Time Over,Over Time

Time Over

Hope lies in a new dawn or so she hoped as she pinched herself before logging into her personal demon. This 15″ monster is giving her no response since last week. This day was no different. Yet, she showed ounce of courage in dialling up that dreaded number again.

Scene 1:

Infocom Nut: Yes mam

Miss Surreal :I am going to write to higher authorities.My system has crashed again

Infocom(in a shameless tone):we will fix it today madam.

So it begins, a series of misfortune strikes her as if she is the only target left .She finally logs in after struggling for 2 hours.

Hope is a fooling thing and every stupid deed never dies.Miss Surreal was hoping for shock free afternoon when suddenly someone knocked on the door.

Long dark bearded man with an evil intention on his face enters.

Mr Uncool: Increase our hours,this is not acceptable…gibberish…

Miss Surreal:I can only do it if you show me the proof.I work on data not your whimsical  demands.

Mr. Uncool brought his gang to further pressurise Miss Surreal.Yet Miss Surreal stood firm,it was almost surreal to see Gang members demanding money for the work they never did.

Our organisation is masterful in creating gems like these,when time is over,they feel they can pretend to work.These moron had so many oxymoron in their consecutive syllables that Miss Surreal was simply stunned.

After listening to their meaningless banter,she promised to resolve the issue by discussing with the Head.

Scene 2: Heated chattering at Head Office

Topic seemed Headless from the start.With no room for further cheat by the Gang Members.This looked an open and shut case.Eureka! Sheer confidence of Mr. Uncool turned the tables and it seemed management has suffered Stockholm Syndrome and out of nowhere,freewill was granted to Gang members.

Miss Surreal tried her best to convince the real scenario,but the game was already played,dice was already thrown.Paper was signed and oppressor acting as oppressed,took another giant leap towards making this space smell like someone has killed ethics and justice with a single knife.

Scene 3:Sheer will and perseverence of Miss Surreal,brought faint hope as if there was light at the end of the tunnel.This time,barriers were broken,judgement was reversed and hours were  deducted.

I could see the disappointment on the face of Mr Uncool and Gang and a feeling of elation and relief on Miss Surreal`s face.She had won a battle in this topsy turvy war.

Alas! Time was over to give Over time!!

Blue Streak

Experiments are exciting, eerie, and unnerving at times. I mustered the courage to step out with a dream. Let the World not judge me by my identity but by the sensitivity of my heart. My temple was just a few miles apart. I stepped in, took a shallow breath as I met my Guru “Monu”

Monu: What would you prefer?

Me(nervous and excited): Blue with a tinge of green.

Monu: Interesting choice. Do you have time?

Me(lost in the calculation): Few hours

So it begins, my utopian dream to transform my image.

Everything about identity begins with this silky, rough, soft, hard, and attractive part of human: Hair

I won my bet and now it was time to turn blue.

The start was slow, serene, and stupid, with magical “monu” flirting magnanimously with my ever delicate hair already turned half brown, half grey, and half unrecognizable due to stress or scenarios such as “now”.

Monu was an able artist, carefully picking up every strand of my hazy hair, applying a paste of color on a shiny paper, and wrapping it around my saucy strands, minute by minute.

An hour into this intense art and craft project, I could barely speak or understand.

Meanwhile, Monu like every other sociopath was playing poker with my blacks and browns in an unemotional manner.

As we reached 90, he offered me a cup of tea when I had almost lost my sanity. I reluctantly took one to relieve myself from misery. To color your hair in the most elegant form, you need to suffer.

Oh Destiny, My Destiny!!

I glanced through my mobile and completed half typed message to get the necessary dopamine. Monu was back with a Spaceship-styled machine. This beast was supposed to dry or fry my hair. My mind-boggling head was kept inside this capsule. Switch on and I was on “HEAT” mode. At these times in my life, I realize how making decisions based on instinct, can almost drown you in such a steamy affair. The affair lasted for another half an hour when I lost my patience and asked my Guru to make it fast.

Me(losing last ounces of perceptible patience): Can this be done in 3 hours?

Monu{Cunningly): This will take at least take 4 as we need to wash your hair with a special shampoo before we apply blistering blue.

Me{defeatist tone): But you promised 3, anyways do it as soon as possible.

Monu offered me a Sandwich which I vehemently denied in a fit of rage or regret or both.

