this beautiful thing in it. It makes you feel so special, so connected to yourself. Sometimes I find out so much about so many things when I sit behind this blog and dive into the World of Words.