UBC Day 22 : A Memorable Trip to Ladakh


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Holiday

Holiday means going to some place, where one can relax and rejuvenate, spend quality time with family and discover a new place, its culture and history and enjoy its beauty.

The Plan

Jammu & Kashmir offers amazing tourist destinations. Hence, it was apt and wise to discover the beauty of this land while we were stationed there! And Ladakh was the unanimous choice.

Company

KG, AG and me along with good friends RT, AP and ST went for a 10 day excursion to Leh at Ladakh

Route Map

While we took a flight from Jammu to Srinagar, we explored the valley by road in our Innova.

ladakh-map After a day’s rest at Srinagar (Alas, we couldn’t revisit some of the places again at Srinagar, because it was a ‘Bandh’ that day! ), our Innovas, started the next day, and via Sonmarg (it’s actually Sona Marg) we reached the Zoji La Pass (which is at 11,578 feet). Most of the Zoji La Pass has NO road. So, you have mountains of rock and rubble on one side and a deep valley on the other side, with a river or stream gushing with water and flowing unevenly through rocky stretch of the river. While it was exhilarating to explore such terrains, there were times when we wondered, if we were sane to undertake this trip. The traffic rules were followed to the hilt by the truck drivers, which was a relief and heartening.

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Next, came the Drass. This place has a large military camp. It is said that Drass is the second coldest inhabited place in the world after Siberia, with a minimum recorded winter temperature of -40 degrees C. Many log and rope bridges lead to Kargil.

Kargil was our first break journey point, as we had travelled 204 kms from Srinagar to reach here. A nice sumptuous meal at the hotel and we retired early for an early start, the next morning. It’s kind of an amazing feeling to be at a place, which has been on our minds for more than 10 years now!

Day 3 saw us seeing the villages of Shergol, Mulbekh, Gel, Lamayuru, Khalsi and finally Uletokpo.

At 13,432 feet, we reached the Fatu La Pass which is always cool and windy and is the highest pass on the Srinagar-Leh road.

Lamayuru has an old Tibetan monastery of Yungdrung on a crumbling mountain. Throughout the journey fascinating different colored and types of mountains (stone, sand, rocky, granite, soil, black, grey, green, red , purple and orange, one can see them all.) and clear watered lakes or rivers were a constant feature.

After travelling 160 kms from Kargil, we settled for the day at West Ladakh’s Tent Camps at Uletokpo.DSC_0519

Staying in a camping tent was one exhilarating moment! The Indus River flowed wildly between our camp and the big rocky mountain! It was some view!! Behind our tent, a stream of water was flowing and one morning, we (the women, of course!) couldn’t resist the temptation of washing clothes by the stream, despite having clothes which could last us for a month!!

A small trek, meeting a Jompa (it’s a cross between an Ox and a Yak) and eating apricots and apples fresh and ripe from the trees, tasting a new Laddakhi dish Thenthup, reading in the serene environment and in general having a great wonderful time, were the highlights of the 2 days camping at Uletokpo.

An accident made us a bit reflective and sad! Near our camping site a tourist cab fell in the raging Indus River killing 3 Malaysian tourists and seriously injuring the driver and another tourist, while one of the tourist went missing, probably the water torrent must have engulfed her!

Day 5, we traveled 70 kms to reach Leh via Alchi, Lekir, Basgo, and Nimmu. Just before Leh, there is this mysterious ‘Magnetic Hill’. It’s a place where the layout of the surrounding land produces the optical illusion that a very slight downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope. Thus, a car left out of gear will appear to be rolling uphill!!

Shopping

Shopping in the Leh market is fun. The market is flooded with clothes for the winter season and of course for the summers too, gems and jewelry, brass artifacts, Ladakhi, Tibetan and Chinese traditional decorative and curios, Kashmiri carpets and pashmina shawls. And all are exorbitantly priced. Even the road side sellers have artefacts for which they’d quote amount (in Indian Rupees!) in 5 digits!! And the key word is BARGAINING!! I guess, I honed my bargaining skills some more, in Leh!

