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Arpit’s Decision

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan. To read from the beginning, click here.

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Is it the surrounding – maybe it was the huge mountain whom he had a word with, maybe it was the deep blue lake he saw on the way, maybe it is the seamless blue sky above him, maybe it is the cool breeze passing by, maybe it is Ruhi sitting by my side. Arpit tries to understand the reason behind the paradigm shift going on in his mind; it has led to clearing the clutter he collected and nurtured over four years. As he calmly observes the Harmukh Peak, he realises the change is not due to anything external – the change is from within – in his perception!

The moment he realises he has the power to change things, he forgives Abhinav unconditionally. He has always been correct throughout this time – I wasn’t able to see it. He forgives Latika next – for breaking up with him. Last, he forgives himself – for acting like a victim throughout four years, giving the control of his life to someone else.

It is like a huge load is off his chest, he feels tonnes of kilos lighter. He had never thought this trek would help sort things between them, but always wanted it to somehow happen. He’s now going to make it happen – no more letting circumstances take control.

He has to seek forgiveness from Abhinav and Latika for considering them as wrong, Madhu, Swami and Niket for depriving them of Abhi’s company and Ruhi for constantly ignoring her. As he tries to think how to confront Abhi, he is left with emptiness – no words strike him. He realises he’ll have to do it on the spot when he meets Abhinav one on one.

He decides to get Latika and Abhinav together – this is the only way he can absolve himself from his misdeeds. Rajiv is sleeping in Prachi’s lap, they are having some private conversation finally. He looks at their happiness and for the first time doesn’t feel sad. He has allowed himself to be loved again! He looks at Ruhi smiling towards her – Ruhi gives a smile back without asking what is he thinking. Maybe they have telepathy, or she’s a really good shrink!

Everyone gets up after observing the grandness of Harmukh peak for a while and start descending towards the campsite which is twenty minutes away. There is no need for navigation on their way down, all routes lead to the campsite! Running through the mountains where no route exists gives them all a sense of freedom and satisfaction. This trek has been life changing for many.

As they put their backpacks in tents, they contemplate dipping in the cold waters. Tarun and Karthik jump directly into the lake and their shrieks echo in the campsite. The water is chilled, thanks to the glaciers melting in the lake. They come out quickly in a minute, with a wide smile on their face, exposing their rattling teeth! Luckily the sun still has an hour to set. Looking at them, others cancel their plans to take a dip.

Abhinav is in his tent unpacking his backpack along with Madhu and Chris. Arpit waits outside patiently for others to leave the tent. They take eternity to get out of the tent.

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This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted onIndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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Arpit opens up to Ruhi

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan. To read from the beginning, click here.

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There is lightning in the sky followed by drizzle. The dark clouds seem to have a long plan to keep them busy. The front runners run towards the campsite, excited to make it on time. Niket, Arpit and other people in the middle of the pack try to find a place to take shelter in till the rains stop. They take a detour from the navigation and find a small cave to take shelter in. The final tranche of the pack remove their ponchos and keep walking, unable to find any place to take shelter in the open meadows.

After forty minutes of walking amid drizzle, they reach the cave. Rains make everything beautiful, the meadows look greener and there is a pleasant tinge of wet mud in the air – The cave is a perfect place to take refuge in – the only thing missing are hot pakodas and tea!

Arpit is sitting in the corner of the cave in total shock, guilt and remorse have grabbed him for good. He feels ashamed to even think about the extent to which he has been wrong and in the last four years. Concerned by his behaviour, Ruhi sits next to him in the corner as others enjoy the weather. Niket gives them some privacy.

As she holds his hand, Arpit comes back to the present and seeks out the listener in Ruhi. ‘I’ve been wrong the whole time. I didn’t trust the friend who loved me the most. He did things which I would never do for him. He let go of his love for our friendship. I feel ashamed to face Abhinav, now that I know the truth. I haven’t been a good friend and will never be one.’

