Saturday, December 19, 2009

Weiredest Bungee jump that hit the ground !

I might have not even attempted to rappel down those mere 35 feet. But when one of the Sr.Instructor asked me if wanted to try newly arrived automatic self belay device. I immediately said "Yes, why not!
The device was like a pulley with a switch. While switch is pressed & rope can pass, when switch released, rope was SUPPOSED to get fixed!
I Hung outside the 3rd floors corridor having myself anchored firmly on the rope.
Hoping that the rope will be released slowly, Pressed the Knob.
Zrrrr...
In spite of not keeping the Knob pressed, the rope did NOT lock! The law of gravity must have overpowered it.
In a split second i slid down the rope n my feet banged the ground floor concrete flooring. The moment my legs hit the ground, due to the impact, the belay got locked and I hung 1 foot above the ground.(That’s how my spine was saved!)
It took a while for our team standing around to understand what had just happened.
I tried to walk few steps. Acute pain rushed up to my brain as i took few steps. But I DID take few steps before collapsing just to assure myself that leg bones are still in place.
Actually there was a person to handle the main rope from the ground. Had he tighten or even crossed the main rope I would not have slide down so fast. Anyways, now there’s no point in playing the blame game!
Hearing the story & seeing condition of leg; Orthopaedic was sure that foot is fractured, till the X-ray gave us pleasant shock, showing NO signs of fracture!
Looking at the rope burn on hands & bandaged leg, million times I have re-visualized the moment of pressing the knob!

When I ask myself what did I feel while falling?
Two words answer is “RAW fear"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just Married



काल एका टिपिकल लग्नाला गेलो होतो. सगळीकडे प्रचंड लगबग,उंची साड्या,मेकप्स,अत्तराचे भापकारे,भारंभार दगिनें. हे मुलीकडले हे मुलाकडले ,मग त्यांचे मानपान. सगळा अगदी टिपिकल माहोल! "अरे बाळा,केवढा मोठा जॅलास!! मागच्या वेळी एवढासा होतास."किती वेळा तेच संवाद! "ह्याचा मुलगा काय करतो , त्याची मुलगी कोणाबरोबर पळून गेली..." छापाच्या चांभार-चौकशा.. प्रत्येकाचा चेहररयावर ठेवणीतला मिठास हसु... समोर गोड गोड पण पाठ वळलीकी कुजके! हे सगळे पाहत असताना मला 'त्या' लग्नाची आठवण ज़ाली...2महिन्या पुर्वीची गॉशअसेल. आत्ता तुडुंब भरून वहात असलेला हाच हॉल होता तेव्हासुद्धा !
त्यांचे लव-मॅरेज होते. दोघांचाही घरच्या प्रचंड विरोधाला न जुमानता दोघांनी लग्नाचा घाट घातला होता. सगळ्यांनी पाठ फिरवलेली. तिच्या धाकटया बहीनीचा अपवाद वगळता लग्नात एकही नातेवाईक नाही! अगदी सख्खे आई वडील सुद्धा नाहीत!
विचार करत असाल की मग लग्नाला आलेला तरी कोण? तिथेच तर सगळी मजा आहे! त्या लग्नाचा साक्षीदार होता दोघांचा मित्र कंपू! सगळे मिळून 14-15 फक्त!अरे पण केवढे चैतन्न्य होते त्या छोटेखानी समारंभात..जोक्स,दंगामस्ती,चिडवाचिडवी आणि थुइथुइ नाचणारी हास्याची कारंजी..परत ग्रूप मधली जोडपी , त्यांची खेचाखेच , रूसवे फूगवे.. वाटत होते की लग्नाला नाही तर जणू कॉलेज चा कट्यावर परत आलोय.
वधूवर पंक्तीला बसले. अरे पण वाढपी कुथेआहेत ? केटरिंग वाल्याची मोजून दोन माणसे हजर.फिकीर कोण करतो.. हीच सगळी मित्रमैत्रींणिंची फौज कामाला लागली. कोणी मुलाला एकवर एक गुलाबजाम भरवतोय,तर कोणी मुलीचा डोळ्यातून पाणी येइस्तोवर जिलेबी खिलवतेय.
..."याच्या कडून घास घेतलास.. आता माज़या कडून एक... चल आता त्याचाकडून एक.. शेवटचा एक.. नंतर आम्ही थोडीच कधी भरवणार आहोत.. हा हहहा!!"
दोघे बिचारे खाउन खाउन बेजार!!
नातेवाईकांची वर्दळ नाही,महागड्या साड्या नाहीत, अत्तराचे भापकारे नाहीत की मोट्तली रुखवते नाहीत. त्यांचाकडे होते फक्त प्रेम, परस्परंवर विश्वास आणि मित्रांची अतूट साथ.
अचानक ते गाणे आठवले. "यारो..दोस्ती .. बडीही अजीब हेई.. ये ना हो तो क्या..फिर.. बोलो..ये जिंदगी हेई "क्षणभर डोळे पाणावले. पटकन दोघांना शुभेच्छा देऊन निघालो.
खाली आलो आणि पाहतो तर काय.. मित्रमंडळी प्रेमाने वधूवारांची गाडी सजवत होते.
कुठली??? भरजरी साजवलेली आलिशान होंडा सिटी??
नाही...तर त्यांचीच, रोजचाच वापरातली, पण मस्तपैकी फुलांनी माधवलेली होंडा आक्टिवआ !!
लाल गुलाबाची टपोरी फुले,गुलाबी रिबीन्स,हार्ट्स, नि काय काय..
आणि मागे एक हार्ट शेपचा गुलाबी बोर्ड लटकत होता
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"जस्ट मॅरीड"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Encounter with bears