Monu, as every artist does, went about painting my hair with his special palette-shaped hand and even took help from her seemingly lost receptionist. She held my hair on one side as Monu weaved magic on the other. The battle was nearing its climax. I chanted “Divine” mantras to see myself through this ordeal.

Then came the final act. The Act of washing my head in the beagle basin. Monu, just as any sociopath would do, Lowered my head in the beagle basin with the slightest regard to pain in my neck.

I survived the Titanic and now my Guru was ready to unleash the final splash on my innocent strands.

Finally!!!!! It took 4 hours of artistic, uncertain, thrilling, and painful phases to complete the marvelously painful masterpiece.

I was ready to be crowned the blue streak of this town.

As Dickens said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.

My Tryst with Allergy

Beauty will save the world” – Dostoevsky

Drenched in satisfactory sweat, a harmless itch slowly turns into a monstrous mountain and my beautiful suffering begins. My story of dodging lesions on my beautiful skin goes a long way back. Like any obsessive online creator, this one keeps asking for constant attention.I first discovered this mysterious mud when I was 15 and naive.After weeks of hopeless allopathy(suppression of systems that make you cry),I happen to meet homeopathy wizard,who magically made my allergy vanish with harmless sweet rounded white gems disguised as chocolates.They say,”Homeopathy works on poison in nano form”.I was already consuming Chips and Bland Television,so I wasn`t missing the diet to be honest.I know,you are thinking this is crazy.Why am I bothered about allergy and how it can inspire you.Hold onto your already diminishing attention span for at least 3 minutes and you will discover secrets that can transform your life or ruin someone else`s.

After a brief hiatus of 15 years,I was revisited by this naughty evil again when I took my second dose of vaccine. Welcome back, you Devil.Allergy feels like a spiritual out of body experience.I turned off my satire meter and immediately took an appointment to see a skin specialist.

Dooms Day 2pm, Eerie silence, and familiar hospital smell.After an uncomfortable wait of 20 minutes.

Doctor: Hi, what is the issue?

Me:I have been having this allergy issue ever since I took the vaccine.

Doctor:Don`t worry,I will write you 3 medicines,one for suppression of symptoms,other 2 to suppress symptoms of symptoms.

Me(in my mind):I have been suppressed enough by my government,job and education.I can take no more

Me(After waking up from delusion):Will this cure it? Are there any side-effects?

Doctor:We can`t say for sure,we need to try and see.You are your own best doctor.

I am not sure what that meant but I understood there is only suppression of truth in treatment of allergy.

Me:Thanks doctor for you advice.I will meet you in 3 weeks and let you know.

I haven`t taken any pill that takes away my right to express.I decided to experiment and explore.Be your own alchemist or whatever.

Allergy is a funny disease,it is not understood by many but still exists.Just like ego or stupidity.For the next few weeks,I was eating momos and meeting my naughty neo,having pista laden sweet and welcoming my uninvited friend.Everytime,it appeared,I laughed and tried my best to stay sane.With time,it withered away.Now,it only comes occasionally to say hello or remind me that Dostoevsky was wrong

“Beauty can destroy the world”

Real beauty lies in letting be and staying conscious to every moment.Enjoy your flaws and treat them as jokes and you will see it mingle with yourself.As my incompetent doctor says “You are your best Doctor”

Until next time,Stay en-lightened and don`t be afraid if you have out of body experiences.Laugh it off and just go within because everything is funny.

“Eat Nuts,Eat Momos,Eat Pista and Enjoy the adventure”

Jokers of Joshua Season Y

Sun shone belligerent bright than my prospect of having a shiny smooth day. I put on my old Blazing black Shirt to absorb all the beautiful and ugly aspects of this rather ubiquitous epoch. I look up at the sky; scattered clouds, blazing blue sky, and angry sun sending me ultraviolet hellos. I meet my physiotherapist on the way as she gets down from her blue bike.

Miss Polite: how is your ankle now?

Me: Much better, thank you.

With a satisfactory smile, I stroll ahead only to encounter a strange-looking familiar man teaching Morse code to his cuddlicious(word of my personal dictionary) cute dog. I reach the garden and look out for birds. My favorite hobby is post-pandemic. Recovery of environment courtesy of human imprisonment has brought back birds and fear unseen for ages. The tree doesn`t distinguish, gracious enough to give space to novel ones. I observe the 3 masked muffled nurses in a new uniform, looking like they have just been released. They look eager to reach home and collapse. My new navy-looking, backbreaker arrives and I hop in.