Ruhi listens calmly as Arpit continues his story. He is mumbling the same things repeatedly, not able to calm himself. Ruhi pulls him out of the self derogation he is subjecting himself to with a jerk on his shoulders. ‘Your past doesn’t define you. It is what you choose to do in the present which will steer the further course of your life.’

The words reach Arpit, but do not reach his mind; they are lost in the maze of past thoughts he is trying to make his way out of. But her support helps him calm down. She looks into his eyes and tells something he wants to hear, ‘Everything is going to be alright. Calm down and think how you’re going to make things right.’

Arpit sits there to think things through and makes a decision to make things right. It is high time he starts living for others – at least for the friend who loves him the most. It is now that the conversation he had with the mountain at Gadsar Lake starts making sense.

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This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted onIndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Wild Horses gallop down the Valley

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan. To read from the beginning, click here.

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Dashodh leads the slow group towards a huge glacier right next to the campsite. They have to climb it to catch a normal route on the mountain. The sun is pleasant and shining brightly. As they begin walking on the narrow routes of the mountain, it more so seems like a walk in the park after four days in the trek! Everyone now knows their body better, their pace, weaknesses and comfort zones.

Other trekkers join them soon, following the navigation by Vivian. Today is a comparatively relaxed day and everyone is walking in much delight, taking detours to watch flowers of various colours here and there.

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The Wall

On their side is a huge mountain which rises high in the sky. ‘It looks the wall from Game of Thrones, only more greener,’ comments Ravi, an avid Game of Thrones fan. He gets approval from the other avid fans (majorly, all engineers; they are shocked Ravi watches Game of Thrones – some now realise accountants can be cool too!)

As they walk towards Satsar, they reach a point where Vivian asks everyone to stop. They can see a snow clad mountain behind, which is a part of Pakistan. This is the closest point on the trek to the Indo-Pak border. The proximity to Pakistan is shocking – Shobana feels pride in being on the other side of the fence. They unfurl the Tricolour once again at that point.

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Unfurling the National Flag at 13,750 feet! Jai Hind!!

Pawan watches anxiously towards the border – his grandfather had escaped Karachi and made his way to Delhi after Independence along with his entire family. They had a huge mansion in Karachi and one of the wealthy industrialists there. Money helped them reach safely to India. His grandfather started his business from scratch in Delhi at the age of 40. His dad joined him after completing his graduation. They would often share stories about the mansion and the huge playing area with Pawan; he wondered if it was for real or was just a fantasy.

They proceed ahead and reach a small pond descending down the mountains. They put down their bags and sleep in exhaustion at the lunch point. Their legs are aching; the pain of four days of trek slowly getting to them.

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Ruhi and Divyah sleep at lunch point, covering themselves from the scorching heat

The cool breeze carries moisture today; they should expect rains today or tomorrow, concludes Vivian. As they begin to eat their packed lunches, they are disturbed by a huge sound of footsteps hitting the ground hard. They look around the find where the sound is coming from – Sandesh points towards the top of the mountain from where a herd of wild horses gallop down towards the pond. Those asleep are up now, paying close attention to the wild beauties.

They jump into the small pond, playing in the cool water; carressing each other. They drink water and get out of the pond; drying themselves. Prachi is touched by their unconditional love; they convey so many emotions without any language! Little does she know she has a big surprise waiting for her.

The wild horses sprint back towards the mountains with speed, disappearing into nothingness

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On their way back

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This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted onIndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

The Log across the River

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan. To read from the beginning, click here.

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Divyah is eager to talk to the Jawans and understand about their lives. She discusses the Kargil war with them, trying to accumulate any new information she can get on Operation Vijay in July 1999. She had lost her uncle in the war – he was 24 years old then and unmarried. He was a part of 18 Grenadiers. Various stories of bravery filled her heart with pride as she tried to fill an abyss in vain. She now realises how difficult the fight must have been – given the high altitude terrain and cold weather.