Day 6 saw us exploring the Tiksey monastery. DSC_0333It is some 500-year old monastery, perched on a hill high above the Indus River. The main attraction here is the 15 metre high seated Buddha. This monastery also has a rich and beautiful library with many handwritten and painted books. The highlight of a trip to Tiksey is the view from its lofty roof terrace. A patchwork of barley fields stretches across the floor of the valley, fringed by rippling snow flecked desert mountains and string of Tolkien-esque monasteries, palaces, and Ladakhi villages.

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The souvenir shop at the monastery offers some very attractive articles and of course T-shirts with interesting designs, trekking map to Leh and quotes embroidered on them! The best T-shirt quote I liked… ‘Yak…Yak…Yak…Ladakh’, with embroidered Yaks!

Day 7…woke up at 5 am (!!) to start for the amazing Pangong Lake. Pangong Lake can be reached in a five-six hour drive from Leh, most of it on a rough and dramatic mountain road. And enroute, we passed through the Chang La Pass which is at 17,586 feet and is the third highest mountain pass in India. Here the Indian Army serves the amazing complimentary tea!!

Pangong Lake is a closed drainage basin lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 13,900 ft. It is 134 km long and extends from India to China. DSC_0655 Two thirds of the length of the lake lies in China. The lake is 5 km wide at its broadest point. During winter, the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water. Nature has showered its best colors on Pangong Lake. With the movement of the sun the water shows off various shades of blue in layers which is truly mesmerizing.

And this 12 hour journey had tired us immensely, so we decided to stay put in Leh for 2 more days and relax the remainder of the holidays. Of course, we shopped some more and returned back to Jammu via flight.

Travel Tips

Some tips for you, in case you decide to explore this part of the world some time:

1. You must travel one way by road to experience the scenic beauty of Ladakh.

2. Travelling by road sufficiently acclimatizes you to the low oxygen conditions there.

3. You MUST fly back, coz, so much of travelling on the treacherous mountain roads does take a toll on you!

4. You must stay in a camping site.

5. You must shop!

6. Apply loads of Sun block cream (Minimum SPF-35!), to avoid getting sun burnt or tanned!

We had some amazing time exploring Ladakh! And you must do so too!! So ready, with the packed bags!!

This post is written for Indiblogger’s “The Perfect Road Trip” contest in association with “AmbiPur“.

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Map Courtesy : Google Images

Live from the Train

I was in Alwar Bagh for a 2 day training workshop. Alwar Bagh is some 15 kms away from Alwar.My datacard was not working and Blackberry’s Edge was having problems too, so was not able to get the schedule of trains from Alwar to Jaipur. Had asked KG to check the details for me and as expected he forgot soon after the call. A colleague offered to help as he had the Indian Railways application on his Nokia Phone. Promptly, he gave me the schedule of 3 trains which were to leave from Alwar post lunch.

The 2 trains which suited me were scheduled to leave Alwar station at ‘4.20’ and ‘4.38’. I reached the station at 3.45 pm and asked for the ticket to Jaipur for the above mentioned train timings. The booking clerk looked at me with a funny smile and informed me that no train is scheduled at these hours. The only train that would now leave for Jaipur was at 6 pm. I was devastated. Took the ticket and moved towards the station, with a heavy heart. Checked the network on my phone and finally the internet on phone was working. And it was not a FacePalm moment but a HeadWall moment!!

How could I not remember that the train timings are in 24 hour format and not 12 hour format!!

Anyways, finally boarded the 6 pm train and got a seat in the AC compartment. For the uninitiated, for small journeys, one can buy the general ticket from the platform and then board the AC compartment, as getting a confirmed ticket a day or 2 before the journey is a bit difficult. So, once in the train, TTI can upgrade your  ticket to the AC one, and get a confirmed seat for the journey. For a person, who would travel only on a confirmed ticket, a few years ago, this style of travelling was a bit of a shocker and full of stress and anxiety pangs. But, then you need to practice what you preach. So, here I am practicing “Adapting in adverse situations”, “Stretching out of comfort zones”, “Busting self espoused limits”…

The journey is pretty eventful inside the train too….

