This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.
Group members became active, discussing the budget, dates and possible places to go to. Swami had yet to revert whether he will be joining them. Arpit, Niket and Madhu had already assumed it to be a yes – they were not going to buy into his bullshit this time! The group seemed alive, actual conversations were happening; rather than those mundane forwards and monosyllabic replies through emoticons.
Arpit passionately promulgated they go to Iceland or Norway to see the Northern Lights in March. As per some research report, 2015 was supposed to be the last year for watching auroras which cast florescent green and purple colours in the night skies. Reykjavik temperatures were expected to be around 2 degree to minus 5 degrees in March. The thought of staying awake in the night and travelling in freezing atmosphere just to watch colourful skies didn’t excite Niket – he was more interested in going to places with pleasant temperature, famous for clubbing and great food. Madhu wasn’t fine with the costing, it didn’t fit in his budget.
After agreeing to do a week long trip, Niket started doing a thorough research of possible places to go to in various months. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil first hit his mind, he pictured them getting lost in the annual carnival asking people for navigation; but it was scheduled in February and it would be very short notice for others to ask for leaves in their respective workplaces – and Swami might get a valid reason of not joining in. So Brazil was out. Next on his mind was Spain – there were a lot of cities they could go to, Ibiza topping his list! The best time to visit Ibiza was August, the crowd would come in by that time. Other places which interested him were Barcelona, Alhambra in Granada, Cordoba, Seville, Granada. The total cost for the seven day trip was coming to 900 dollars, excluding airfare – a little above Madhu’s budget.
Swami finally got interested by reading suggestions of places they could visit. He was in for the trip! He wanted to go to Bangkok, but it was unanimously shoved down for various reasons. Niket had already been there, Arpit didn’t want to visit South Asia and Madhu wasn’t interested in what Bangkok had to offer.
By the end of the week, many options were ruled out – either due to dates, weather or cost. They were yet to come to a unanimous conclusion on a place to go to. Madhu considered the option of travelling in India – the first thing which hit his mind was Kashmir. They could do a biking trip from Manali to Leh – but Swami would find it risky; they would have to do the road trip in car. Best time to do that would be July. As he was surfing places to visit in Kashmir, he stumbled upon something called as Kashmir Great Lakes Trek – it was the most beautiful trek in India and the pictures blowed him away.
Excited, he asked whether everyone would be willing to do a trek – Niket protested the idea of trek; he hated the idea of straining his body, shitting in dug pits and eating basic food when he could be doing something much better. Swami was concerned about the safety in Kashmir. Arpit loved the idea and helped Madhu address Swami’s concern. Getting Niket on board was an ardent task – he wasn’t interested in trekking. Madhu shared an article he read on a typical day in Kashmir Great Lakes trek. That was the turning point – Niket got mesmerised by the pictures and description. So it was final, they were going to do Kashmir Great Lakes trek!
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