The forest of VASOTA are famous for Bears, Big cats, Wild dogs, Bisons n many more species.

We started climb to Nageshwari at around 5:30 in eve, aiming to hit the top by 11PM.

Climb was very hectic!

6:15 PM.. Dusk was falling... Not much of light, but not even full dark. This is the time when predators come out...

So on a ridge, we were walking slow (dragging feet like boys who don't want to go to school)

and suddenly heard some GHASSFUSS sound in grass some 30 feet down.

AAAAAAAND what...

a hefty dark black figure was walking with heavy steps!

bears can smell from as long as 2 Km depending on wind direction!

next moment it realised that we are watching.... 

the roar it made is JUST unforgettable...

Our guide Shantaram threw a big stone towards it...

Another powerful ROAR !

It was really angry.

We too then started throwing stones n shouting Growling at the bear.... To scare it off!

(This was needed else sometimes the bears tend to track u by smell and attack from behind!)

suddenly we saw two more smaller black shapes following the big one....

They were Kiddo-bears... and the first one was mom.. no wonder she was so aggressive.

Finally after some more growling they raised speed...

and disappeared in the Tall grass and bushes...


husshhhhhhh

video

Though scary, it was fun too...

We were never so happy on a trek... PAISA VASOOL...



Saturday, June 28, 2008

UXB R/R

UXB @ Civil defense Staff College

This 40yrs old institute has trained thousands of officers in various areas like fire fighting, rescue, control-communication and disaster management. This training is given completely free of cost!
(It’s well said that all best things in the world are free)
How ever you need to the service order from your regional units.
Civil Defense Staff College, mumabi

(Staff College Building, the Fire engine parking area)

(Model s depicting different types of knots)
(Real Bombs, used in 1965 war)
UXB stands for unexploded bomb. This is am advanced course held by civil defense staff college-Mumbai for civil defense corps, police and fire brigade. Participant for this course are expected to have basic knowledge about civil defense services.

Theory studies
The duration of the course was 10days, daily 10am to 5pm.
Every day there would be two lectures and practical sessions. We learnt types of bombs, capacities, working mechanisms, triggering, fuses etc. I being from science background all this was simple for me, but i was very complicated for others! I was the only one from science back ground between students & EVEN STAFF! :-)
So I had many times I had fights with the instructors about simplest things..
I respect them for their hard earned practical knowledge and experience but couldn’t tolerate when he started saying Chromosomes are only in bones (!) Rest all guys too had absolutely on idea what the hell it was. So they were in happily nodding heads left right! But when the prof started saying that DNA IS IN BLOOD, NOT IN CELLS... I gave up!
Not his fault as he didn’t have science background..
The lectures were informative and interesting, however i found the syllabus to be little obsolete. I feel they should keep touch with cutting edge technology.
(Training rooms)
(various informative charts)
But the underlined fact is, you don’t get this type of training anywhere else! Plus here it’s for free! Win-win situation.

Model Simulation study
In the model room there are 2, almost room sized big tables. On this a mini replica of city has been modeled for simulation purpose. It had various landscapes like buildings, grounds, bridges, rain lines, ship docks and what not!