The seat (lower side berth) which I am occupying now was occupied by somebody else just before me and all the blanket, sheets and pillow are lying in a messy way. I push all these towards the other end of the seat and I see a wallet!! I am in two minds, whether to touch the wallet or let it lie as it is! While I am debating with myself, the TTI comes and I immediately inform him about the wallet. He checks the contents, mutters something and keeps it in his pocket! Hope it reaches its owner, because it contained a PAN card and a driving licence along with some papers and Rs 1000!

My co-passengers are a father and a son duo. Father is helping the child revise his study material. So, the 5 year old is learning the various parts of the body, animals, people who help us etc etc. The father is even making him recite the poems. I am impressed. Usually, this role is performed by the mothers. These days, you rarely see a father taking so much time and pains for a child’s studies.

The father is asking about the various rooms in a house
Father : Where do you cook food? Son : Kitchen
Father : Where do you sleep? Son : Bedroom
Father : Where do you entertain guests? Son : Painting Room!!

Next, the father gets a phone call. The child tells him, “I know you were talking to Dimple Aunty.” The spelling of Dimple Aunty is DIMPLE (he reads from the phone). And asks his Dad. “But you haven’t written Aunty after her name. It’s just Dimple”.
The Dad explained, “She is your Aunty and not mine!”
I am curious about this Dimple Aunty now!! 😉

An elderly gentleman, as he walked past my seat, crushed my feet with his shoes and while I was doing “Ooohs and Aaahs!” he moved ahead, without a backward glance! I have forgiven him!!

A handsome guy is sitting nearby. I didn’t had much time to admire him, as very soon his phone started buzzing. He answered the call immediately and a few words from him and I am stunned! He has such a harsh voice and a crude accent!! Looks are sure deceptive!

A group of 5 elderly ladies have entered our compartment and it’s clear that they do not have tickets for the AC compartment. They are coming back from some religious function somewhere and are in the age group of 50-60. The father of the 5 yr old child has allowed them to sit near his seats. They are thanking him and a minute later the train attendant is asking them to leave the compartment! Poor women are pleading and requesting. But they are shooed away! I feel sad for them, but…!

An uncouth man is sitting in the next row of seats and he blew his nose right in the aisle. Am I DISGUSTED!?! I feel like abandoning this train right away! Gosh! How uncivilized  people can be!!

The TTI passed by and gave me Rs 3! I never expected him to give the change back, and he gave it with a smile. Nice to see honesty at work!

Hope, the datacard works and I am able to post this on the blog, live from the train!!

Live From Sagar Ratna

We, KG and I, are on our way to Delhi. Started from home at 6 in the morning and have reached the mid-way at Behror in exactly 2.5 hours.

KG, as he said a few moments ago is in deep shit. I don’t agree with it though! He is in deep waters may be, yeah I think that sounds better. His right eye is all red and is constantly watering and given the volume of tears that are dropping from his eye, he can soak his feet in tears comfortably! He experiences this 2-3 times in a year. A couple of soothing eye-drops later, he is fine, but today, the water is literally pouring from his eyes. So, we have decided to take a half an hour break at Sagar Ratna for breakfast and rest for KG’s eyes.

This is our breakfast. Sambhar is yummy.
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Some time back, the Jaipur-Delhi highway (NH-14) was one of the best. With smooth and broad roads, the journey would be a pleasant 4-5 hour drive. But now, with the rains and the construction of the expressway still going at many places, the highway is a pain-way. DSC_0348One has to do pot hole management while driving! At some places, the road is 6 lane and then suddenly it would narrow down to 2 for a few kms and then again 4 lane and then would lead to a single road. And given the traffic sense we follow on the roads, its a stressful time maneuvering from one lane to the other, all the time. I wish, the truck drivers were more disciplined and drove in one lane only so that the rest of the traffic could pass smoothly.

This year, the rain gods have been kind at Rajasthan. So, all you see on both the sides of the highway is greenery. The fields are no longer barren and are full of life.DSC_0353
Bajra crop in one of the fields.
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KG feels he has rested enough, so it’s time to log off from here and Delhi here we come!

