Friday, November 23, 2018

Caffeinated, Forever!

Addictions are difficult.
Difficult to live with, 
Difficult to get rid of!

Going through the list of ringtones available in my handset, I came across this "Caffeinated Rattlesnake" tone, anything with caffeine attached to its name has a special significance in my life.

I am addicted to caffeine and I think its the most difficult habit for me to get rid of. Good 16 years I have spent caffeinating myself every single day!

One fine morning, I decided to find out a solution to move over this addiction, as usual, I thought of Mr. Google, my savior for a majority of the practical problems prevailing in my life, at any point of time.

I came across this habit formation theory of minimum 21-days. This theory states that if you continue to do something for 21 days or more you can form a habit or may get rid of it. Its very a controversial statement though and is contradicted by many researchers over a period of time.

In the 1950s, Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a well-known plastic surgeon observed a strange pattern among his patients, he claimed that it usually takes 21 days for any of his patients to accept their new look or to get used to his/her new features modified by plastic surgery. This theory was further contradicted and backed by many types of research where it was observed a minimum of 66 days were required to form any new lifestyle change or modify any habit. Pheww!

Despite all the researches done, it's very funny, how can someone get rid of a habit he or she spent 16 years forming in just 21 days or for that matter 66 days. It's not even practical.

Even if I try to recall, in the last 16 years I have only quit coffee once, I am very proud to say this though, but, the reason was not even acceptable. I never decided and quit even at that point, there was this time in life when I used to forget drinking coffee, forget almost everything including water and food. And I clearly remember it was my internship period during my MBA days, what a terrible time to recall! Ah, anyway. 

But on a very serious note, now, I believe its high time to get rid of this pain and try to live like basic people. Oh! I am one of those 'basic people', already, actually. :P

Of course, most of the stupid things, I do, nowadays is primarily because of coffee, and that's one bad habit I can discuss on my blog. :P

I will talk about my sweet addiction, some other day. First, Coffee!

Let's see, when will I grow up and finally get over this weakness. I think I need another coffee now.

Dear God, I know it's no point asking for anything, you'll do whatever you like, You are the Boss. Just take care of my people. :*

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Gaumukh Tapovan Trek!

Beginning of this year, a holy man looked at my birth chart and told me, 'You have life threat from Mountains'. I smiled, and said, 'You shouldn't have said that in front of my mom' ;-)

In my head, I thought, we all have to die one day and for me what can be better than mountains.

Today, sitting here, in the second last month of this year, I would like to admit it's not as rosy as it sounds, the whole ‘Dying in Mountains’ idea.  I have seen it very close, twice, this year.  It’s not that I am terrified or something, but I am not very excited about it, anymore.

To summarise my trekking trips this year, I have done quite a few treks in Bali for waterfalls, volcano, and rice fields.  Coming to the mountains, specifically, I have done 3 treks.

Nag Tibba in January, Everest Base Camp in April and Gaumukh Tapovan in the month of October.

I have mentioned briefly about the first 2 in my earlier post and had no intention of writing about Gaumukh Tapovan.

Last week, I was generally talking to my mom and out of the blue, she asked me, ‘Have you blogged about your recent trek?’

 It was surprising for me because she never ever asked about my blog.

I was a bit reluctant, I said, 'No, I didn't write about any of the mountain treks this year. They were not my best.' On which she replied, 'You should, good or bad, it's your journey and experience and it's your blog. It's all about learning'.

I told her about my blog, I think some 7-8 years ago. She is not very tech savvy but to my surprise, she remembered it. Though now she is a pro in online shopping on Myntra, Amazon, Big basket and other apps, this was unexpected.

So, I would like to give all the credit of this post to her. And I am going to skip the bad experience part for the post.

Coming back to my recent trek, Gaumukh Tapovan, it was an unplanned trip which I thought of sitting on Mount Batur in Bali and booked 4 days before the departure.

I didn’t intentionally plan Gaumukh Tapovan, it happened.

I don’t know where to begin.

It was an 8 day long trip with 4 days of trekking itinerary. 2 days for to and fro from Dehradun to Gangotri and vice-versa, 1 additional day at Gangotri and 1 at Bhojwasa Campsite.

Though, I changed my plan a bit and decided to descend alone a day before the trek officially ended.

The trip started from my favorite Dehradun, so much I am in love this place now and it’s like my second home.

As always, I reached Dehradun a day in advance.  This time I met an old friend who shifted to Dehradun sometime back. We went out for dinner and a movie before my trip started.

Day 1- Dehradun to Gangotri drive

After a long day on the road, we reached Gangotri at 7 pm. Had our dinner and slept.

Day 2- Relaxing day at Gangotri

This was an extra day at Gangotri. We roamed around, visited temples and attended Ganga Aarti at Gangotri temple in the evening. Blissful experience it was. The place was damn cold which gave me a fair idea of cold in upcoming days.