I put on my headset with the hope to get some inspiration to handle Juvenile Jokers.

Whitson:(in his usual nuisance mode): I will stop this bus once and for a while.

Senior Officer: What`s the problem?

Whitson somehow lost his sense and threw a barrage of unforgivable offense on the Senior Officer. Before violent episodes could erupt, Whitson simply dropped off the lucky backbreaker.

A bus without suspension truly connects you to the ROAD: That’s Back Breaker, my office bus.

I connected to my favorite playlist and went into oblivion.

Beautifully decorated pot holes woke me up and I was petrified and excited to have another action-packed day.I looked out and saw a Local boy doing Yoga on 2 wheeler just to impress his girlfriend(who is unaware that a sudden break will send them both to Hell)

TezAadmi: Have you sold bitcoin?

Me(Bluffing confidently): I am playing a long-term game. I will hold for a year and see.

I can see men, women, boys, Dogs, DareDevils, and Goons racing towards our Noble naive Security Gate.I say it`s naive, as security personnel almost every time detect tiffin boxes as guns and give an ephemeral smile for his rather tame work. Other times, the detecting machine refuses to work.

A funny place to work where nobody knows what works, who works, or why it works. For my innocent binary eyes, the only thing that works is the sheer luck of our fellow sapiens. I begin my day with curiosity, hope, and courage. Curiosity to witness the next adventure, hope to see new comedians, and courage to face the adventure with my fellow comedians.

Mubbu: Good morning sir. How do you do? (He loves experimenting with English)

Me: It’s all good until I reach the Control Den.

Control Den has been my home for almost a decade. From 3 am adventure in the field with Bats to playing with Pungent gas to doing photoshoots for Corporate Paparazzi to searching for equipment that doesn`t exist. I have seen it all and beyond.I hardly take a breathe, when our legend arrives and waves me a scary hello. He is called a legend for reasons more than you can count on your fiery fingers.

Legend: Sir, we need to get that sample of exchangers.

I wish I could exchange this being with a more useful one(I thought in my devilish mind).

Me(Masking my muffled laugh): We will get it done.

The legend usually doesn’t walk straight or write a sentence without missing pronouns, yet he is our Great General Nuisance(or Manager you may call).

I take a few stress-free steps up this dilapidated ladder and meet Mr. Feku

Feku(Talking gibberish), there are so many of them that I make them all artists. They all have one-way conversations with the unobserved. Unobserved in this case is work and me. These Feku usually skip work but don`t spare me. (Why was I born in rain, Divine showering immeasurable pain). The personalities of these Fekus are so varied and risky that this job is no less than a red bull skiing adventure.

I enter dreaded ROOM No12 and it begins. Mockery of space, time, and resources with effortless ease as enter swarm of wily vendors to sign permits for work they will never complete.

I close my eyes and plan my day knowing that local goons and educated fools are ready to create another day of frivolous fun, unintended fun, and reckless run.

TRinng…TRinng..Phone rings

BigBoss: Check that pump, I heard it`s creating abnormal sound

Me wondering whether I should check his brain first or his abnormal behavior.

And It begins, my quest to solve another adventure filled with fun, fallacies,frolic and filth.

Until Next time, Drink Sanitizer and Stay Sane

Sweet and Sour Satire Season X

Life is funny ,tragic and interesting at the same time, only if you keep repeating same mistakes in different styles otherwise it is dull, dead and easy-Shailesh Tripathi

Hope is an addictive thing and no addiction easily dies unless an external hit is experienced on Head-Show Stop Presumption

It looked a normal naive day as I stepped outside with dreams of meeting Lunatic Languid Lala,Sleepy Suspicious Watchman and of course my cuddly crazy morse coded dog trained by the most boring Moustached species on the planet:Middle Age Man.I strolled through a rather gloomy day,with clouds waiting to burst in tears as if they sensed my pensive mood.I prayed to God not to meet that Old man again.Yes,the one who hands me receipts and advise at the cost of my peace of mind.Ripping it elegantly in pieces.