Ten On Tuesday – 22

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 Ten Things about by Trip from Kalka to Delhi in a Shatabdi
  1. A week ago, I was travelling from Kalka to Delhi by Shatabdi. As you know, the seating pattern in a Shatabdi has 3 seats on one side of the aisle and 2 on the other side. I had a seat right in the centre of the compartment, so I had 3 seats just across my seat and we shared a big table between us.
  2. A Tamilian family occupied the 3 seats across me. The family had husband-wife, a son and a very sweet 6 year old daughter. The son sat across the aisle. One look at the wife and I knew that she was not talking to her husband!! The poor (?!!?) guy tried to initiate some conversation with her, but she simply ignored him. Ah, a fight on a vacation!!
  3. The thing about Shatabdi trains is that they start feeding you as soon as you are just about comfortable in your seat. So, in a short while the snacks arrived along with tea/coffee. DSC04727
  4. The attendant’s load of snack trays  finished just after serving the wife and the lil daughter. The girl was super excited to see her tray of goodies. But her excitement turned into panic when she saw that her Appa had not received his snack tray. She gave frantic looks in the direction of the attendant who had gone to get another round of trays. But the baby was unaware of it, it seems, so she started speaking in Tamil, and from the words Appa and Amma and her panic stricken look, I could make out what she was trying to tell her parents!! It was an amusing sight! And a moment later when her Appa got his tray, she was at peace!
  5. I could see a 10-12 year old in the next row, reading a story book. It was so heartening to see him so engrossed in his book. At first he was reading a Tinkle and then later on a Amar Chitra Katha. Passion for reading is something which I wish each child should have! DSC04734
  6. Soon, it was dinner time and this was the dinner tray. How all this tasted, I can’t say a word about it, because, I don’t eat food served in a train! DSC04747
  7. For the first time, I saw a 10-12 year old boy taking a bite of raw green chilli with every bite of food. Amazing, it was!
  8. After dinner, the husband, busied himself with his Handycam. It looked like his prized possession. But it sure had some issue as his repeated attempts to rectify resulted in some irritated mutterings.  DSC04736
  9. Children bring about such positivity and happiness around, I experienced it once again. The incessant chatter of the lil girl, Padmini (I couldn’t resist talking to her!) sometimes, with her Amma and sometimes with her Appa, at last ensured that both the parents smiled at each other. I couldn’t understand a word of what the child was taking about, but whatever it was, sure made the parents smile and they started talking after nearly 4 hours in the train!!
  10. The Indian Railways  inhouse magazine, “Rail Bandhu” had some interesting travelogues of some celebrities and I liked their caption for the series…DSC04750

Romance in the Compartment!!

I am on my way to Shimla to bring back Aaryan home for his 10 days summer vacations. Am travelling by train, the Garib Rath (Gosh, I hate the name of this train!!) This entire train has only 3rd AC compartments and even the side berths are 3 in number.

I am occupying the lower berth (Seat no. 10), the one near the window. A young Muslim couple is occupying the seats opposite me (Seats no. 8 and 9). Another recently married Punjabi couple is sitting besides me (Seats no. 11 and 12). On the side berths, there is yet another young couple (Seats no. 13 and 14) while the top most side upper berth (Seat no. 15) is occupied by a 16-18 year old boy!

So, in all I have 3 young and recently married couples seated near me! In North India, the newly married women can be easily identified with their bangles (Chura) and heavily embroidered suits!

While I am busy reading Mary Higgins Clark’s All Around the Town, my co-passengers are very busy too.

Busy doing a lot of things!! Their activities are so loud that the gruesome and shocking crime scene in my book is not able to hold my interest.

One couple is playing games on a mobile and they are keeping a tally of score of the winner and the loser!
I am seeing that all three of them are lost in each other. Sweet whispers in the ear which are followed by coy smiles or loud laughter…

All of them are talking so animatedly to each, looking into each other’s eyes and holding hands. The couple on the side berth has gone a step further and the guy is lying with his head in his wife’s lap!!

