Bookmark

 

On the seat right next to mine

there was an old & torn book.

Faded ink on it spoke of a time,

Long gone now. It seemed bespoke.

Out of habit to turn pages,

My eyes started running over the faded words.

A few pages later there was a bookmark

on which written were these words…

Once you read, place the marker into the next page

and write a few lines about yourself,

Become a part of the book of age.

Keep it back on the seat, this was never meant for a bookshelf.

Upon doing as instructed I figured, I was reader number 511.

The book once belonged to this traveller

Who wished to meet the World.

Alas! he could not for time ran out. He was a believer.

He was reader number 001

and now I was a part of his world.

Nag Tibba Trek

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.

Coordinates are: 30°35′11″N 78°9′4″E
December 2018

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.

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Shrayash, Jashan, Devarsh, Nishant, Neha & Shivangi

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.

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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.)

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Sun Rays hitting the Peak

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Water from the mountain

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Edge of the world

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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.

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At Pathwari

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.

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.

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Bonfire preparation

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Sunset from base camp

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Bonfire

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.

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Morning View

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Day 2 Climb

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Biggest travel freak amongst us

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I have seen him somewhere 😛

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Hard worker of the group

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Laziest one

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Snow starts

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:

  1. Friendship
  2. Memories

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.

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Friends

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Memories

खेल

 

एक खेल खेला करते थे हम.
खेल के कुछ नियम हुआ करते थे.
जीत और हार से टटोलते थे मन
छोटी छोटी बातो पे झगड़ा करते थे.
काफी नोक झोक हुआ करती थी
लड़ाईया भी हुआ करती थी
पर पता है उन सबके बाद भी
खेल की गाडी नहीं रूकती थी.
सब कुछ भूल के अगले दिन फिरसे एक खेल खेला करते थे हम.

अब खेलने के दिन गए शायद
नियम के बंधन भी मिट गए शायद
रोज़ रोज़ मिलना भी काम हो गया शायद
पार छोटी छोटी बातो में झगडे आज भी होते है
और फिरसे वह दो दोस्त साथ में कभी नहीं खेलते है.
शायद समझदार बनते बनते समझ कम हो जाती है,
दोस्ती बिना किसी बात के कहानी बन के रह जाती है,
जो बात बचपन में पता थी आज नहीं समझ आती है,
सिर्फ खेल बदला है, पर हम तो आज भी वही साथी है.

Could you just?

Did you know?

No, I know you did not.

Did it show?

Yes, but no one took a note.

What now?

Sorry, You already forgot.

How?

That’s what we were taught.

 

First learn to see, listen, empathize & care. Rest will follow.

-Nishant, The Poet and the Pen.

Dear Ghost of Past

You never leave, do you?

And just stay somewhere out there.

Your presence becomes weak with time

But you don’t leave.

Thank you for not leaving

And reminding me of the gone.

Because of you, Dear Ghost of Past, I never stopped believing.

Stay with me until my work is done.

Take a call

 

Memories outweigh moments,

For they stay and the latter passes.

There is always a component,

Which never advances.

For missing we always seek atonement,

At the mercy of chances,

And forget something very important,

Flow never seizes under any circumstances.

Thereby we set ourselves up for missing,

By letting go of what we should be receiving.

And soon one day everything will stop moving…

Either live while you can or simply keep wishing.

A bedtime story

 

Every night before I went to bed,

I asked for a story to dream about.

And just as I laid my head,

My narrator would start about.

Once upon a time is what he would say,

And introduce a character quite familiar.

In the story, the silly boy would lose his way,

While searching for something dear.

He would meet a wise old owl,

Who would wipe his tears,

And tell him something different,

That would end the boy’s fear.

The boy would then find the lost,

Using the lesson he had just learned.

And pay the owl a coin as a cost,

For a bedtime story needs to be earned.

 

 

~Good Night.

Let’s dance, shall we?

An emotional story which is practical and brave.

Dear, an email just arrived.
I shall have to take your leave,
For I need to help the deprived.
It’s time I Share what I received.

My absence is indefinite as of now,
I know it will be hard for you to bear.
But dear, I am sorry. I made a vow,
And vows are a beautiful love affair.

They seek sacrifice and your man is brave,
Times are tough but I shall face.
Let me play my part and save,
Just like you saved me once with grace.

And even if I don’t return, we shall meet.
There is no way for us to stay apart.
You took care of me amidst that desert’s heat,
And departed while on duty along with my heart.

Let me play my part just like you did.
You took 3 bullets but still didn’t bend your knee.
So now I will close my eyes and extend my arms,
For before I go on war, let’s dance, shall we?