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.

Unseen Hero

He picked us up when were zero
Yet we fail to acknowledge our unseen hero
Mothers have a visible,tender,sensitive affection
Look closer, Fathers give you a special protection
His love shines of different quality
Silent,masked and Simple at times
We realise once we reach our primes
He nurtures you,watch you grow in style
If you haven’t recognised a father’s love
Where were you? All this while

From School admission to hourly classes to stressful bills
He seldom buys a new shirt,while getting you fanciful thrills
Sacrifice,Substance and Patience
Are as true for his remembrance
At every hurdle,he was a constant presence
He embraces you in every way
In his heart,we forever stay

As we encounter uncertainty in life
His advice may seem boring but wise
Let us all sense our Fatherly love
Truest form is acceptance in all color.

As his hair turns grey
All he needs is your assurance,not to astray
Let us all remember him everyday
Happy Father’s Day!!!

A Joke called Job

At my Workplace: I feel like Greta: Angry, mysterious, activist and a time traveler

‘It was the best of times, It was the worst of times’ said Dickens in not so recent history .As I step outside my black bold archaic gate into this vociferous vulnerable vile environment. Everyday is a battle, yet my longing heart hopelessly searches for another novel breeze but all I see is gloomy glorified mask covered caricatures. I feel I am playing a video game just this time, Mario in me ain’t that brave as the Nintendo one nor I can jump in those crazy clergy bounds.

I watch Lala as he gives a wry smile from his half covered napkin turned mask. Then as I approach a recently converted Covid hospital on my way, an uninterested watchman reads inevitably depressing news on his borrowed brown paper. Yet, he felt content to be alive.May be, we all are. Even this girl who just went past me in her Hercules cycle wearing a designer dock mask. Strange times calls for better luck but I usually get any as I stumble upon 67 years old wrinkle faced uncle on my way to battleground.
“Hello, Uncle”, I greet him in not so spontaneous manner
“Can you give this medical bill in office” he asks in not that polite demeanor.

Then,without giving any clear warnings,he went about complaining on how he doesnt approve of his son’s second marriage and how he cannot afford to waste a rupee on taking printouts.I listened with patience and at the same time prayed in silence that my bus driver shows up his schumacher skills and reaches my place in no time.Time is such a funny thing yet extremely painful at times.I looked at that tame figure and wondered what life he must have lived.

They say “real character of a man is determined by how he behaves with older people”, but trust me or just face him. It hasn’t been easy at all and he usually meets me at this time to narrate his usual adventures of saving every penny and straightening up his gangster son.

Beeep,Beeep.Oh that sound felt like symphony to my ears.My Bold Bus driver Rajkumar,arrived 2 minuted early today.I greet him with a sense of relief on my face like a prisoner who has been released on bail for a crime he has no clue of.

As I make another unsuccessful attempt to take a peaceful nap,I hear a not so poignant apoetic voice reverberating in my soul.Do employees don’t understand public behavior,the man behind seems to have lost his last cell of sanity and is mindlessly breaking my head with his virgin vain voice.

He seems to be throwing barrage of not so beautiful words to an unlucky one on the other side.I can’t even say anything to Bapu.

I remember old times,when I tried to bring some sense to his madness,he almost ran a bus over and then threatened with a stick.But still as Brutus says,Bapu ji is an honorable man and I,an ignorant fool.

After surviving his bullets of words,I managed to find some solace in my playlist.

I inevitably reached the gate of Fortune unfortunate company.

Bewildered half sleeping belly show stopper,my precious Security man makes an unsuccessful attempt to check my temperature from a device that always shows the same value.As I sense my storky surroundings filled with air of ignorance,insanity and intolerance,I bravely cross the border.

Sappy:Hello sir,Today I saw a snake shed his skin and walk away.

Me(in not so surprised tone):Was it in our lpg unit?

