THE MOST UNUSUAL SOLO TRIP- THE LANDING || PART 4 Skip to main content

THE MOST UNUSUAL SOLO TRIP- THE LANDING || PART 4

The Landing


I had finally reached Gangtok. It was a hell of a ride but I did. Gangtok was a beautiful place and a really disciplined one. I liked how people were so fond of following rules and maintaining the cleanliness of Gangtok. I remember one example of the same. I saw a guy who was not from Sikkim, eating a packet of chips and was on the other side of the road than where I was. He ate all the chips and threw the packet on the grass which was on the other side of the footpath. So basically you have a road, then a footpath on the edges and on the other edge of the footpath you have little grass. The dustbin was around 10-20 meters back to the direction of that guy. As soon as he threw the packet, the lady who was walking just behind him picked the packet and went back to the dustbin and threw the packet there. She did not even let that guy know about what she has done, not scolding him like what Anushka Sharma did and definitely not uploading it on social media like a publicity-hungry rat. That guy did not even come to know about this. How beautiful is watching all this? No wonder, Sikkim is recognized as the cleanest state in the whole of India.


Bagdogra to Siliguri

Since this blog is just about my experiences, hence I will not go into details what was there in Gangtok and how it looked but I will definitely write a post for the same. So, I left Gangtok two days later when I got the phone call from the Jet Airways Cashier that my bag has arrived. I went to the Bagdogra airport. The cashier handed me my bags and asked me to look at my wallet and other important stuff if it is present or not. Everything was searched. It was clearly visible. The position of each currency note was different than how I arrange them normally. They searched everything, either small or big. I took my bag and went to Siliguri again. This time I went by a manual-rickshaw. The rickshaw puller was a very old man. He must be more than 60 or 65 in age. He was either very old or looked very old. Till now I had got familiar with the concept of fooling a tourist so I asked the man, "How much till the taxi stand?" "Twenty," he said in Hindi but with a Bengali accent. I said "Thirty??" He said, "No, twenty. I won't cheat you. Don't worry. You are like my son. Come on it will be twenty rupees." I hopped on the rickshaw. Every vein in his arms and legs was visible as he pulled the rickshaw with the full force. He did not understand Hindi that much. I asked him, "How far is taxi stand?". "Yes, I will drop you to the taxi stand." "No no,  how far is it?" "Yes". I said "Okay". He was struggling with his Hindi. He dropped me to the taxi stand and had waved to 4 people along the way. Guess he was quite popular in that area.



On the way to Darjeeling


Siliguri To Darjeeling

I got on the taxi to Darjeeling. It was a shared cab, again Bolero. I met a man in the cab. His name was Bikas. I said, "Okay, Vikas" and he said, "No, Bikas". He was 43 as he told me. He was a short and skinny man with all his hair dipped in oil and stroked backwards by a comb. He claimed to be in Indian army. We talked for almost 2 hours in the cab. He told me the history of Darjeeling and how Gorkha fought in it. He told me about every point that came along the way. Look this is the toy train, the engine is this, coal is brought from there and whatnot. He even told me the price rate from every station. Look Parineeta was shot here.  As the journey came to an end, he invited me to his home. I said to him that I already booked a hotel. He insisted to come to his house whenever I visit Darjeeling next time. I happily nodded. He told me he works at the Himalayan Rock Institute and is the trainer for rock climbing where Tenzing Norgay used to practice. He asked me to visit him the next day. I called him the next day and asked him to meet at Happy Valley Tea garden. We met and talked again for two hours. We drank tea together at two different stalls. He wanted to introduce his family to me but I couldn't go to his home because of time restraints. I promised him to visit him next time I am in Darjeeling.
I met a few other people who accompanied me for around one hour each. I met a cab driver whose whole life revolved around marriage and relationships. He was a very kind-hearted person or open-hearted I must say. He commented on every couple he saw and a new comment every time. He and I talked for one hour while visiting 2 places. "You see this young couple? They must be just 15 but I can guarantee that when we will be returning from the same road, they will be here. I am telling you they are waiting for the sunset till it's dark". He insisted me to come to his family restaurant and try beef. I denied as I did not had that much time. I bade him goodbye. 



Happy Valley Tea Garden, Darjeeling




I met a teacher/professor who was very kind. He opened his mouth about only 30% while talking. He had a brown muffler coiled around his neck and was wearing a black blazer with black trouser.  He and I talked about engineering and different scopes for an engineer after graduation and their different aspects. He was very intelligent and quite popular in that area too. He talked to almost around 10 persons while covering around 2 km with me on foot.  I really mean talking and not waving.
Except two places, I visited every place on foot. I wanted to. What type of travelling are you doing if you are just sitting inside a cab?