I silently admire my neighborhood Fitness Enthusiast who is sweating it out with a freaky expression on his moon like face. I call him Road Runner, as he is always seen in brisk bloody mode. I adjust to my ever rebellious mask and see three dejected diligent nurse walk past me in Salwar Suit, each covering their beautiful face with red, green and blue Mask. With clock ticking down I become restless to get my day started or at least pretend to do something meaningful. I remove my sleek white airpod and my 6″ addictive companion from my black bag and I instantly find relief. Ah! The greatest drug of 21st Century. This 6″ electronic distractor, that lures us into believing that we are intensively engaged. Only to realize, we are just dumbing down an entire generation as there is no law on access time for miraculous monster.My Frankenstein and my friend, my fire and my water, my hope and my fear. All trapped in this strange 6″ Chinese product.

BEEP! BEEP! Schumacher Uncle wakes me up from my dwindling delirium. I hop onto my traveler and immediately take my usual seat .Another day of notoriety, madness and dullness awaits .On my way ,I deeply connect with vibrations of road, disappointed faces on the road and my dangerous dreams. Sudden increase in vibrations of my body indicated that Main gate of my Arena wasn`t far. I hopped off, skimmed through miserable faces, play acted at the security and took a deep decisive breath before I saw Mubbu waving at me.

Mubbu: Good Morning sir

Me(Trying my best to stay mindful):I am good,Good Morning.Can you drop me to my first pitstop:C2C3 Control Station.

Mubbu: Get in

Mubbu is a marvelous middle age man with enthusiasm of a child. During this short journey, he keeps asking curious questions. Sometimes I tell him the truth, rest is mere spontaneity and metaphorical inner state of my mind.

Among all the Citizens of my Arena,I find him among the smartest.

Routine dulls the mind-J Krishnamurti.

As I enter my fireground,I take a detour to interact with my younger versions.More vulnerable and less affected by this joke called Job

Faiz:Sir,We have a problem in lpg unit

Me:Did you inform mechanical?

Faiz:They arent picking up phone

Some of the departments in my Arena have this superpower of disappearing at every working hour.

I scan through process parameters,make few more high fives with my young batch and move upstairs to meet another batch of unannounced Jokers.

On left of my door stands Mr. Monorail and on the right is Mr. India, both giving not so comfortable looks. I humbly ask them to let me enter first. Security is a myth but not stupidity. It is real and raw and tangible only if you keep your eyes and ears open

Mr. Monorail: Can you give me permit for my monorail?

Me: Will you complete this before our government falls?

Mr. Monorail: I am making luxurious electric marvel.

Monorail here refers to system that enables us to lift heavy equipment not the failure project of Mumbai.

Although, this one has a strong potential to be a failure, only if it ever completes.

As I take in few more conscious breathe ,Mr. India vanishes before my eye. I had intended to give him a very important dull job: Valve servicing.

FBI can track Julian Assange but we at our Arena,can never truly guess the whereabouts of this unassuming potter head.

My day had barely started when I received my first call from Mr. Einstein

Einstein:Follow up on air leakage

Me:Yes sir

You have to defy gravity or logic or both to understand Mr. Einstein.

I pulled out my weary warrior,now faded but still absorbing my load:my gritty blue bag.It has a bottle,raincoat and fruits to save me on my adventurous field trip.

Only when I felt a moment of silence and a gentle rain in background,I heard loud longing voice of Sappy

Sappy:Sir,we can solve this line leakage today

Me(in slight state of shock):Which leakage?

Leakages in my Arena are more frequent than good morning messages on WhatsApp group.

I know, the analogy was neither poetic nor deep but neither is work in my RING.

I put on my Yellow Fragile Helmet, walkie talkie and a bit of sarcasm. I stroll down the stairs with sappy to start another day filled with frenzied runs, lost communication and multiple idiosyncratic events perfectly set up for another roller-coaster ride.

My relationship with Bluetooth, My Wife and mask.

“Don’t eat that Himalayan Salt Lamp”,I pleaded in desperation,exasperation with pulses of perspiration.Just like my bluetooth device,she simply refused to respond.Just another normal day in my life where my wife felt like eating salt lamp will save her time and energy to get up from bed.The Ingenious oriental Salt lamp,normal day and my wonderful wife. Readers of the day,fellow non-relatables and my vigilant secret judges,let me take you in my weird world filled with pockets of idiosyncrasies,misadventure and occasional normalcy.