The gang, Ruhi and Divyah advance ahead, saluting the Army men for serving the Nation against all odds – away from their families and worldly comforts. Although hesitant at first, she lets the feelings get to her and hot tears flood her sun-scorched cheek and drip down her chin as she tries to picture her uncle in his uniform fighting for India. This is the first time Divyah had surrendered herself to her emotions, and as she did so, she felt like a huge load was off her chest and she could breathe freely. She had received closure.

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Pic by Chery P Thomas

 

They were twenty minutes away from the camp-site; separated by a huge river gushing through the green meadows. Its calm and burbling sound echoed in the valley – a constant reminder of persistence and dedication; never losing hope and always finding a way out. Madhu remembers what his first boss always told him, ‘Be like water, it can take any shape or form.’

His thoughts get interrupted when Niket splashes some water on his face – cold droplets hit him hard, sending a chill down his spine! Madhu joins the party and takes his revenge; Ruhi is saved as she is walking slowly behind them with Arpit and Swami. Vivian joins them in the fun, bringing Abhinav along.

As they walk further on the banks of the river, they come across a wooden log to cross it. It is a huge trunk of a pine tree; strong and long. Army men have cut and placed it there in order to help trekkers cross the river without getting wet. It is huge enough to allow two people to cross together. Vivian helps everyone cross the log turn-by-turn and provides further navigation towards the campsite.

Arpit is beside Ruhi, walking along with her and supporting her whenever she needs any help. His concern and care warmed Ruhi. She had slowly started loving him. The snow clad mountains around them stand as mute spectators watching Ruhi’s hard-to-conceal feelings for Arpit.

Madhu and Abhinav race towards the campsite, testing their capability. Niket decides to join them instantly and starts running behind – he feels like he is flying. As they run towards the campsite, sweat shines on their forehead with a smell of accomplishment.

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To view the next post, please click here.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted onIndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

The one where Niket walks fast

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.

Read the previous post – Wherever you go, carry your own sunshine. To read from the beginning, click here.

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After bidding goodbye to the twin lakes, they proceeded to descend the Gadsar Pass towards Gadsar Lake. The descent was steep and the sun was right above them. Niket was walking at good pace, often taking time to enjoy the view and have some fun. As they began to descend, he fell down as he failed to find grip in the snow. He laughed with others as he again got up to walk down. He again fell down on the same spot, it was hillarious. ‘Nature is playing a joke on me. I wonder how many times will it make me do it.’ He fell down for the third time stating this causing an uproar of laughter among trekkers!

Vivian came to help him – he also ended up falling at the same spot! Niket decided to slide his way down that patch of the mountain, wetting his pants on the way due to snow. The mountain slide had amazing view and followed the navigation given by the trek leader! Everyone crossed the tricky patch and descended down the mountain over an hour.

They walk through the carpet of flowers, Niket is walking much ahead of others. Chris and Sara let him walk ahead to make him feel proud about himself and his journey from being last in the trek on Day 1 to being in the forefront! They pause nearby a water source to eat their packed lunch.

As half of the team arrives, Niket suggests they wait for the other half for lunch and till then play UNO. Everyone rolls in and the game begins – there are some arguments with regards to the rules – Vivian sorts them out. As they finish two rounds of the game, other trekkers arrive and they sit together for lunch. Vivian is amazed by the occurrence – he has never seen this happen previously in any of the treks he has led. He gives credit to Niket for ensuring the entire team of 27 trekkers have lunch together, irrespective of their walking pace.

Resting for some time after lunch
Resting for some time after lunch

Swami is amazed by Niket’s transformation and his stand for people who walked at a slow pace. He sings a song while everyone enjoys lunch – it’s turning out to be a live concert. He hums Aao milo chalo from Jab we met, Shan being one of his favourite singers and then sings a Dil ko tumse pyaar hua from Rehna hai tere dil me. Shobana joins him to perform a duet on Phir le aaya dil from Barfi. Everyone decides to play antakshari on the remaining way to Gadsar Lake after being inspired by Swami and Shobana.