In our exercise, they gave us a war scenario where the city had been a target of enemy bombarding! Bridges broken some buildings demolished some under fire, oil refinery that can blow up any moment and on top of it, a 250 ton bomb lying around in heart of the city!
Impossible looking scenario... And now we as control officers were asked to analyze the situation and write am "Incidence Control Report".
Tough job if thought in real time!
The bomb could explode any time which had oil tankers and civil areas in its effective range so first we created evacuation plan by estimating the capacity of bomb, also created sandbag barriers, and trenches.
Now Due to the collapsed bridge, transport has dead, so the rescue teams couldn’t reach the fire areas. The other way to send the vehicles vie rail crossing. but this route was in bomb's sensitive range. so we put a speed restriction of 5m/h.
So many issues have to be handled like which roads to block, how to manage traffic, where to take the casualties...
Trrrang.. The bell rang! And I found out that it was whole 2hrs had passed! This exercise was really really a great way to bring out creativity and imagination!

Indoor UXB search operation

1500hrs we were informed about a bomb kept in the ground floor of staff college. Dressed in dungaree’s we started with search operation. "Look for such an object that should not 've been there" ,instructor told us. So now here I was, leading a search team of 4 guys, looking for Bomb !
Dark store yards to medical room to a dark theatre
Real life it must be so scary! you are looking for some object, what color is it??, what shape it has?? how does it look?? NO clue at all!
And device is patiently waiting in some corner, carefully hearing for your footsteps, body temperature, sound or even light from your torch! Its Ready to blow itself with enormous blast...just waiting to get triggered.. Just waiting!

Even the idea was scary. But none other in my team taking this exercise seriously were roaming around, lifting & shifting things around as if looking for some lost underwear!
:-/
We searched all the corridors, old junk shelves, under the tables.. even toilets! No luck, till we notices a black bag stuffed behind office door! Unmistakenly a BOMB as no one from office staff claimed it!
We filed a report in the format instructed, and hurrray... Back to base!

Outdoor UXB search operation
It was noon and we were asked to assemble in the staff college grounds with dungaree uniform. Objective was to locate a bomb that was hypothetically been dropped from am aircraft but is it fell in soft wet muddy soil, so could not explode!
Mmm.. Isn’t this ground too small to search for a bomb?

According the theory the search is made in sectors, each party separated from other by 150m so that, even if by mistake the bomb goes off, not all the teams loose their lives..
To protect (at least try to protect) your body from possible explosion, one should stay as close to ground as possible. so we were actually crawling on the ground looking out for a bomb, some Colored Body with a tail unit!
Grrr... Even if the ground was covered with soft and lush green grass, crawling was not so much fun so soon we gave up! When instructor saw over tired and sweaty faces, he gave us a hint that, they’d hidden the bomb near the fencing! We started search with new vigour. looked for skid marks, trenches, entry holes and all the marks we were taught to look for! But all in vain! We were really jealous at the other team who was resting and chitchatting on that lush green grass as they had already found it! Aaaand here were we.. Hopelessly searching for a bomb in bushes full of rotten leaves, garbage and what not!
"whats this??" said poonam in boring tone, holding out a red colored tapering object...
Wow! That was it, we'd found the uxb , but we'd not only touched it, but also lifted it and rotated it from all possible angles !!! hussh thank god the instructor didnt watch us doing so! @_@

Sand bag exercise
This was the last practical exercise in our training.
When a uxb is found, to reduce the effect of blast, sandbag wall is made around it. But the job is not easy as it sounds!
We started right from DIGGING THE SOIL! Did you know that you can take out the dug soil fast outta pit in "3" ways when working in team?! The bags have to be filled up only 70% so they can be moved around and arranged atop each other. After few hrs the bags were ready.
Next part was to carry the bags near the bomb. One has to stay right angle to the location of bomb so that least area of body is in line with the bomb. The sand bag has to be kept in the front and one has to crawl, using the bag as shield!
The for enough protection surrounding sandbag wall should be at least 6 feet tall & 3feet thick!
Soooo after long time with Greatest efforts we managed to create a very very tall wall around the dummy bomb which was 1foot thick and whole TWO FEET TALL! :-)

Final exam
After 9 days of training now it was time to show what we had learnt!
Exam had theory & practical of 50marks each. Theory was multiple choice qns. For the practical exam we used the map that we had made in first few days. The map was on full size paper depicting the neighboring area of Metro, Bombay hospital and marine lines, with all roads major buildings and all.
We had to assume a bomb located near marine lines bridge and create am incidence control plan.
From the given specs we calculated the bomb to be of 3.5feet long, having 12"diameter and weighing 500 pound. So the full effective range came to be radius of 50m from ground zero. Exercise was similar to the one we did previously. We marked which roads to block. How and where to evacuate which people. Created and filed the report and that’s it !