Darjeeling from a tea stall


 I noticed how rarely any person had his earphones plugged in. This is an indication of how open people are towards talking and listening. I visited Mumbai last year where you will rarely see anyone without the earphones. In Darjeeling instead of listening to songs, they prefer listening to the people and make new friends like Bikas. I talked to many people and got along with them. I sat and observed their lifestyle and how they live at Chowrasta. It would have been impossible for me to do these things while being just inside a cab and roaming here and there like a president. Next morning at 3 am I visited Tiger Hill to see Mount Everest and then returned home.
It was hell of a solo trip. It was something I cannot forget and hence I took you along with me on this journey. I will never forget the taxi driver, that professor, that cab driver, that rock climbing instructor. They made my journey from being a dull and stressed trip to a happy and exciting journey.  I will never forget them and I hope I narrated in such a way that maybe you won't forget them either.

Thank You

Comments

  1. I read all the 4 parts and found it to be really interesting and engaging. Nicely put... All in all... I enjoyed ur trip.. 😋

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Harsh...I heard you did not like the ending. Will keep in mind from next time :)

      Delete

Post a comment

Popular Posts

A Better Path To Satisfaction

On a Sunday morning, a very famous Indian actor Sushant Singh Rajput committed suicide in his flat in Bandra, Mumbai. Although there was no suicide note, a lot of theories have emerged regarding his attempt to end his life. I am tired of a new theory coming every day and reading them does not bring us to any conclusion. But the main essence of every theory is, "Sushan Singh Rajpur was lonely and under depression."



Depression, a word that has taken a toll on a number of patients in the last decades. Except for the pockets of psychiatrists and hospital fund, depression is harmful. Loneliness and depression are often constituted together because of the relationship as the more lonely you are, the more you think and the more you get frustrated. During our evolution as human beings, we discovered that one man is easy prey, but 10 men are predators. This evolutionary process made us what we are today i.e. social animals. We are so social that the hardest punishment of all in prison…

A Different Side To India China Skirmish || India-China Faceoff

Let's start at the beginning of where everything began. On December 2019, a new virus was identified into existence by WHO. A virus that the WHO was not sure about but tracing the infected people back to their travel history, each one of them had visited China. Not only China and anywhere but at a specific city called Wuhan which is quite big in size as well as population. The virus was found zoonotic and there are thousands of zoonotic viruses that do not spread to humans. The virus originating in Wuhan was inspected under the microscope and had similar properties to the SARS virus which erupted in 2003 all around the world. This virus had a crown-like structure on its boundaries and hence was named CORONA which literally means crown in Latin. With its behaviour resembling the SARS virus, it was also called SARS- 2 or SARS-COVID-2 or simply COVID 19. COVID-19 is an abbreviated term to COrona VIrus Disease 2019. This is just the background and I know very well that since our lives…

Signs We Ignored - Part 2

In the midst of heavy rain, we decided to go ahead with the plan. I took my phone and the power bank with me. Raman took his phone. As we stormed down from the stairs, the rain started getting worse. "Are you sure it's a good idea?", I asked him with rain dominating over my voice. "Just a matter of minutes and we will be inside the car", a confident Raman said. "Alright then, let's go ahead with the plan".

READ SIGNS WE IGNORED PART 1

I sat in the back and Raman drove the scooty. There was water everywhere. I was soaked in water in just a few minutes. I tried to hide behind Raman as much as I could, but the weather was so damn bad, I could not escape. I was wondering how my friend was fighting with those thorny little drops. It was around 1.6 km in distance including all the U-Turns and service lane cuts. Finally, we reached our destination.




"We have a booking for Tata Bolt," I said in a slightly louder tone to the Drivezy agent. "

A Journey Towards The Pink City - Jaipur

"Beep! Beep! Beep!", I woke up to my alarm sound. It's 8:30 in the morning. Normally I do not wake up this early. But, today I need to travel to Jaipur. I have booked a car for my journey and I need to pick it up at 9 am. This is not a restricted time boundations booking. I can go and pick it up anytime after 9. I checked my mobile phone and see the location of the car has been shared with me. Great! I walk outside my flat in New Delhi at around 9:30. The destination is just 15 minutes away. Cool!



I took an auto to reach the destination as it was cheaper and faster. It is a really beautiful sunny day. The roads are as usual filled with cars in the capital. 12 minutes to the destination and I open my Zoomcar app once again. The location and the car details are gone now. They don't even show any upcoming bookings on the app. Could be a glitch, I thought and looked outside. People are rushing towards their offices this Friday. 4 more minutes to reach the destination. I…

A DAY BEFORE LONG NIGHTS - THE LANDING || PART 10

As I mentioned earlier, I was seeing double from the first day till now. My eyes did not improve even a little for many days. Everything I used to see was double. Two doors, two mobile phones, two coffee cups everything. The doctor said my pupils are not moving synchronously as they should and hence you are seeing two images of everything. The images are seen separately by both the eyes but our brain combines it as one, while in your case it is still two images. But, you will be fine with time. With time. This is a very vague sentence. There is no specific maximum limit nor there is any medicine. You will see normally with time. Hence, I waited for "the time".