3 things have always given me perplexing paranoia:dealing with my bluetooth head-set, wearing a mask in Mumbai and conversations with my wonderful wife.Yes,even I was surprised by how similar these 3 are in my life.My Eureka moment came in the year 2020 when I decided to buy a bluetooth device,get married and then oh! the pandemic happened and I had to wear a mask to go to work in this wonderful humid mood of my city.2020 continues to surprise me but not comparable to my wife`s antics like gaining immunity from eating salt lamp.Another beautiful thing about my salt lamp is not only the fact that it is my wife`s favorite breakfast but it is originally mined from a place in Pakistan. Interestingly, it was bought to bring peace in my room but now it is melting into pieces.

Mask is one of the most revolutionary movement that has happened,not only does it stop my breathing just like my wife, it also makes my ear grow if I put it on for long.And just like my wife and my government,mask doesn`t allow me to speak freely and people say its safe to wear mask(not sure about getting married). Even I am baffled by the similarity that cropped up everytime I think about mask, bluetooth and my beautiful wife.

Marriage is like bluetooth device,looks fancy from outside but as time expands,you realise it takes lots of efforts to make it work and sometimes not so funny thing is,you lose your vibrant voice as I did when I bought this bewilderingly confusing bluetooth headset after consulting my expert wife.I admire your bravery if you have ever got married and then bought bewildering bluetooth headset and spoken loudly.

On taking a harder look,I did manage to find some defining differences though.Unlike bluetooth device that only works within 10-12 m distance,staying miles away from your wife helps a ton.Yes,mask does support you and bluetooth helps you connect but when weather turns strange and connection falters,your level of comfort falls back to panicky comical state.Just like in marriage

Everytime,I wear a mask,talk to my wife and play around with my faltering bluetooth,I am reminded of this inspiring quote:”what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” and I keep going strong with my 3 marvelous musketeers.

Another normal day in my life,as I look grimly at my non-functional himalayan salt lamp, half eaten lavishly by my better half,melting away slowly as is my hope for another peaceful day.

Pandemic has drastically changed the world,men & women moving around in mask and I am still searching for a perfect one.Oh No,not woman! a perfect mask .After doing extensive research on google:I decided to buy valve type mask in bulk:the day it arrived, government declared it illegal(just like 500 rupees notes).Just like my bluetooth headset and my wife`s mindset,I fail to understand such tragical comical unpredictable turn of events.Yet,another day vanishes,I happily plug in my bluetooth,put on my valve -less mask and fearlessly move out to catch a breath.

Just when it seemed things were returning to normalcy,my bluetooth device again refuse to connect,mask turned sweaty and watching my wonderful wife smile made me fear for the worst.

“Did you eat that Salt lamp again,I enquired politely

“No,I was suddenly curious to try gardening,went to balcony to stretch my hands and plant a new sapling when my unaware hand pushed an innocent flower pot down to the earth” she replied without an air of regret.

And the adventure continues,sapling was planted back on terrace and I tried my luck again with bluetooth device, my misty mask and my wonderful wife.

*hear a loud noise

“Did you drop that salt lamp ?”,I rambled with terror in my eyes.

What happens when it rains gems.

Oh! What a majestically looking surreal sky

Falling gems is a pleasant perplexing surprise

Yet we fail to fathom inherent vice

When it falls on the head of my little princess

She picks it and plucks it to her cute shiny dress

Traders simply settle it to evade cess

My moody Maria wife ain’t impress

She wishes to eat all those falling pearls

I have no clue,why she suddenly swirls

My sister is decorating them to her bizarre bag

My father is skeptic of this unexpected downpour

My mother is frantically furious, a massive uproar

My neighbour runs in with basket,bullishness and boys

As if collecting gems is her only vocation of choice

Random uncles lose their restraint and poise

Suddenly these gems seem more valuable than Rolls Royce

Oh!what a strange funny scene,extraordinary,unseen

Everyone is running crazy from old to middle to teen

For me,it’s magical,hilarious and absurd to witness this glorious scene

Ode to my gritty blue bag

Blue,bold and bright

Gritty grips,on shoulders,lovingly light

A loyal friend,A new flashy trend,a means to an end

Carries my essentials as I climb mighty mountains

Soaks up rains,brushes off dust,rarely relents

Perfect companion for my back as I roll down the hill

Smooth as a kiss,admirable in my thrill

In Office,my adventure field runs

My gritty blue bag,reliable and never shuns

Carrying my glasses,towel and masks

This seemingly miniature form,effortlessly multi-tasks

As I move out in Sun or try crazy courageous muddy run

My cute blue bag,always a part of fun

Brisk bruises,bold battles with mud and snow

Like our emotions,this one,fades on every low

Selfless love without a hint of desire

Just an ordinary wash and ready to fire

No downtime,always obliges in meanest of weather

It makes me feel,I can fly without a wing or feather

My blue,bold and boisterous bag,always with me,never lag.