Creating bombs
PS: Those who read this blog with interest in creating a bomb.. I am really
Sorry!
THEY DIDNT TEACH IT !
Creating a bomb is a (wicked) child’s play! The only difficult or say impossible thing is to get the stuffing material.
Overall the course was a wonderful & knowledge enriching experience. Plus you get a certificate which could be really a gem in your cert. file.
So dear friends to find out more about civil defense, feel free to ask me.
To serve the nation you neednt be in only Army or Air forse. You can very well do it being a civilian....
Join Civil defense

Monday, March 24, 2008

Kulang gad trek... Tough one








***
Dont try to read this whole blog in stretch! its looooooong !!! :p
visit many times and read is parts. it will feel more interesting!
Enjoy the Blog
-Nik
***


9.30pm, 14th march08


Seven of us assembled at dombivli rail station. Sushaant, Tanny n Charu were supposed to join at kalyan directly. Even at 10.30in night kalyan station was flooding with crowd ! We caught havda expresses for Igatpuri. After minor dhakka bukki the group of 11 managed to secure place in corridor near the door. Everybody rested at the floor. Few sat down on floor, few stood. And our regular(below waist) jokes, time pass n fountains of laughter begun; not having slightest idea about What were we going to face in next few hours..

Some time after kalyan, train halted at a signal. Some of us got down on the ground walked till next door & found that totally empty! Why all sit crowded only at one door?? So pavan,kau n charu got down the train n shifted to the next door n the train started again. I sat in door, enjoying cool breeze as the train caught speed. It Ran madly through pitch dark. To participate in talks I faced inside,..
I sat in door, feet resting at door steps, facing inside.
THAT FRACTION OF TIME IS ENGRAVED ON MY MIND !

suddenly ... Bang!!
My right leg was thrown up in the air!
I don’t recollect anything that happened in next 10seconds. I sat eyes closed, tightly crunching thigh. It felt like in full force, someone has hit a big hammer on my foot! . After some time i could actually hear friends talking to me..
Some worst thoughts made of forgot the pain. I thought my finger bones’ve been crushed to pieces. I could see whole life, past and future in those few moments. When train was in full speed, my foot was actually hit by some station flat form... When my senses returned,1st qn i asked,


“Is my shoe Red in blood???”

"NO" FROM FRIENDS GAVE ME COURAGE TO OPEN MY EYES...


Despite of hell lot of pain, I was happy that, my foot was not into pieces. happiest moment i will call it.
Sushant ,saurabh gave a light massage n i was slowly recovering from the shock!

Train reached kasara station. just the train had halted at platform ; kaustubh from next compartment, came to our compartment asking for bandage and some sophra cream.. But looking at his face, I sensed something serious! Picked up my medicine kit. all tried to stop me, but not paying heed, rushed to next compartment fully limping!
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Agassh..scene was horrible !!!


charu sat there with cuts on both shins!!


Pair of RED socks lied in the basin… pavan had sacrificed his brand new socks to soak the blood.


Just like me; Charu too was hit by the platform!

Despite of the wound, Charu had controlled himself really well.(sports people are gr8! )
Did some basic dressing and soon we reached igatpuri.. Everybody got down. People in my compartment were shocked to know that there was another casualty! It was 1AM when we settled at the platform. stupid spectators started gathering.. Really hate that mentality.
Then it was time to find a hospital. Me,tanny,kau n charu came out of the station looking for a hospital. Doctor at the private hospital nearby refused even to open hospital doors for us!
And ironically that hospital was proudly holding a board of "24hours service”!!!

I had purposely made him walk just to make sure that there was no fracture.. It must have been great scene.. J Group of four walking at midnight on that desserted street, cracking utterly nonsense jokes while Two of them limping Badly!!! Hahaha
By the time we reached back to station some locals had gathered there n told us to go to municipal general hospital which was right in front of station. I called the whole group. sent tanny with charu to get the dressing done! Outside we just started discussing further plans, when i was called in the hospital.









Charu sat on bed,n Doc was cleaning his wounds. Sat next to him, holding his hand. Next 5min were really bad… The pain must have been horrible ! He gripped my hand very very tight as Doc started cleaning his wounds.. The whole episode lasted for 10mins and nice good looking white bandages settled on his shins.
The hospital people were so loyal to duty, they refused to take Single penny for the treatment! Forcibly handing over 50rp note, we left the hospital. it was 2AM and we had to spend time till 5am.so nothing better than rail booking office! Everyone spread their trek mats and had Tiffin dinner.