They all reach Gadsar Lake. Together. It is the first batch in the history of Indiahikes to do the same. Dashodh is extremely happy with the group’s achievement! Gadsar Lake is one of the biggest lakes on the trek and has greenish blue water. It is also called the fish lake. Snow keeps melting from the glacier in the mountain beside the lake, supplying the lake with fresh water. It is extremely quiet – there is not a sound – not even of winds.

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This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted onIndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Mumbai – City of Dreams

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.

Read the previous post – The one where time stood still. To read from the beginning, click here.

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Pawan’s efforts of carrying a bat in his backpack finally came to use. They played cricket near Vishansar lake. There was one catch – the bat and ball were of plastic! As they decided to play the gentlemen’s game, Arpit and Karthik volunteered for captainship. They picked their players and the decided the rules for the game.

Karthik’s team won the toss and elected to bat first. Dr. Sudip played the opening shot – he flung the ball in the air and it landed directly in Niket’s hands. Shobana was giving commentary – often biased towards Karthik’s team. As the game advanced further, it became a Bangalore + Allies vs Mumbai + Allies match. Suddenly, there was tension amongst the two captains; often reflected in their yelling when someone missed to catch the ball or failed to score.

Both captains were gripped by the madness of winning the game whatsoever! Sandesh realised the increasing hostility along with foul play and got both the captains into senses. Karthik’s team got out and Arpit had to get 67 runs to win. Arpit and Niket were the opening batsmen – with Arpit on strike. Abhinav bowled the first ball towards Arpit – Arpit was able to see the ball coming from Abhinav and as it came near, he could see the ball mocking him for the past. He smashed it hard, it directly hit Abhinav’s stomach. He laughed along with others, later apologising for the shot – but he didn’t feel guilty. Arpit’s team won the match with three wickets.

After a quick revamp of team members to ensure all cities were represented in both teams, they began the second match. The imaginary stadium basked in golden rays as the sun moved towards west. It was a dream come true for many – playing cricket in one of the largest and finest meadows nestled between snow clad mountains.

Abhinav sat behind the stumps with other team members and the girls. He was awaiting his turn to bat for his team. Ruhi sat beside him and they talked about the score and the customised rules for their game. All of a sudden, she asked him about his experience when he came to Mumbai for the first time. She wanted to go there, but was afraid if she would loose her individuality in the crowded city. Abhinav talked about his experience of coming to Mumbai – The City of Dreams.

Arpit and I got into VJTI together and packed our bags to reach Mumbai in June 2007. Arpit’s parents had arranged a PG for us near the college campus as they didn’t want us to stay in hostel, concerned wrt facilities and food provided there. Our train reached Mumbai Central station in the morning at 7 AM. We were super excited to be in the city of dreams. As we got out on the platform, we stood there viewing things around us; people pushed us around, murmuring abuses in the morning. Life in Mumbai was pretty fast – people seemed to be running continuously; where to was not clear.

We caught a cab towards Sion where we would be sharing PG with two other people who were also studying in VJTI, but were seniors. As the cab passed through various streets, I checked navigation to ensure we don’t get duped. Looking at the streets passing by made me realise Mumbai was not a planned city. There was a lot of filth on the roads, along with slums and beggars.

We reached the apartment and were shocked by its size. The two BHK home was smaller than the hall in my Jaipur home. There were no playgrounds or gardens around. Every window of the house pointed towards another high rise concrete building. It was maddening.

Everything was commercialised and expensive. Luckily air was still free. But Mumbai also had cheap options in terms of street food – it was melting pot of cuisines around the world. Arpit got sick in the first week thanks to various chaat we ended up trying. But we were determined that we would make it.

As time progressed, we fell in love with Mumbai’s soul – the hustle bustle, the love for money, the small roads filled with potholes, the rains and the people. You need to be a part of it to feel the connection.

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This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted onIndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Their first day of fourth year engineering term

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.