Chasing Butterflies on Mountains

4th May 2019:Sleep deprived yet filled with hope and anticipation,I set out for my next adventure.Mumbai Airport always feels a dreamy place during this early morning hustle. I had my usual coffee at rather unusual place.The price was unusually high considering the taste,but that`s the specialty of Airport drinks.It was a special day,for I was about to begin a special journey with a special person to a special place.Excited,nervous and ecstatic all in the same breath,I completed my check-in formalities in a flash.Fact of the month-Staff at Mumbai Airport are far more efficient,polite and helpful than at Delhi(after a decade of travel experience and close honest observation).

I boarded my favorite Airbus 320 with semi comfortable seats.They say,celebrities put a lot of efforts on Airport looks(they hardly put any effort on acting in movies though).You are mistaken.In this modern narcissistic era,Sapiens who regularly fly or act like they are always in air(high flying attitude),do experiment with unwavering energy on airport looks.I was amused by seeing ladies sporting flashy lipstick with over the top golden glasses and men sporting designer kurtaas just to contrast with seat color of their modest looking seat.I observe these cute idiosyncrasies and dream of having another memorable adventure.I plugged in psychedelic music,and in two bleak boring hour,I arrived at Delhi Airport.

Only thing I love about Delhi is it`s Metro connectivity.It is easy,reliable and less risky than Mumbai local trains.I seamlessly changed metro to reach Rajeev Chowk.Rajeev Chowk is a place that shows everything that is wrong with our country-Chaos,Rush and ever expanding population,shamelessly suffocating this beautiful place.Everyone is in a hurry,even I was,to meet this special person.Finally,after traversing miles within the metro,I met her outside Gate No. 6.With a childlike innocence and charm on her face,she looked eager for this unknown adventure.It was her first ever trekking experience and she looked all set with her bold blue backpack,determined spirit and inspiring smile.We both quickly marched through streets of Connaught place to search for a good restaurant.After circling around for quite a while,we finally found an art cafe.Soulful tracks,beautiful paintings and sumptuous food was enough to get us going for our venture.After few hours of crazy conversations,experimental coffee shots and berating Delhi culture,we were jumping in excitement.We reached ISBT to catch a bus to Dehradun scheduled for 10 pm.We reached ISBT at 9 pm and felt we had many light years before we catch our bus.In this deluded state,we sat down on the only seat that was empty.We had our usual tea and accidently bought an unusual book:5 am Club by Robin Sharma.To this date,I wonder why I bought that book or Why did I never woke up at 5 am or Why did Nikki suggest me this gem?

Dehradun has a special place in my heart.We imagined ourself being awestruck by upcoming thrilling Himalayan experience,talked endlessly on human values and bought kachha Mango Candy(it was that phase in our relationship) at 2 am.I made an unsuccessful attempt to sleep and she was already asleep as we reached Doon Station at 5 am.(Sleeping is her passion and overthinking is mine)

Himalayan Experience:I had already trekked once with India hikes and had an incredible experience.Scenes outside Dehradun Station resembled summer fair; families with children, enthusiastic youngsters and spirited older folks were all waiting in excitement.Summer vacation, unlivable city life and newly discovered mountain spirit of Indians was responsible for this grand festival.We had to wait for an hour before we started our journey.My partner was jumping with joy, excitement and bit of nervousness.I assured her of an incredible and beautiful journey.

As we drove over hills, capturing the beauty of Ganga Asi river,breathtaking valleys and mesmerising trees,I felt completely at home.Nature always brings me back to peace.After absorbing pristine sights for few hours,we halted at a small Dhaba(road site eating place in India) for lunch.Just leaving the city and entering hills gives me immense joy.My dream in life was always to chase butterflies on mountains rather than green notes in the city.I wish,someday I achieve this dream.We reached Kaflon campsite around 2 pm.I,my partner(let`s call her Nikki,because she is a total character) and unfamiliar families stepped out with a dream of exploring lower himalayas.After a short circuitos trek up(even this was challenging for Nikki yet she showed grit and anger and climbed with a sarcastic smile).Shining bright yellow tents welcomed us on this awesome day as we saw the leader and his team waving from a distance.