4.30am.. Now it was time to take decision. Whether to catch bus and go for trek or to catch train back to bombay. Being bit senior trekker, I was confident that i can trek with 1.5legs! But what about charu?? That guy was on very first trek of his life! I just told him, "only you know u can do it or not! if i were at your place, i'd have surely done it! I really don’t want you to miss this gr8 experience..."
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He thought for a while n we all put sacks on shoulders n started to....
BUS STAND! Yessssssssss.. We were going ahead.

Till this moment, all this matter had made me forget my pain, but soon as we started walking to bus stand, it surfaced. Only thing on my mind was, "charu is through but how i myself am going to make it."

caught bus to Ghoti. took breakfast there n hired a jeep to Ambewadi ; the foot of Kulang gad. Whole night i'd not got sleep even for a second, so In the jeep i tried some YogNIDRA- A TECHNIQUE OF DEEP SLEEP. Its really refreshing..
Morning 8.30we landed at mountain base! lots hours had passed and i was hardly able to touch my right foot on ground.
In front of us stood a monstrous mountain range, covering half of the horizon! Alang,madan n kulang stood stout like kings, touching the skies...
Though it was a splendid sight, it pumped some adrenaline in my blood.. I was really tensed! Taking out crep bandage out, Sushant asked me to relax! In next few mins, along with some ointment, my foot was tightened in bandage!. On that i put the shoe! But this felt even worst than before. now it was paining even without walking! So i had on choice to use a stick as third leg... :-)

it was hardly 9.20am sun turning harsh...
We all had covered head and face with Talibani style cloth! Hehehe











After 7km walk, we entered a dense forest! This was one of the most beautiful forests, with bird chirps, cool shade, the typical woody aroma; this took away all the fatigue. then the actual climb began. As we were still in forest, even the heavy climb gradient, wasn’t tiring at all.
Suddenly i thought of my foot!! It was hardly paining! What you call this?? Mountain magic?
:-)














Corners of tanny's highly colorful head scarf stood straight up.. Making him look like a fat tomcat! Or BOKA!!!









On the way, we met a trekker who was on way back. I waited trying to get some info about the route. Susu,tanny n adi stayed back with me while rest of the group walked further. Our talks went on for couple of mins. by the time rest of the group went some 15min ahead.

After we done with talks, decided to take a shortcut, going vertically up through a dry waterfall path...so we could catch others fast. We confirmed this with the further group with our specialized signaling calls.
But we didn’t know this short cut idea was going to take us for a ride... We Were climbing over half hr, yet no sign of the actual trail. And Step by step the climb becoming steeper! Rocks were easy to climb, but now it ws all scree,(very loose slippery soil).only grip available was the thorny bushes on the slope! Even they would come off if we grip them harder! Turning back was impossible. Some how we made it till the actual trail. Though this shortcut was tough one, we were way too up on the actual trail!
From here, whole forest was visible. Through which the trail was coming up. we waited giving signaling calls to rest of the group. but not a single reply! It was over an hour we had parted! Tension started building up. Another trekker group whom were far behind us, reached up. When we asked them if they saw our group on the way, response was negative! Now this was really serious. They had lost the way! After trying thousand times, one mobile phone connected!
We didn’t know exactly where they were, nor did they know where We were... It was Only knowledge of directions, basic geography and topology that could help us!
Fortunately i stood on top of an exposed cliff, having whole terrain under site, n entire map In my brain. but in the lost group, only abhishek could've possibly understood the navigation co-ordinates i was going to give them.

...."we see a coal, think we have reached madan-gad" , started abhi.

I knew that was impossible !
They couldn’t have reached that far!

"do you see kalsu bai???" i asked..

"No!"

That was a problem.i understood that they had walked far back from the actual ridge. And they can’t see me at this moment!

"do you see bhandardara lake?"

"No".. Replied abhi.

Hushh i realized that they haven’t gone that far… the condition was still under control. Fortunately their location was tracked easily otherwise i was going to ask them to make fire n release signaling smoke! But jarurat nahi padi.

Gave direction co-ords to abhishek and asked him to backtrack till they see a Bright orange dot on top of ridge! (that is the reason I always wear THAT special gaudy orange tshirt on all treks)

By the time, I asked sushaant n other to reach caves n start with food preparations.