Day 3- Gangotri to Chirbassa- 9kms

It was an easy walk. We started around 9 am and reached our 1st campsite by 3.30pm. The views were mesmerizing and the campsite was good and clean. I discovered a beautiful white sand Ganga beach in the evening and spent an amazing time there.

Day 4- Chirbassa to Bhojwasa- 5kms

A short and not so sweet walk. This day I felt blisters on my feet and the pain was terrible.

In the evening, I covered them with surgical tape but it was of no good. It was in really bad shape.

Plus in the afternoon, I saw some people from other camps were playing cricket so I couldn’t stop myself and joined them and we played till it was dark, for almost 4 hours. At that moment, I absolutely forgot about my blisters though it was paining, but, I was alright.

Day 5- Bhojwasa to Gaumukh to Bhojwasa- 10 kms

It was a long day and a bit tiring as well. For me, it was additionally painful because of my growing blisters. This day we had to cross three ice-cold rivers and my blisters made it worse for me. I am in pain even when I am writing about it, right now.

For the first time, I felt I am losing conscious while crossing the river.

In the ice-cold water, the blisters were hurting like someone was cutting my toes inside the water with a sharp knife, and the tape was all wet and washed off. After crossing the second river, tears started flowing and after crossing the 3rd one I refused to walk. I just sat down on a big rock and cried for I don’t know how long.

I honestly felt I am going to die and will never be able to walk again in my life.

I couldn’t move because of blister-pain, my legs which were wet in icy water till upper thighs got froze and I was unable to feel any sensation in them for almost an hour. I failed to stand up, multiple times. Gosh! It was damn crazy.

Day 6- Bhojwasa to Gangotri

This day was supposed to be our Bhojwasa to Tapovan trek, but, I decided to descend back for 2 reasons- my blisters and the cold. I was dying to be in warm weather.

I descended alone and lost my way in between, but luckily, I found my way back and reached Gangotri around 5pm.

I was feeling blessed, I found a room and booked it. And for the next day, I decided to go back to Dehradun.

Day 7- Gangotri to Dehradun

I checked for the available mode of transport and boarded a local bus to Uttarkashi and from there I took a shared cab till Dehradun. Pheww!

By 7pm, I was in Dehradun, and I was very happy. It was perfectly warm weather.

Once again, I met my friend in Dehradun and since I had one extra day we celebrated my birthday in advance with another movie and lunch and dinner at an exotic place. And also, I stayed at her place for the extra day for which I never booked anything.

Though I love all weathers, this trip made me realize I can’t bear the excess cold.

For my last day, that was 20th October, I had booked a nice place for myself and there I got a surprise upgrade so I had an amazing birthday celebration. :)

Overall, I loved my experience. There were certain bad elements I am not willing to talk about.

No, no, the blisters were not the bad part. They were for learning. :)

And yes, no more mountain trips this year. At least, for right now, I think so.  ;-)

Dear God, I love you. Take care of my people. Muuah. :)

Pictures from the trek-

Monday, October 29, 2018

I will Love You till Eternity!

When I first heard this word 'Eternity' in the context of 'Love', I opened my big hard-cover dictionary to find out its meaning.

At that time, the internet was not that popular and we had one common desktop at home. I am talking about 2006 and I was in my graduation.

I have grown up in a very different set-up. We lived in a small house, a big house in a joint family, celebrating all big-small festivals, birthdays and anniversaries together with homemade delicacies. Always close to my grandparents.

All I have seen and believed is families are meant to be together, during all thick and thin and love stays forever in good and bad times. Money is important for a living but life can be blissful even with less of it.

I have seen my grandpa and grandma growing old together with 75 years of togetherness. And for better or worse, I belong to the same school of thought in the era of temporary everything.

Back during my MBA days, I remember writing a blog post on “How my biggest fear was getting married to a person I am not in Love with”, today my fears are even deeper.

I am shit scared.

A few days back, I met a friend while traveling. She was the wife of my ex-colleague. I still remember the time I met them back in November 2010 and I precisely remember it because we visited Trade Fair together which happens in November every year.

I always thought they were meant to be, perfect for each other. It was a love marriage after 2 years of courtship. And I loved listening to their story, it was my favorite.

When I met her recently, I was shocked to know they are separated. And for the most common reason, the guy cheated on her and asked for the divorce.

It was heart-breaking for me and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

I don’t know how to express this but I am really scared. It's not the first and only story I know which ended like this.

People usually say I am brave because I travel solo and go on adventures, but, I believe solo travel is easy, real strength lies in surviving these relationship traumas.

It’s easy to travel in any corner of the world knowing that you have someone in your life with you, on whom you can blindly trust, but living in a devastating relationship is the most painful and brave thing ever.

I am really feeling terrified for the past few days for I don’t know what all, maybe because of Venus Retrograde and Taurus moon or I don’t know why.

Dear God, please give me strength. I don’t have too many expectations but please help me in getting rid of the pain I am in. And take care of my people. Muuah.