Read the previous post – Arpit recollects New Year’s Eve. To read from the beginning, click here.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

They were sitting on the last benches on the first day of their seventh semester, i.e. fourth year engineering. Arpit was busy solving a cube and Niket was timing it. Madhu was at his internship and was bunking college as usual. Swami was a very good friend now; but he still hadn’t warmed up to them enough to join them in the backseats. He was sitting right in the front bench, paying attention to the professor.

Abhinav was busy reading a novel under the bench – he loved John Grisham’s description of court scenes – he had the power to recreate the court in front of his readers. As a chalk landed on him, he realised the entire class was observing him. The professor had picked on him today, for a change. He said some swear words to Arpit and Niket who were busy enjoying the fun. Unable to answer the question, he was ridiculed and asked to sit down.

Ten minutes after that, she asked permission to come into the class. She had finally managed to reach the right class room after asking for navigation. She was messy – her hair was bound in a loose pony, which opened up as breeze passed by; covering her face with it. Her hand instantly went to arrange her hair away from her face – it had loads of funky bracelets and bangles on it. Finally, he saw her eyes – she was confident. Her lips were vibrant red in hue; she was wearing makeup. Her smile made him forget where he was sitting. Abhinav felt like he was drifting away in her thoughts.

She was wearing a printed green kurti and denim jeans paired with a small pink bag designed by Indian craftsmen, often called jhola. As she handed over the letter to the professor, he went through it and introduced her to the students, ‘Students, meet Latika Kanwar from Beawar, Rajasthan. She has shifted to Mumbai with her family and will be a part of our class for this academic year.’ The class reverberated with sounds of claps. She already had a fan following. After all it was an engineering class. Nothing less could have been expected.

She didn’t feel ashamed of the claps, she smiled and acknowledged them and gracefully sat in the one of the empty space in middle benches. Her grand entry destroyed the remote possibility of being friends with other girls in the class; they weren’t able to bear the interest she could spark in the class.

As she sat there listening to the professor, she opened her book to take notes. She tied her hair in a simple bun and inadvertently tucked her pen in it. As some strands flew in the wind; she playfully tucked each one of them behind her ears. Abhinav was caught there itself – he had fallen in love with her confidence and poise.

That’s when Arpit leaned over and whispered to him, ‘Look at her. I’m going to date her.’

END OF PART FOUR

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This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted onIndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Shaabash, Shaabash! Aage badhte raho

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.

Read the previous post – Another Addition to the Gang. To read from the beginning, click here.

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It’s 7.30 AM. Dashodh comes up with a plan today – he asks people who are slow to start walking along with him as the rest will begin their journey at 8 AM. Niket runs to join Dashodh’s group – he knows he’ll give the proper navigation and motivate him when he gets stuck. Arpit, Swami, Abhinav and Madhu also join in to be with Niket. Ruhi, Divyah, Shobana contemplate and begin the trek with them. Rajiv and Prachi are also along but they are at a safe distance from others, walking in paradise on earth discussing romantic things. Both of them are branding consultants and work together in a start up in Mumbai.

It is extremely pleasant, the sun isn’t out yet on their backs. Divyah took lessons from yesterday and has applied SPF 500 on the back of her neck too. As it keeps getting hotter people remove their jackets exposing their hands to the harsh sunrays.

They are 30 minutes into the trek and have covered one kilometre already at a comfortable pace. Dashodh exclaims his happiness on their progress – ‘Shaabash, Shabaash! Aage badhte raho’ Niket is breathing comfortably and walking along with the gang; he realises one of the reasons why he kept lagging behind yesterday was all else had a pace faster than him and he tried to match them, eventually draining himself. Soon the other trek members will begin the trek and eventually overtake them. However, there won’t be much distance as they’ve got a head start.