Day 1:Kaflon Campsite:Our trek leader Vijeet welcomed us with welcome drinks.He introduced us to his amazing cook Harpal and his masterchef team. Ever smiling Pankaj bhaiyya was our co-guide.Vijeet made us play an innovative game to help everyone remember each other`s name. I could easily spot few 10 years old genius boys in that game.One of them was indeed remarkable.His name was Adith and he was unabashed,super curious and funny.I,Nikki and Adith had a short trek down the hill in the evening.Boy was indeed a genius rap artist with immense knowledge on history,geography,mountains and almost any subject you can recollect.His prefontal cortex was in advance stage of development.Nikki also had a special talent(apart from sleeping and talking).She invariably finds a serene,beautiful and perfect spot to simply get lost in nature.Yes, she found it in a flash and we could absorb the vibrant air,graceful aura of Mountains and mystical lights from the sky.We quietly listened to chirping of birds,soothing sound of water from the lake and ever majestic colorful sky.Campsite was sheer delight and with her it was even better.

Our team had dinner at 7 pm where trek leaders gave us basic instructions on precautions to be taken before the trek.Food was sumptuous and Night sky was even more beautiful with stars and galaxies igniting my already elevated mood.Another exciting part of trekking on mountains is sleeping in tents.They provide you with sleeping bags and expect you to sleep in a cosy manner.I struggle to sleep anywhere and mountains were no different.While my partner could sleep literally anywhere and everywhere and sleeping bags just gave her an additional boost to pursue her passion.

Trek leader had given us clear instructions to wake up at 5,breakfast at 6 and start trek at 7.Most difficult part of the trek is waking up at 5 and getting out of that cosy comfortable sleeping bag.Excitement to explore beauty of himalayan forests pushed us out of our tent.Team got ready to start the adventure.Before we could start our trek,we were taught how to dismantle our tent.It was fun to learn new skills in this expedition.

As we began our journey to our first campsite-Shiladuni,enthusiasm of adults was at par with kids.Trekking up the mountains with backpack is a skill to master,if you get it wrong,you suffer a lot while climbing.Nikki felt the weight of backpack while making her way up,it was her first time and she clearly was struggling.She never gives up and that is her strength,she carried on without assistance in scorching sun as we crossed a village on the way to our first pitstop.Adith kept us engaged by his astonising stories of himalayan wildlife and forest expedition,even Trek leader Vijeet was impressed by the depth of his knowledge.I meanwhile was trying out different stunts like crossing a stream on wooden logs(that could fall off and send me to heaven).While the crowd cheered me on,Nikki clearly wasn`t impressed by this stunt.She is never impressed by poems,letters and gifts or even genuine praise,she is a strange sweet girl.We moved on through pristine forests, decorated by rhododendrons, green oak, brown oak and a few maple trees.As we cross these lush green beauties,we could hear melodious sounds of Himalayan birds.This place is a heaven for bird watchers.As Adith and Trek leaders were sharing inspirational mountain expedition stories,Nikki was gasping for breath(her backpack was proving to be a difficult companion for her) and I was simply absorbing nature`s delight in the most innocent and spectacular form.I forgot to mention our loquacious Gujarati Fan boy group of 5,who were enjoying this trek in their unique yet loud obnoxious way.I felt bad for Himalayan birds for their tranquility was disturbed by overenthusiastic humans.We reached Shiladuni Campsite around 1 pm. Place was serene,green and beautiful as is most of the places in lower Himalayas with less human footprints.It felt as if I was finally home.