Standing on that cliff, flashing my own shirt...next half hour felt like half year! N finally we spotted each other.
Sigh of relief! But i guess not for me. The group below had missed the trail to climb the ridge.
So only solution was I climbing down that 800feet part and show
them the way up.
felt like crying aloud! Bloody i have to climb up this part ones again..
Naheee..
:-@

when i reached down at the junction, I realized that, trail was really confusing because of heaps of chopped bushes lying on the trail.
I gave them idea about the heavy gradient climb we've to do for next one hour. And again we headed to top. me with two sacks on my back.
This climb has many exposed rock phases... Over 2000feet of fall. In company of harsh burning sun. This climb was lifetime's toughest climb for many people in our group. Nothing wrong in that, because it really WAS!

The speed which all climbed was dead slow. On the way sat tanny giving away glucose. So nice..






finally got to the top!!!














sushaant n adi had a fire ready. so we emptied the packet into the pan. In 5min, tasty upma was ready to eat. We realized that there was no salt in upma but by the time, the pan was emptied to half. Taste hardly matters when you have scaled highest climb in maharashtra :-)

3.30pm. cool breeze n Tight tummies, so all were on verge of catching a nap! Yesterday i had not slept even for a second. So i knew if i sleep, no one would be able to wake me up at least for at least 6hours! So i took camera n left the cave for site-seeing. It was late noon but Sun was very harsh! In 10min i reached the western face. from here whole range fort was in sight right from kalsubai,alang and madan.








One very much peculiar thing i observed was, there is not a single tree on top! Hardly any bushes! Zero grass! Terrain is more like moon land. possible reason was the land made up just of small stones n hardly any soil. Every where it was so so sooo deserted !

Blowing winds,made some really scary sounds. Though it was DAY TIME,A FULL SUNNY AFTERNOON, don’t know why, but i was SCARED!
Hurriedly i walked back to caves. Adi sat outside listening music Everybody else fast asleep. This was the time i too couldn’t resist sleep...
....It was total dark, when i woke up shivering with cold. sun had already set. We had just 1hr of free time before dinner. The eastern face of fort was still unexplored.
Grrr...
Nobody was ready to come out from the cozy warm cave! Finally it was just two of us. Me and charu the injured duo :-)
we started walking to the eastern cliff. It looked closer but took almost 20min time! Bye the time we reached on top, the horizon was dark, except a faint blue border left after sunset! Stars were peeping in.. Down in the valley some small villages appeared like rangoli of the tiny light dots... At south east, was glittering water body of bhandar dara lake. The lights at the dam looked as beautiful as the marine drive.
Winds were turning colder n colder. I felt like waiting there but we had to return.

When we reached back, Rest of the team was busy cooking maggy for dinner.
Yumm… that was tastiest maggy i ever had on trek.





10pm.

tomorrow it was sushant's Birthday. We had a planned a nice surprise for him. “A birthday cake with personalized icing.”

And surprise for me was, there were two cakes instead of just one! As it was just a week to my Birthday! Did some really wacky icing on the cake. Can u imagine a cake with naked man's ass? Hahaha :-)


11pm.

Bed time. cold was unexpectedly high. so my injured foot had started throbbing. When i took of the shoe, it had swollen almost 1.5times of normal!
Fuck..
God knows How i am gonna trek down.
Like others, i was sleepy too. But I love just love to sit alone in mountains... When Its only wind what you can hear… in full silence... Staring into deep valleys.. Experiencing the darkness.. Feeling the tranquility..

So i came out of the cave and sat on a rock. Bright moon shined in the sky. one could go around even without torch light.
I was trying to enjoy the beauty of the dark. This is what i do at every trek.
...but something felt really wrong!
atmosphere was not pleasing at all !
I am never scared of dark, not of being alone.. But this time felt something startnge!
I really was scared...
My eyes were wet, soon tears rolled out!
This was something i'd never experienced before!
I thought ok, lets wait for some time n see... But this feeling went on increasing. Ruins of the fort structure looked spooky. Moon had lit the whole area. so this was surely not fears of dark! Yet Every stone, every rock even the moon looked weird..
To divert my mind, i tried giving miss calls to friends, but it hardly helped!
It was like whole surrounding was trying to talk to me..
Trying to tell me something..
Hairs on my hands stood straight..
I was never so sacred.
Something really wrong with this place..

I returned to caves...
When I talked this issue to others, some other people too had experienced something abnormal around.
As if someone constantly keeping watch on us…


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

16march: 6.30pm

Before leaving the place, it was time for some photography.








Today trekking down was going to be long stretch. We were already behind schedule. Bags were packed.









Half team went to refill the bottles. We the Injured duo started climbing down.

