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December 2015

Solo Journeys

The Ones Who Miss All the Fun Are Those Who Say, “It can’t be done.”: Trek to Beas Kund

December 21, 2015
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“All the birds have flown up and gone
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by
We never tire of looking at each other-
Only the Mountain and I”
PS: pictures are not necessarily in order of the events. Do not miss the video at the end of the blog!

It was June of 2015, when the snow was yet to melt from, I had been wanting to start my own travel company, as much as I was in a rush to do so, I wanted to create something different. Try and test before I take the plunge, fail, struggle, get hurt, lose confidence, its all a part of the game called life.

It was the first time I was organising a trek, which means people pay me and I arrange everything. Nimmat Thakur, an ace mountaineer from Rumsu which is very close to Manali was my operations CEO and I was banking on him, without any doubts.

DAY 1:

We were six including me, four young boys, all with some trekking experience, and a friend of mine – a forty something lady whose physical stamina could not have been challenged by the toughest. We reached Manali later than we thought, and hence we all just kept getting late, the traffic, the preparations. Nevertheless we made it to Dhundi, the starting point of the trek and started our trek to the base camp of Beas Kund. We were taking it totally easy, we all were extremely excited. However as bad luck had to strike, something went terribly wrong.

Since this was an organised trek, porters along with horses were required to carry our tents, sleeping bags and food, we were all carrying only our stuff. Nimmat had organised for horses whose owner decided to ditch us after we climbed for an hour which meant we didn’t have food, tents and sleeping bags, it was already 6pm!

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Nimmat did not know how to break this bad news to us as this meant we had to go back to where we started, and the moment he did, obviously we all were extremely disappointed, “what will happen now?” we all went completely blank. Since all customers are not the same, the lady didn’t take it too well, she reacted with anger which left all of us shut and handicapped to think of solution. She was right as a customer, she had paid for a service which she wasn’t receiving, but when you are outdoors you literally do not have a control over circumstances, how do you explain that to a customer? The boys were in a situation they didn’t want to be in, and I? I was feeling completely screwed, torn into three, like I could just kill myself, jump in the river or just jump of the cliff or just vanish in thin air.

 

The lady decided to go back to Manali, all of us made an attempt to calm her, we failed, the boys just told Nimmat to go and drop her safely there as there wasn’t a choice, it was dark. The rest of us decided to camp the night at Dhundi. Prashant was very clear from the beginning that he has to make it to the summit, by hook or by crook, his confidence gave me some confidence too and amidst all this stress and tension, all I could see in my mind was Beas Kund, the Kund that I had seen images of, the source of the holy Beas River.

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I was scared to sleep alone in the tent, not because of anything but the cold.

DAY 2:

I survived the night and woke up to this at 4:45 am!

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The next morning was bright and clear at Dhundi, with fresh hopes and the clean and pure mountain air, mountains never betray, at least I like to believe so. However again to our bad luck we didn’t get the horses! So what do we do now? with only one and a half days left to a three day trek?

I was angry now, really angry, at everything not at anyone. I asked Nimmat, who I trusted that if we could do this in a day, since he had seen me trekking before and knew my speed and with 100% confidence he said “aap toh kar loge”, Prashant backed my decision and the others supported it too. So we had our breakfast, packed our lunch and took of at 7:30 am, towards Beas Kund! in the name of lord!

 

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We crossed streams, meadows and reached Bakarthach, which is also a base camp for mountaineers studying at ABVIMAS (Atal Bihari Vajpai Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports). We reached this place in 3 hours from when we started and we had two more hours to go, the weather was bright and clear and I was walking along the mountains, I love love love mountains. We made it to the summit at 12pm sharp, covering a distance of 8kms in less than 5 hours. The morrains that came our way towards the last stretch was tricky, and that were I was thanking god for having Nimmat, someone who knew mountains.

 

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Spent an hour at the summit, had some hot tea which we were carrying and made it back to our base camp at Dhuni by 4:30pm, so it all worked, yaaeee! We were all so so so happy. 16 kms in the mountains in 9 hours.

A three day trek which we all happily and healthily completed in a day! Euphoric!

 

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My learning from this trek, energy! always and always pull the energy that connects with your energy, you will know!

We really need to teach people that outdoors is not luxury, if you are willing to be adventuress then you have to break inhibitions and forget about security and luxury.

 

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It was the most memorable trek of my life! And those four fellow trekkers Inshank, Nitin, Prashant and Saurabh now come in the list of some of my closest budds 🙂

 

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And something that will never die, my love affair with the mountains <3

DAY 3: Headed back to come back again !

Watch it here, a really fun video compiled by Ishank Ahuja

 

Solo Journeys

The Energy Culture & #tourism in India; Pushkar

December 10, 2015
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I am not young, I am not too old, its the curiosity that takes me to places and I might get killed someday (as they say ‘curiosity killed the cat’), but I guess its alright because being curious is also a blessing, you are in constant search of answers, even when you don’t know what the question is.

I had been trying to make a visit to Pushkar for almost the past 4 years and it had to be during the historical Pashu Mela. 2015 being the year, I made it there, during the festival!

 

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Picture credit: Saurabh Mehta https://www.facebook.com/PoisedLens/?fref=ts

 

So, coming back to curiosity, one of the things that I learned about myself is I am a very energy responsive person, infact all of us are, some of us either don’t realise it or are just oblivion to this concept. Pushkar was very different from any other place I have visited in India, any landscape, any town, Pushkar has an energy of its own, in its people, in the culture and you feel it the moment you get there, the air, the vibe is euphoric!

And what added on to the vibe, the place were I camped and the people I met. Every journey is always about that, and that’s what makes every journey an imprint on the mind.

 

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I couldn’t have asked for a better place to park my self, Zostel is what I picked this time around (I decided to get a little luxurious), and the moment you walk in there you feel like you are in a home away from home, and it didn’t take me long to find my spot, on the rooftop! The energy, the vibe was so so so good, for people who just don’t like to be bothered, disturbed, seen or judged and do believe in the “energy culture”, you might not find a stay better that this, and sometimes its not about anything else, not the price you paid and if it was value for money, not the services because you cannot expect a five star service everywhere, but just about the vibe. I met some great people and had amazing conversations on this very rooftop. I was super happy.

 

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Picture from: https://www.facebook.com/Zostel/?fref=ts

 

I loved the vibe so much that I gave up the Indian Ocean concert happening there, and just chilled on the rooftop. I love the energy culture that just creates itself on its own, everywhere! we are all energies, some good some bad.

“Trust your vibe, Your energies don’t lie” 🙂

Here are a few things you should definitely do in Pushkar:

  • Watch the sunset by the Ghat, and listen to the aarti.
  • Have Kachoris, Malpua, Jalebis from the local market, they are heaven!
  • Have a glass of the strong ‘special lassi’ at any cafe that has a special lassi on the menu. Caution: At your own risk 🙂

 

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My short visit to Pushkar got me think about cultures and traditions in rural India compared to urban, gosh we actually have so much to learn and go back to basics, we certainly need to. India is possibly the only country in the world that doesn’t promote #tourism, rather people from around the world come here and just sniff it. So may be its already there and it just needs a #tag :p. So should we call it #tourism in India?

 

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Picture credit: Saurabh Mehta https://www.facebook.com/PoisedLens/?fref=ts

 

I am wandering off again to the mountains soon, and this time with a purpose. keep yourself on this space 🙂