Soon, it’s time to sleep and the 2 couples near me adjust their seats such that the 2 topmost berths (Seat no. 9 and 12) are occupied by the Punjabi couple and the 2 middle berths (Seat no. 8 and 11) are taken by the Muslim couple. So both the couples are now on the same level as their respective spouses. Both the couples keep chatting for a long time and the ones in the middle berth would occasionally hold hands too, while lying on their respective berths!

Looks like we are pretty comfortable with public display of affection!!

I was more keen to observe the teenage guy who was taking all these scenes in! I was wondering what would be going through his mind!

Another thought hit me, why this kind of behavior is not displayed by couples after a few years of their married life!! Romance takes a backseat by that time??!!

Through My Lens…

Last month, had to catch Ranikhet Express from Old Delhi Railway Station. Was travelling to Himalayan Village, Sonapani, Near Nanital. Since, I reached a good one hour before the scheduled departure, I decided to explore the Old Delhi Railway Station through my lens.
Here’s what I saw…
Revenues for the Railways… advertising on the trains!
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Without them, it would be a harrowing task to climb all those stairs of the overhead bridges!
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The parcels lay scattered on the platform.
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The hand pulled carts for cargo…
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The STD booth! It exists still?? Yes, but it had closed for the day!
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This took me down the memory lane… As kids, as soon as we found one, we would ask for the coins from Mom-Dad and rush to check not the weight but the forecast for the day which was mentioned on one side of the ticket.
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My fav place on the entire station…
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Fruits anyone?? Bananas, Apples, Oranges, Grapes…
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There is the Railways Special Aloo Puri too!! Thank God, the food was covered!!
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And the time was…
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Mera ‘number’ aaya kya??
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The man catches a few winks while the wife guards the luggage!
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And this one’s classic…
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All Hype!!??

Last weekend, we were at Shimla for Aaryan’s first exeat.
We alight from the bus and a swarm of taxi drivers surround us, “Sir, local taxi, Kufri, Chail…”
We reach the company guest house and the caretaker while generally chit chatting mentions about Kufri.
We reach the school and the matron asks us if we’d be in Shimla during the weekend. When we said, yes, she suggested, Kufri!
We meet some colleagues at guest house later in the evening and their plans included Kufri too!

Kufri is beautiful during the snow fall, that’s all we knew about Kufri. Since it was just some 15 kms away from Shimla, we decided to spend some time with our baby at Kufri.

After breakfast, we left for Kufri the next day. A journey of an hour or so and our driver parks the vehicle at a spot. We look around and are shocked… it was a chaotic place… vehicles parked haphazardly, a couple of hundred ponies and  throngs of people around which included tourists like us, guides and pony/mule union guys! Throngs of people included a LOT of newly weds!! It was a sight so many of them (women) decked up in jazzy (with beads/stones etc) suits and sarees at such a place!!

As soon as we get out of the car, a few guys approach us and told us about the pony rates… Rs. 250 per person per pony for a 6 km stretch and Rs. 300 for some 9 km route.

After paying for the 3 ponies, we start our journey uphill. It was a dirty, mucky terrain with awful stench of pony shit which got intensified due the slight drizzling since morning! Our pony handler was a 12 year old boy, Kumar, who earned Rs 100 per day for the 10 rounds up and down the hilly terrain. The other ponies sometimes passing so very closely to you or the shrieks of the fellow tourists was nerve racking.

Once the pony ride was over, another sight greeted us… a fair kind of thing and for the entry into this fair there was a fee of Rs 500! And  the attractions in this ‘fair’…

An old woman offers a picture with ‘her’ python for Rs. 20! Don’t fret, the mouth of python was tied with a cloth!!

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A dozen or more Yaks are dressed and kept ready for you to mount on them and get a picture of yourself clicked as a cowboy, again for Rs. 20. For this cowboy effect, they give a cowboy hat and a rifle!

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The food stalls speak for themselves!
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The photographers are persistent in their sales pitch!

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Then there were these shops which sell shawls, stoles, blankets, suits etc. They had a unique sales pitch. They didn’t wanted you to carry the stuff you buy personally, instead they would parcel the goodies to your home! For this they showed the parcel for your buying satisfaction!

The bright spot was a go-carting, which the kid enjoyed thoroughly!

