Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Provide, provide!

No memory of having starred
Atones for later disregard,
Or keeps the end from being hard.

Better to go down dignified
With boughten friendship at your side
Than none at all. Provide, provide!
Robert Frost

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The most entertaining religion?

It was during that long conversation when Bibi asked me if I was born with a choice, which religion I would choose. I said, why, of course Hinduism. She asked me why and the answer was something I had realized a few seconds ago.

If I were to choose a religion, I would choose the most entertaining one, which would keep me occupied in case I want to be. Hinduism scores maximum on both these parameters. The number and variety of festivals and rituals in Hinduism are far more fun than others. Then those long travels just to see a stone that vaguely resembles one of the thoughts of one of the gods. I remember figuring out why we are calling a tetrahadron as Shivling at Kedarnath. Even when I first visited Vaishnodevi, I totally missed the Pinds and as we came out of the cave, I was asking Ma what we were supposed to look at. She was furious and decided to take me for a second round.

Anyways, I love the amount of travel that comes with the Hinduism package and so it is my first choice.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Because I choose to.

Agent Smith: Why, Mr. Anderson, why? Why, why do you do it? Why, why get up? Why keep fighting?

Do you believe you’re fighting for something, for more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is, do you even know? Is it freedom or truth, perhaps peace - could it be for love?

Illusions, Mr. Anderson, vagaries of perception. Temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose. And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself. Although, only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love.

You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson, you must know it by now! You can’t win, it’s pointless to keep fighting! Why, Mr. Anderson, why, why do you persist?

Neo: Because I choose to.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Press On !!

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race

- J. Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States of America

Monday, March 9, 2009

My Top 10: Favourite Treks

Love for trek is one attribute which I associate with trustworthiness. An ardent trekker with a penchant for nature can only be truthful and beautiful from within.

1. Khajjiar to Chamba
I can never forget climbing down the hill, crossing that wooden bridge and then having my lunch beside the flowing river with Bhaiya. This is just half the story :)

2. McLeodganj to Triund
This one is difficult (9 Km uphill) but the contrast of green and white at the top makes it worth the effort.

3. Mukteshwar Trek
This one is memorable because of the M Team we made. Standing at the protruding rock on Chali ki Jaali was awesome.

4. Dalhaousie to Lakkadmandi
Part of National Trekking Expedition, this one was one of my first long treks in Himalayas.

5. Summer Hill to Chadwick Falls
Not many people know about this waterfall in Shimla. Its secluded and natural to the core.

6. Hanuman Chatti to Yamunotri Glacier
One of the most difficult treks. It is not long (7 Km) but the path is rocky and elevated.

7. Kedarnath Trek
Long (14 Km) but simple. The morning view of surrounding hills at Kedarnath is breath-taking.

8. Pavagarh Trek
Ropeway to the top is available but still trek is preferred. This one is near Baroda and reminds me of our bunch at Ahmedabad.

9. Periyar Night Petrol
Manish and Vikash will share this memory with me. Its one of the few wierd things we did in our Kerala trip.

10. Daulatabad Fort Trek
Bhaiya still wont forgive me since we had to abort our trek to the top of this fort cos I developed pressure. It is near Aurangabad and has a terrific defense system.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Triund Trail: A Perfect Weekend

Take a 10 PM train from Delhi to Pathankot on Friday. There are at least 5 of them. Pathankot is overnight journey and you will be there before 9 AM on Saturday. Take a bus from Pathankot to McLeodganj which is a 4 hour drive. You will reach there before 12 Noon. Check into one of the HPTDC hotels. Fresh up and go for Pema Thang Restaurant nearby or better order something in your room. Try some Tibbetan delicacies for lunch. Plan how you would like to spend the rest of day. Ideally you would like to visit the famous Dalai Lama's Monestry which is hardly 5 minutes away. Other places to explore are Bhagsu Waterfall and a trek to St John's Church.

Sleep comfortably because the next day is going to be very hectic. You will have to start as early as 8 AM on Sunday. Take a cab to Dharamkot which is 4 Km from hotel. The long trek starts. Carry 2 bottles of water per person, two chocolates and some food. Triund Ridge is visible from here. It is 10 Km uphill. The first rest would come at Ganu Temple after an hour. Trekking further to Mid Way Cafe will take another one and half hour. Further up is a difficult patch but you will forget everything once you reach the summit. It is a green patch with ice-capped mountain in front. Pleasent breeze and warm sun will make you feel sleepy. Have some food and lie around for a couple of hours. You will realize how good life can be.

Come down fast without break and you will reach McLeodganj before 5 PM. Eat around. Try Italian this time. Now you must start thinking about packing up. Take a bus for Chakki Bank. The last one starts at 7. You will reach the station before 10. A train takes you back to Delhi (you need to reserve a week in advance for both up and down) and you will reach home in time to start for another wonderful day at office :)

Budget for trip = 1000 (A/C train fare) + 200 (bus) + 500 (hotel) + local transport (300) + food (500) = 2500 per person.