Sunday, October 03, 2004

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright


A few things like a special song a particular smell or some gesture  remind me of a particular person, memory or a moment. Like-
Aroma of paratha –grandma’s kitchen (Cliché ! cliché ! but true).
Morning tea --Dad.
Amitabh Bachhan style of dancing---Parul , my friend.
Maggi noodles----Tungnath (temple)
Dusk.....

Tungnath is one of the five famous Shiva temples (Panch Kedar) of Garhwal. This trek makes one of my favourite memories:

To escape the hot weather of Dehra and monotony of the long days of summer vacations I planned a trip. Somehow I could assemble/ agree 10 people (aged 5 to 40) More people meant more jokes,more songs, more fun.


Started from Rishikesh we drove up along the river Ganga. Reached Srinagar for lunch at a roadside dhaba. Couldn’t resist a nap after the food, though I wanted to enjoy the scenic drive. The song ‘Daiyya, Daiyya re’ (film dil ka rishta, one of driver’s Special) was repeatedly played by the Tata sumo driver.

When woke up, I found myself at a place where Jim Corbett had killed the man eater of Rudraprayag who killed 100s of people in this area. Our guide/guardian Natraj, an avid reader, told us many stories about the tigers, like a tiger always attacks its prey from his back. It walks so stealthily that the victim is unaware of its presence.
Night halt at Syalsaur in log-huts on the bank of Mandakini was a wonderful experience. After 3 hours of drive we were at Chopta, the base camp for our destination.

The trek starts from here. The path was well constructed with Shale rocks. After a while appeared the lush green meadows and in front of us was the breathtaking view of the snow covered peaks of Himalayas. Natraj who visited this place during winters told that he saw the pugmarks of …a tiger, when the trek was covered with the thick snow.
Panting, tired and damn hungry, we reached Tungnath temple. After Darshan we had Maggi and aloo Paratha at the only Dhaba out there. Yes, Maggi noodles still remind me of that place. Time to go back but the submit Chandrasila was still a km away. Others returned to Choptaa and the newlyweds (Nuts and wife) and I started for Chandrashila.

This one km was a bit tough but once we reached the top, it was a great feeling. While coming down we spotted a tea shop. Had tea and chatted with the shop owner and his wife. Time was flying away and we knew that it will take at least one hour to reach the base camp. Climbing down was not that easy as I had thought.
Now it was pitch dark. In my mind only one thing was there..Tiger! Attacks from the back…Pug marks…Though we didn’t utter a word about it.
Yes I was scared!

Reached Chopta safely. But dusk still reminds me of a tiger sometimes…






13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ashtrix says ...

So true. There are certain sights, smells that remind you of a person/event everytime. Come March .. as the trees sprout new leaves and the weather sheds the nip and starts getting warmer ... I am invariably reminded of 'exams'. It been long since I have actually taken one, but the feeling persists.

One more thing I am sure you know of the tiger ... it attacks only when hungry. Strong ethics no ?? Ha ha ha.

And finally, the Jackwa-Jillwa poem is HILARIOUS. Someone out there has really worked hard.

vandy said...

Hi Ashtrix
Nice to see u here.

March...Exams.Right u are.

It seems Tiger of Chandrashila was not hungry that day,that is why I'm alive today. :-)

Anonymous said...

Ashtrix says ...

Just thought I would let you know .. that you have been linked.

Will keep coming back !

Anonymous said...

Hi...Deepak Jeswal this end...came from Ashtrix's blog...i hv visited a lot of places in india, but never cud go to that end-corbett/rudraprayag etc etc...sounds interesting...will definitely try to if i hv some time in india next...meanwhile, on ur smell-memory association...let me add that sometimes, a smell/aroma/fragrance can reopen a lot of dead wounds as well...anyways looking forward to coming here and to see u on my blog as well http://randomexpressions.rediffblogs.com

vandy said...

Hi Deepak,
Plesaure to see u here.

smell/aroma/fragrance can reopen a lot of dead wounds as well..
You are right, good and bad memories...but then that is life.

Abt visiting ur blog.
Your blog is one of the blogs which is in my favourites list since I started reading blogs.
Actually I don't know how to make 'links'.
And how to post Pics. :-(
Whenever I try some error occurs.

Bill Clark said...

Tigers... yikes!

Anonymous said...

Ashtrix says ...

Time for a new post ma'am.

vandy said...

sure :-)

Anonymous said...

Deepak here....hi....yeah ashtrix is right...time for a new post...and the jack and jill had me in splits....btw thx for visiting my blogs...u sure r a silent person, coz i dont remember seeing ur name inthe comments boxes, anyways thx and keep dropping by....

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runjhun said...

i wish i would have gone with you guys,till date i get a craving to go and track any of these areas or any area in any of the himalayan ranges.Because i know if i will be there i will get peace.I regret not being sensible enough that time to understand that ,"living & giving your fullest to the present and take out the best from the present is what is called worth living,than just mourning over what has happened in the past." Then i didn't knew and i got the opportunity ,today i know and i have none....that's life

vandy said...

Hi Runu
Ya I too missed u a lot.But it's never too late.There are many dream destinations where we'll go together.
-Vandy.