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Such hype and such reality!! What a vacation spot!!

Live Blogging… From the Bus!

I am travelling from Jaipur to Delhi in the 1300 hours LCD Volvo Bus. Yeah, that’s what is mentioned on the booking window wall which has the timetable of the RSRTC busses. Actually, it is a super luxury bus. Super Luxuries include LCD TV on each seat, a pantry and a toilet!!

The bus is about to start and we hear some arguments from the back seats. The bus conductor immediately goes at the back to check out and what follows is a comical scene. It happens so that two gentlemen are haggling for the same seat. And both are right as both their tickets show seat no. 24. Of course, the experienced eye of the conductor is quick to point out that one passenger has to de-board, coz his ticket was for 1 AM for the date 20th April. The passenger is shocked and then composes himself and shares for all to hear that he had booked the ticket through internet and goofed up on the time, instead of clicking 1300 hours, he clicked at 0100 hours. He gets down the bus sheepishly.

Next, we have 2 men coming up in the front to complain to the driver that their LCDs are not working. The conductor checks their LCDs and announces that passengers can claim their refund from the next stop at Narain Singh Circle. And we have 5 guys at the booking window at Narain Singh Circle for their refund. 4 have got their refund smoothly and the 5th one is haggling. His view point is that the sound is not working though the pictures are appearing. The Roadways guy had to come inside and check it himself. So much of time is wasted for a refund of Rs 50!! But what to do, we are the new ‘awakened and aware’ citizens of India, who will fight for their rights and anything unjust!

The conductor is distributing water bottles to all and a foreigner behind me has said a loud and clear “Dhanyawad”. So sweet!

The bus is traversing a crowded road and I saw that a person on the road pulled a beggar girl away. She was oblivious to the approaching bus. Kind gesture!

Finally reached the highway and it’s peace all around. I can see many are sleeping and one guy sitting diagonally behind me is keen to read what I am typing on my lappy! Need a super hero’s eyesight to read from that angle!

It seems that the first four seats (first two on the either side of the aisle) are reserved for women who are travelling alone. I have been getting seat no. 2 most of the times. My 3 lady co-passengers are sleeping and as for me, sleep is not elusive rather it is difficult, coz the road ahead is clearly visible and am forever watching the traffic and reading anything with words.

Mid-way is still an hour away. Let me catch up on my reading words which are power packed in short stories in Urban Shots! Prateek, have read your story and it’s simply awesome!! Gave a feel good factor!

Bye for now! More, to follow, sometimes later!

Live from the Train

I am in a train… going home from Delhi. No, I was not in Delhi but in transit after a 3 day workshop at Jim Corbett National Park.Boarded the train and found my seat. For a good half an hour, not a single soul had occupied any seat near me, which gave me mild panic attacks despite knowing that I was in the right train and right coach and of course on the right seat! I know, I could have gone a bit ahead of my seat and checked with some other passengers, but I vetoed that idea and continued to feel anxious and confident at the same time. Thankfully, the TTI came and I was back to my normal self.

Since, my farm had been neglected for good 3 days, so, I immediately restored order on my virtual farm, answered a few mails and read few blog posts and scanned my system to post a pic for Wordless Wednesday. And soon, Delhi Cantt arrived and then came a barrage of passengers, of course all around me! And one word that describes all my co-passengers is Tech Savvy!! Coz immediately after settling in, all are busy with their electronic gadgets!

A young guy sitting next to me is chatting on his Blackberry. Some interesting conversation he is having because he is trying hard to not laugh out loud!

An elderly uncle is playing some game on his mobile and it seems, either he is levelling up very fast in the game or failing miserably as the game music is being played every few seconds!

His wife sitting across me (and looks like an elderly housewife!), is listening to music on an i-pod with her eyes closed and her sandals are continuously touching my legs. A patient me has shifted into one deep corner to avoid the contact!

Yet another guy is typing furiously on his laptop! Is he a blogger, I wonder!

And another one on the side berth is checking the pictures on his Nikon camera!! Ah, it’s the same gadget which is on my wish list!!

And I can listen to a business conversation of somebody in the adjacent section.