Two days after I came home after being discharged, I picked up my father's phone, opened chrome browser and typed, GB Syndrome patients case studies. I wanted to know how much time? How everyone else have managed and how much time they took. I needed to know. I needed to be prepared at least. I read three case stu…

THE UNTOLD STORY OF A FEW GOOD MEN - KHEERGANGA || Part 2

I climbed to the peak with a dog whose both eyes had different colours. A disease maybe. The scenic beauty of Kheerganga trek is something you cannot miss and would crave for later in your life. It was a hard trek, especially for someone who does not trek regularly. The path was natural, unpaved and quite narrow. At some places, there was no path at all due to the landslide happened just a night before. It was tiresome to climb such a trek for 14 kilometres but I had a companion that I told about in The Untold Story Of A Few Good Men. I reached the top of Kheerganga trek at around 5 in the evening. It was very cold at the peak. Nearly about 12-15 degrees. But thankfully there was a hot spring bath at the top. A hot spring bath is all you need after such a growing latitude. I booked a tent and quickly went for the bath. It was the best. The natural hot water flowing continuously and in the centre of the highest peaks you can see them capped with snow. I spent nearly an hour there. It …

THE MOST UNUSUAL SOLO TRIP - REACHING GANGTOK || PART 3

"Can it be fixed?" were my words as I was so doubtful about the final result. He said, "yes, yes, look what I will do, I will take this rope and tie this to this spring and remove the mudguard by hammering it. Although tyres will not be straight as the spring is broken but since there is no mudguard, what will they touch to? And the spring which was hanging, I will tie it.". This was his solution. I smiled at him and he smiled back, I knew he would do it but I was not sure about the final destination whether it will be Gangtok or some village where this car will finally breakdown.

I rushed towards the two boys who were smoking a cigarette under a shed of a house about 10-15 meters away. The visibility was just 5-8 meters by then. I could just see the main road and the people sitting outside their house where I was standing. Another boy who was sitting beside me in the cab also asked the same question to the driver and he gave him the same answer. While I was sure …

When The Desert Turned White - Rann Of Kutch (Rann Utsav)

In the darkroom and past midnight, I and my two friends decided to plan a trip. But the place should be something that does not dig deep into our pockets and gives a lifetime memorable experience as well. While my friend Harish (yeah! we share the same name, unfortunately) asked me, "Is there a place where you wanted to go?".  This question hit me with a place that I have been struggling to go for the past two years. A place which is as far as Indian borders could stretch, as colourful as a child's smile and as memorable as "once in a lifetime" place. I instantly said, "Let's go to Rann of Kutch to see Rann Utsav".  Not to my surprise, my other friend, Aminul said, "Where is this place?" and Harish added, "What is there to see?".
I knew that pictures will speak louder than my words. I googled quickly, "Rann Utsav Kutch" and showed them the images. I am quite sure I showed them this image:




With a smile on both …

The Story Of The Butterfly Effect With A Stranger

Have you ever felt that every small decision that you take and every small change that happens around you, that could have happened, either way, can change the outcome of certain events? Have you ever experienced the butterfly effect in real life? I never did until something so coincidental happened to me, it urged me to write a post about it.

Last summer I was travelling to Mumbai. I stayed in Zostel (Hostel) in the Andheri area. It had been a long time since I visited Mumbai and met my friends there. Seeing this, my schedule was totally booked. I was in a 6-bed room in the hostel.  I just checked-in, put my stuff in the locker and went out to meet my friends. I returned late in the night around 11 PM or 12 AM maybe.



I freshened up and laid on my bed. Like everybody else these days, I turned to my mobile and replied to some messages, scrolled social media a bit for a few minutes and then put the phone aside after my eyes started to hurt. I was tired of all the travel I did that day. I …

The Divided States Of India

As I landed in the city of Bangalore, a man is shouting just outside the airport. He is shouting something that I do not understand. Fortunately, he has learned 4 5 English words. After all, he is standing outside the airport. “Where,” he asks. “Marathahalli” I spoke. “Bus 8”. He says one word and starts shouting again. He was a bus driver. But most importantly, a resident of Karnataka state in India. Yes, this place is in my country and we both cannot communicate.




Many years back when I was in the eighth standard, my textbooks proudly and boldly highlighted the words, “India is a diverse country”. They would show the culture and folk dances of each state. Unique on its own. A moment to feel proud. You can never find a country as diverse as India, as culturally rich as India. That was just the textbook. My practical started almost 2 months ago.
Soon when I reached my hotel I realized nobody in the hotel knows Hindi. Yes, Hindi. A language spoken in India. A language which is not only…
Managed and maintained by Harish Rajora