Team Leader Vijeet asked us to assemble in a circle.Stretching exercises to relax our muscles was a fun way to release tiredness of the day.Soon after,we got instructions to make our tent in this glorious place.Making your own tent was a fun exercise(not for everyone though,Adith and Nikki were least excited for this activity).After 20 minutes of struggle and help from trek team,everyone managed to build their tent. It felt like an achievement to build your own house from the scratch.After a short afternoon nap on this magnificent meadow,our team was bubbling with energy to play ball at 7000 feet.After much deliberation, we chose to play “Pitthu”.Pitthu is a crazy Indian ball and stone game,where you either hit the stone or get hit by the ball or simply run to evade attack.Anyways,it was super fun and exciting to watch everyone play with freedom despite the difference in age group.Forget everything,live the moment and just enjoy the game.That`s the beauty of any sports.Sports unites,brings out innocence and sheer joy in people.After this breathtaking game in which 12 years old Adith almost never got caught by mere old mortals like us,we decided to call it a day.Vijeet narrated some unbelievable stories on famous mountaineers and their indomitable spirit in extreme conditions.It was a day to remember for life as folks of all age group from 9 to 45,got together and played Pitthu (In reality-An Indian game played with stones and balls,where you break the stones or save yourself from getting hit by the ball as opponent chase) at such an high altitude.9 years young,energetic and swift Adith being chased by 20 and 30 years old legs was a scene to cherish.Effervescent Evening turned into a gorgeous glorious night.

Camping on mountains at night is an unforgettable experience.Star gazing at night, when our very own milky way with it`s fascinating constellations, welcomes you with glitter,hope and excitement.It is a sight you cannot miss.You look up,absorb the vastness of space and pray sincerely,you don`t want this night to end.

Next day ,Team got ready by 7 am as Journey was longer and more challenging.After having delicious breakfast,we set forth to our next campsite:Chaithathar.We Trek through a forest patch for an hour, where Green Oak trees are dominant. This is where the maple trees start competing with the oak trees in vegetation. Soon after that we cross a small stream using wooden logs and stones placed on it. We hiked for an hour with a steep ascent and then through oak and bamboo forests.Finally,we reached our campsite by afternoon.Nikki had a dream of camping in the middle of the forest and today her dream finally came true.Campsite was surrounded by dense forests on one side and a breathtaking view of valleys on the other side.

Playing games,making tents and enjoying sounds of melodious Himalayan birds(which you can rarely spot unless you are an expert in bird watching).Bird watching is a serious profession as displayed by two middle aged warriors of our diversity rich trek team.Sophisticated fancy cameras on their back and desperate dreams to capture Himalayan Splendour. My dream is simple:Chasing butterflies on mountains.It sets me free and I feel limitless.As I was lost in this beautiful meadow,I turned around to see what my precious partner was upto.My already sensitive eyes took absolute astonishment as Nikki literally disappeared in fresh air.I searched around her along with my crew.I almost had a minor heart attack when I saw a reflection besides a lake.On the other side,was a massive mystical rock.On it sat my magical princess,in a meditative Yogic pose.I was stunned by the equanimity of the moment and her serene reflection in the lake.My trek leader Vijeet had only yesterday told us about a spirit that roamed in this magnificent eerie lake.I began to wonder and rushed towards her in anxious careless steps.

Mystery of Mountains never fail to surprise me.Was that my illusion or is she really emanating that glorious rusty radiance?Suddenly,she had become Sun on this starry serendipitous evening.Stranger things happen in most beautiful of places.

Nikki,Nikki,Nikki,I shouted to only hear a powerful echo of “OM,OM,OM”

I always find something funny even in dark situations,but this moment stunned me in silence.Suddenly I was one with mountains and everyone and everything around.

Chance to Play

5pm,shoes,socks and hope inside

Taking his sizzling cycle ride

Carefully parks,walks and stand by the side

Smelling the grass,watching a thrilling game

Oh!He is not a part,what a shame

Everyday He watches in regret

Volleys,kicks and slangs on this dew kissed grass

Meekly makes an effort,a pleading sign

Ah,In hesitation, resign

He knows the bends,freekicks and razor reflexes

Why doesn’t he simply ask,is what perplexes

That day,it rained,something within him changed

He gathers courage,to mutter few syllables

Divine was amused by his incoherent babble,heroic yet hysterical

When the blue cap captain gave him a nod

A sign to wait,A glimmer of hope

A chance to play,that delicious dope

5pm,shoes,socks and excitement inside

Taking his steady subtle stride

He runs,reaches and waves at blue cap captain

Smelling the grass,watching the game

Oh,Finally a part,moment of fame

That eventful evening,he grabbed his chance

When Sturdy Sizzler fell into a trance

He entered with an uncomfortable stance

His tryst with football,a riveting romance

Blue cap captain in awe of his swivel and timing

I hope,story made sense with perfect rhyming

Alas! He got a chance to play

5pm,shoes,socks yet,a spirit that shone like a rising Sun