Ruhi starts talking to Niket, sharing her similar experience on Day 1 in Roopkund pass last year. Divyah is looking around for Tarun, wondering which route will he come from. After discussing various issues on psychology and engineering, Ruhi feels comfortable with being along with the gang. Madhu gets intrigued about psychology and asks her various things about child psychology from the cases he has observed in his experiential learning workshops. Arpit is the only one who is silent; trying to deliberately ignore her, she wonders why.

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Soon, they enter a patch where there are broken glaciers over a river. It is beautiful. They find a path around the glacier as they climb up towards Nichnai Pass. This is the first time they encounter snow on the trek to tread on! Tarun and Karthik join them up in a jiffy, pacing towards the peak. Tarun slips and slides down the snow ride, enjoying it to the fullest. He halts right in front of Ruhi and Divyah; his eyes filled with enthusiasm. Ruhi decides to discuss Tarun with Divyah once they have some privacy.

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Towards Nichnai Pass

Soon they make it to the top of Nichnai Pass at 13,500 feet – the second highest point in the trek and suddenly someone’s cell buzzes! It is Niket’s mom! She has been trying to get in touch with him since the morning. After checking the itinerary print out Niket had left at home, she figures out there are chances of getting signal at Nichnai pass and she goes for it! Niket feels ashamed and walks towards the edge to talk to her – She asks if he is enjoying the trek, informing they have fixed the engagement date as Thursday, 20th August so that his friends can also come along for the ceremony. Niket is more than excited to receive good news!

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At the top of Nichnai Pass

Everyone lines up to make calls home from Niket’s cellphone. Rest aren’t getting network. Niket suddenly becomes the most popular person on the trek (though it had to do with the previous day more than today). Arjun and Nisha call up home to speak to his mother and their five year old daughter Isha. Her voice brings a huge smile on Nisha’s face followed by tears of guilt.

Everyone reaches Nichnai pass and after clicking some group pics, they prepare themselves for the tricky descend on the other side – they can see small lakes on their way and an endless stretch of meadows filled with flowers as they descend.

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This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted onIndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Tall Pine Trees & Lush Green Meadows

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.

Read the previous post – The trek begins! To read from the beginning, click here.

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The pine and bhoj trees are enormous and grand – in their height as well as their width. Enchanted, Stuti tries to hug a tree but cannot cover the trunk in entirety; her husband Sahil is quick to help her, together they hug the tall pine tree. Looking beneath, the distance they covered doesn’t seem much. The sherpas are on their way with the donkeys to overtake them.

The patch of pine trees provide a much required break from the sun; Kanishka is recording videos in her Iphone – till the battery would last. Little does she know that all the engineers are carrying a stock of power banks! Dr. Sudip is just surprised to find something so beautiful yet unexplored – the view of the huge mountains on their way up beckons him. Excited, he keeps walking ahead with his brother-in-law Dr. Karan. Karan had just completed his M.B.B.S. and has got a well-deserved two month break from studies.

Tarun and Karthik are the energy house of the group; they can’t stop themselves from walking on more difficult trails, often getting lost and having to come back – they love exploring the place, leaving their own mark. Annoyed by their adventures, Shobana sticks to the route – often walking alone.

As they cross the patch of pine trees, they are again greeted by enormous meadows. Alone stands a fallen tree trunk – it is curved and trekkers walk underneath it – Sandesh is on the other side of the imaginative door, welcoming them to paradise! Pawan and Ravi have climbed on the top of the tree trunk, they sit there mesmerised – taking in the view. ‘If there is paradise on earth, it has to be Kashmir!’

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Pic by Chery P Thomas

After walking ahead in the scorching sun, they reach half way at Table Top; the last point where locals stay – the shop offers masala chai, maggi, omlette and of course, kahwah. Kahwah is more authentic and tasty here. It’s their official halt to eat their packed lunch. Chris, Sara, Arjun and Nisha are the first ones to reach and are followed by various other groups. Small children are playing by, amused by the trekkers – it is difficult to imagine how hard the lives of these innocent kids is.