Though, all tech savvy people around me in this train, sadly all the four electric charging points are non-functional. Hope the battery of my laptop lasts for a while! Ah, it’s showing 34%. I guess, I should post this before the battery conks off!

Have a great time guys, as I keep myself busy to know and understand why “The Devil Wears Prada”, because the train will reach Jaipur at midnight!!

Salutations to the Men of the Roads!

Last month, we went for an adventure trip to Leh, which is the roof of the world, from Srinagar by Road!
National Highway 1 (NH1) connects Srinagar with Leh. The scenic beauty and natural landscapes of the valley can be enjoyed right from the start to the end of this 475 kms long road journey. Tall mountains and rivers or lakes gives you company during the entire stretch.
Sometimes you travel uphill and other times there are steep downhill slopes. There are several sharp inclines or hairpin bends or even blind curves. Some mountain roads are relatively narrow or involve tight bends, so that only one vehicle can pass at a time. Some of the roads truly frighten you. And one surely feels giddy and nauseated when you see down the valley and see the distance that you have covered.
While travelling on these mountain roads, it made me think about the people who made roads on such a terrain.
And the people behind the roads here are the BRO or the Border Road Organization, which Creates, Connects, Cares…BRO is regarded as a symbol of nation building, national integration and an inseparable component in maintaining the security and integrity of the nation.

Project Himank of the BRO develops the infrastructure in this part of Jammu & Kashmir!
Throughout the journey at various locations, the workers of the BRO were either repairing the road or making a new one. I must say that they are doing a commendable job!!
And also…

“Let us not forget that roads in this difficult terrain have been built not only with mere cement and concrete, but also with the blood of men of the Border Roads Organisation of India. Many lost their lives for the cause of duty on the project. To these men, who always play with danger and laugh at death, duty comes first. These fallen heroes came from all parts of Mother India, to contribute their mite to the defence of their mother land and prosperity of their neighbours”

From an Article ‘Highways to Adventure’ published in ‘THE MIRROR’ Magazine, Jul 1975 The Genesis

Right through the road journey at regular intervals there were these interesting messages from the BRO on the roadside, which are truly needed when travelling on these mountain roads and even on our cities road!


Soak them…

  • 3 enemies of road: Speed, Liquor & Overload
  • Peep-Peep, Don’t Sleep
  • Be Mr. Late but not Late Mr.
  • No race no rally, enjoy beauty of valley
  • Be soft on the curves
  • Speed and Safety never meet
  • Safety: Make it a habit
  • Lane driving is safe driving
  • Always Alert, Avoids Accidents
  • Any time, Safety Time
  • Short Cuts may cut short your life
  • Driving with care, make accidents rare
  • Danger lurks at blind corners
  • This is not rally race, drive with grace
  • This is Highway and not Runway
  • Alert Avert Avoid Accident
  • Fast won’t last
  • Take Heed, Don’t Speed
  • Life is short, don’t make it shorter
  • Hurry and Worry go together
  • Drive like hell and you’ll be there!
  • On my curves, check your nerve
  • More you speed, more you skid
  • Enjoy it but while on wheels
  • On the bends, go slow friends
  • Haste make waste
  • After whiskey, driving risky
  • Break the speed, that is the need
  • Drinks and Drive Do not mix
  • Safety on road=safe tea at home
  • Safety is the light, let it shine
  • Good driver is seldom hurt
  • Speed is a knife that cuts your life
  • A spill, a slip, a hospital trip
  • Don’t be a gama, in the land of Lama
  • If you are married, divorce speed
  • Lower your gear, curve is near
  • Drive, Don’t Fly
  • Feel the curves, do not test them
  • All will wait, better be late
  • Kabhie nahin se der bhali
  • Gaadi Chalane ka shauk farmaiye, shoke nahin
  • Tej raftari, marne ki taiyyari
  • Ghar wale kar rahain hain intejaar, tum dheere chalna mere yaar
  • Gati yaani durgati

This post salutes the courage and dedication of all those at the BRO!

Jai Hind!
PS: For more pictures, you may like to check the Leh Travelogue!!

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