Monday, May 30, 2016

Once upon a weekend in Kasol...

It took us three failed attempts at planning a trip to actually make one happen. It was Shristi's birthday, her little brother was flying in all the way from Bangalore, and she demanded (yes, literally demanded) that we all get our shit together and take her to Kasol for her birthday. We had little choice.

And so, with minimal planning and no fixed itinerary, we were off to the Himalayas for the third weekend of April - 9 of us too, no less. Some of us were wary of travelling in big groups; so many things could go wrong. But we were determined to make it work. Since the plan was made at such short notice, we couldn't get seats in a Volvo. So we hustled it all the way to Bhuntar aboard an HRTC non-AC seater bus. Needless to say, the going was tough, but the morning breeze blowing in my face as we entered the mountains and the hot cup of tea I had at our first stop all but made up for it. After a long overnight journey, we reached Bhuntar by noon. Famished and bedraggled, we found a restaurant, freshened up, and ate, before catching a local bus to Kasol from the bus stop down the road.

The sights I saw on this 1.5-hour bus journey are indescribable. I've been to the Himalayas a lot, but you have to believe me when I say, Parvati Valley is something else entirely. The gushing river smoothing pebbles on its way, the cattle grazing on its banks, the lush green mountains in the background, the grey skies at noon...it was a heavenly ride all the way to Kasol.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Learning to cycle at 24... (Part I)


Back in the late 90s, my parents bought me a flashy orange Hero kids' bicycle to encourage me to take up cycling, like my sister, who was rapidly gaining height wheeling through the narrow lanes of our neighbourhood. But truth be told, I wasn't much inclined towards physical activity as a child; I always saw myself as the creative one, not the active one. (And that didn't change as I grew up - the one game I ended up playing at the national level was Chess.)