Pawan, Sandesh, Nikita, Siddharth, Ravi, Ruhi, Divyah and Kanishka are walking together playing antakshari and recollecting their memoirs of their previous trek together to Roopkund.

The moment she reaches Table Top, Ruhi hurriedly open her shoes and sleeps on the grass out of exhaustion; she drifts into her own thoughts as she observes the clouds move slowly above her. Divyah joins her and they let their imagination run wild – guessing which shape does each cloud look like and making stories out of it. Ruhi stops her trained mind from interpreting these stories and linking it to what’s happening in Divyah’s life; she is on a vacation she reminds herself. Ruhi moved to Delhi from Bhubaneshwar in order to pursue M.A. in psychology. Presently, she offers services as a shrink and awaits result for her application to do Phd in child psychology from Toronto, Canada.

Maggi anyone?
Maggi anyone?

Arpit, Niket, Madhu, Swami and Abhinav are one of the last groups to reach Table Top. Niket is feeling out of breath and drained. As they sit down to relax, people who have already completed their lunch move ahead after taking the navigation from Vivian.

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To view the next post, please click here.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

Abhinav’s surprise visit to Jaipur

This post is a part of 24-day Marathon fiction called Yaariyan.

Read the previous post – Arpit treks Mt Kalsubai. To read from the beginning, click here.

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

It is 1 AM. Abhinav has reached the Berlin International Airport and checked-in his luggage. The flight is scheduled at 4 AM and boarding is at 3.30 AM. As he walks with his backpack towards the waiting area, he wonders how surprised his mother will be when she opens the door! He has bought warm long jackets for her and his sister-in-law and a small cuddly teddy bear for his cute niece Riya – teddy bears are a speciality in Berlin. He enters the duty free shop and buys a bottle of scotch for his dad and elder brother. They don’t like any gifts other than ones from duty free shops. 😛

His flight is having two lay overs of 2 hours each at Dusseldorf and Abu Dhabi. He will be reaching Jaipur at 7.30 PM IST after a travel of 17 hours. He isn’t carrying much this time back home, like he always does during christmas – Just his backpack filled with clothes for the trek and gifts for family. He is going to stay in Jaipur for a week and then leave for Srinagar for the trek. The eagerness of going home prevents him from falling asleep – he begins to read his novel.

Announcement is made. He walks, sort of runs towards the boarding gate, at a pace where he doesn’t invite crowd attention, he is able to visualise Jaipur in front of him – his bungalow where he and his brother grew up. They would often fight with each other, but Abhinav always ended up having the upper hand as he was younger – his mom would always side with him. Playing in the courtyard with friends, doing a lot of mischief, burning his hand when he was very small and had put it inside the boiling tea curiously, hanging on trees after school, watering trees with remaining water in his bottle on the way back home, leaving home to go to Mumbai for engineering or leaving home to go to Bayreuth for masters – the sorrow in his mother’s eyes. She always was in tears when it was time to say goodbye. That memory haunted him, made him feel guilty – of going ahead towards his dreams but not taking his family along. His elder brother had managed all family responsibilities well. He got married three years ago. His sister-in-law is very loving and they now have a year old daughter Riya – time moves so fast!

This is the first time Abhi is travelling through this route and with Etihad. Else, he takes the Frankfurt New Delhi Jaipur route. He checks the depicted graphic navigation on his screen and then drifts back to thoughts about his home. Luckily, mom wouldn’t have yet started looking for suitable brides for him – he was supposed to visit home in December, it’s way too early for that. But he was prepared for that too, you never know how meticulously moms and his sister-in-laws can plan.

After 17 hours of travel, Abhinav finally touches Jaipur. As he puts his feet on India, a burst of gratitude for his country and motherland grips him and he gets goosebumps. It is 7.30 PM, the time difference of four and half hours works in his favour when he comes to India.

He boards a prepaid taxi and directs it towards his home, watching the lanes and the changes along. He reaches Shanti Villa and rings the doorbell which is answered by his mother; tears of joy filling her eyes!

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This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.