I was continuously monitoring my altimeter watch that was plotting a steep descend graph. Indicating the gradient! We were climbing down really fast but that was really painful for legs! Some part of the trail was at total mountain exposure. It was unexpected that even some of our regular members had vertigo feeling looking down in deep valley! But soon that part was over and we reached the middle plateau. Took first break. Sun'd come up and it was really getting hot! The saga of missing the trail continued.. :-) Last two kilo meter stretch was very very hectic! And hussh..


Exactly after four long hours we were back at village ambewadi... Thanks to abhishek's fast walk, we could catch the 11.30am bus back to ghoti. Trek was over and everyone was very eager to reach Bombay! To beat the heat and rest our tired bums till the transport was arranged, we went to USU JUICU bar.. :P In ghoti it was REALLY HOT! Even the tar on road was melting! i was shocked to see that thermo in my watch was displaying 40.1degrees!reached ghoti bus depot. few mins left for the bus to come. The range of kulang was visible. It was really hard to believe that we'd actually came down from that plz touching top!!! Suddenly, last 48hrs swept in front of my eyes. What not had happened... But despite of all the odds, we had bagged another successful trek.


Its indeed the love for the mountains that keeps alive the spirit within...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Most awaited picnic !

12 in midnight, eyes about to catch sleep n "BEEP..." my cell lit up.
Another msg4m vibha asking me2join tunareshwar picnic; this time with NEW IMPROVED KILLER line

"kal 8 ke 8 ja sakte hei,pata nahi future mei fir kabhi chance milega"
...aaand my oppose to an adventure less picnic melted away.

"Next morning 8.30am dadar station." vibha's last msg yday night. As usual I reached just 10min late than
nikhil's standard time! So punctual i am
(REF:
nikhil's standard time =actual time + 30min)
haha...

Finally all of the 8 WIERDOS had united for 'THE' picnic, awaited over 2years!

At the station itself we started taking photo. public was staring up as if we were some JAPANESE tourists! :p
Took train to vasai which is 1hr travel from dadar.Train was crowded enough so, we couldn’t do much of our regular non sense tricks!
Lucky crowd...
:-))
it was almost 11am when we got down at vasai.Sun was harsh, no sign of single cloud in the sky.Wow..Its gonna be a nice TANNING TRIP!
Got our hungry stomachs Filled at 'Tungareshwar fast food' near the station. Food was nice & shopkeeper was smart!
(before we could sneak out clean, he realized that he forgot to charge for 1extra lassi)
daaam it!

Sun was so much that we all drenched in sweat while walking till bus stand.
"What stupid plan is this, so much time waste, such a loose planning..." i was cursing every one.But other 7 folks completely familiar to my usual 'kit-kit pit-pit' kept cool...

To pass time i did everything from padmasana to shavasana on 3 horizontal bars of the bus stop!
Finally, A photo session... A bus change... 20min journey, and we got down at sativali;village at 2km from base of 'tunga'.
(doesnt Tunga sound sweet?? Courtesy: manny)

Ok,reader now hold your breath!
The 2km journey was a circus performance Starring

_ a/1/one/single riksha

_8 kanjus miser WIERDOS(myself being the king miser)

_a happy rikshawala (ready to screw his riksha,which was probally a hired one.)

_ a/1/one/single passenger who had no problem traveling with us.


Me n manny smartly caught the seat in front. Its always better to sit on a quarter seat than to carry 50kg in your lap!
:)

despite of this mammoth load, the riksha ran at its regular speed.
Ride was bumpy. At bump,riksha would knock and the knocking sound would be followed by robin's "AAAUCH".Thanks to 65kg weight in his lap!
Haha...
Finally we reached tunga base.
See this is what you call a WIN WIN situation.
We just paid 5rp per head n had a great ride, the riksha wala got 40rp in just one trip.
:p








video
(Still feel pity for the poor vehicle!)




tunga comes under protected forest zone. we got down from the rik. Inhaling that cool, pollution free air was very refreshing. And i think clouds had heard our prayers. They had covered the sun nicely, making the atmosphere very very cool and soothing.
It was 1 in the noon, we started walking. Trail passed through tall forest. Dense tall trees covering the trail.Wonderful bird chirps.
A very small river welcomed us. There was a narrow bridge built over it. but we preferred crossing it through water. Needless to say, it called for another photo shoot!
:)

there were to tapori looking guys sitting on the other side observing us. And by now everybody had noticed that they were following us since we got down from rik. So although not afraid ,we were cautious. The trail was extremely beautiful, but in some corner of mind, every one was thinking about those two. At one turning, Again we heard grouped voices at our back. Our brave girls immediately picked up handful of stones just in case!
:-

hussh, it was some other group coming. Since then we never saw those guys.

Another water stream was waiting for us.
” my Goldfishes will love this place!" said manny.
Nice cool knee deep water.

U must have guessed, what it calls for?
"YES", photo shoot!
This is the only problem with digital photography. One really stops thinking before taking photos.(including myself!)

now me and nanny were in front. The degree of the trail had increased. Also Sun was out.So everybody's walking speeds lowered. Me and manny stopped when, we heard pumba calling us ,and every one nicely settling their bums down the slope. The for water break! There also sumi,nishi and robin began with another...

we again started climbing. A small water stream was crossing road,and flowing down the hill.A small water fall had formed. Place was slippery and robin made his début!
:-)
we heard a "dhupp" sound, and next moment, robin was pampering his hurt bum.
Saved by few feet. Otherwise he was surely to be found down the hill tumbling with the waterfall...

10mins walk and we reached the tunga...
No no,the tungareshvar temple.
Temple is very beautiful. Because of the marble flooring, inside is much cooler. In the dark silence of the GABHARA one can hear the calm sound of the neighboring water stream.And in this enchanting surrounding, head bows at the lord shiva's idol.
I noticed few sadhu's sitting in the temple with some kinda small stensils of with designs of OM,a shiva's snake.With those,they would make a holi design on person's forehead.I had a sudden urge of getting that design done. So i sat infront of him. He was whispering some chants; he made the design on my forehead. That touch felt very cool...
After relaxig for a while,we left the temple and took took the stairway on a neighbouring hill.Just 5 min of climb and we were at the holi cistern! Mountain Water flows into it through a stone carved GOMUKH.Actually this is a place where one can take holi bath before going to temple.But never mind,we took it after ter visit.Other hesitated a bit,but i being totally Hydro philic,enjoyed the pla to fullest!
Wooosh.....
The refreshing cold water bath had amplifide the signals from empty stomach. And the aroma from the opened tiffins,spreaded in the air.

As usual i had not brought any food !

Totally parasitic category :-)



my kind pals,wont u feed this ever hungry baby?)
:p
nishita had brought the special south Indian curry.!
Oh boy someday i would like to swim in that!

Stomachs were pack, so few of us made an unsuccessful attempt to take a nap!
Haha ...Thank you jungle mosquitos

"A PERFECT PICTURE DOESNT COME SO EASY" IT TAKES HRS OF SET UP!!

AUR KISKO SHENDI LAGANA BHI BAHUT DIFFICULT HOTA HEI... :-


! video


Now it was time for a group photo. Places changed with every click. Only common thing was the bond of friendship,expressed through the joyful faces.

(Surprisingly an antelope named suman also joined our group photo!)


4 pm we started the the back home. The earlier was better, as we had spotted some TP areas to spend lots of time.
Descend was obviously much faster than ascend, and in no time we reached that beautiful water stream. Nice water and cool tree shade. What else one needs for an hour long halt..
Had lotsa fun in the water. Best part was, almost everybody, including hydro phobic members had joined in!

Shiny sunrays were leaning horizontal.5:30 pm. And we had long journey to go.
Everybody bought speed and at6pm we were at sativli. Coincidently meeting the same rikshawala!

We were about to say "whaaat a nice picnic.." butt these words were gulped when we saw heavy traffic jam non the road. Vehicles were stuck over2hrs,said the villagers.
Oh my god situation.
Only the happy potter's knight but could have taken us home...
So i suggested that we better start walking out way. Ahead We might get some transportation where traffic is moving. All agreed and the march started. Girls were terry tensed by the thought of getting late. After walking a mile, we noticed the traffic there was little bit in motion.



"try for lift ???", i asked pumba. She agreed. We spotted a single manned tata safari! To increase the chances of getting lift just3girls went ahead. And to our surprise, the vehicle took a swift turn, and Halted!

Wow, it was a 2.4 ltr, turbo intercooled,4x4 tata safari dicor!

All 8 easily got in. Half hour sweaty walk in traffic and now speeding to vasai in a superb AC vehicle... Truly unbelievable!
All thanks to mr.Dilip za ,the kind vehicle owner!
Just half hour drive and we reached vasai station. From bottom of heart everybody thanked dilip for the lift...
We were perfectly on time for the vasai-diva shuttle train!

Since morning all the things had fallen perfectly at the place...



All 8 again may or may not get chance for a picnic together, but am sure today's picnic memories will be cherish able for ever...