After what has happened in my LPG unit over past few weeks, a snake shedding his skin seemed like any other frivolous and funny event.

I carefully walk to avoid alligators and snake,but I know I will inevitable meet one,once I reach office.

Note:All reference to any creature does intend to hurt both man and the creature.

I almost trip over a well placed rusted grating on my way to my darling den.

I see kaka bringing tea in his usual amicable demeanor. I smile, he smiles and we walk past each other. There are many smile relationships I have developed in my life and I totally love it as I need not speak and there is no conflict.Sometimes,I feel,language has created more problems than it has solved and man has created language.

I sit on my half broken chair and stare curiously at the pyramid of non essential documents.I drink my super immune fluid and smile at the eternal idiosyncrasies of my space.I almost complete a breathe to see Rocky waiting with half torn white paper in his hand.

Rocky:Sir,I have to get sign for the work.

Me:But We don’t have fireman today.

Rocky(in shameless tone):We will do it with utmost safety sir.

Rocky shows no sign of remorse in uttering these syllables. Rocky’s Team specializes in creating glorious Diwali lights scene whenever they undertake any welding job. To listen safety from this innocent evil`s mouth was an insult to the man/woman or whosever created this term.

As Rocky leaves,Prasad enters.There are more memes on Prasad than Donald Trump. Dull Damaged Bathroom Slippers reflects his commitment to minimalism, mockery and stupidity.

Me:You Stay out,I will meet you in the field.

Prasad:Sir,I need a sign

This surely wasn’t a good sign.This work,these characters and on top of that we have Prasad. A Proud Maratha who plays more with welding torch light than a mighty Sword.But then his work kills my Soul.I reminded him again after taking few voluntary breathes.

In unabashed glittering suit, enters our Chhota Don:Chintu.I wish, I could play some music or drums to welcome this infamous man. But then, his usual unabashed voice aren`t music to my sensitive ears.

Chintu:I need a Crane Permit

Me(in a suspicious tone):What did you do last time you had one? You remember right?

I simply cant forget how poetically he broke the nozzle of an exchanger on a scorching Sunday Noon and vanished in polluted air when called to custody.

Me(in an affirmative tone):I will talk to Transport and Wear a N95 next time you enter.

I get up to change my costume from mysterious casual attire to Communal Orange Boiler Dirt Suit. I skip few breathes to check on my lungs, gulp my antibody shake and raise my brow only to witness another imminent disaster.

An Army of barely uncovered unmasked men waiting with permits in their filthy hand.

I politely request them to assert themselves one by one towards the podium. This is a Race I do not want to see.

Before this even begins ,I get another call from Big Boss.

Big Boss: Did the unit start? Coordinate and do it.

I simply have utmost honest hate towards this word: Coordinate. It is such an overused delusional concept just like efficiency or society or Democracy.

Me(frivolous attempt to act serious):Yes sir,I will.

Now, begins another circus of finding rare ravines in my workplace who may be willing to help me with this task. Or in other words :Coordinate.

A journey of million idiosyncrasies begins with a harmless one.

So it started: A Joke Called Job.

Adios!!

Powerpuff Girl

First time I saw her,she stunned me with her animation filled perfect presentation
Poise,purpose and a true sensation
A riveting one,standing ovation

Unaffected by applause,she silently learns
Yet when on stage,her confidence returns
A consistent team player with a magical delivery
Outstanding organiser with a humble heart
Selfless approach,sets her apart
Let her undying enthusiasm never part

A text away from solving your problem
You don’t need Christ,you have Jamie’s attention
Like any masterpiece,her work speaks for itself
Flawless,fantastic and fearless way
In your heart,she will forever stay
Introvert by nature,extrovert by action
I am mesmerised by her eternal passion

I call her “Powerpuff Girl”

What is your Color?

All life is black and white
Said a man,with grey locks
For he has missed the glorious yellow rise
And the beautiful orange set
Ah! And the blue belligerant moon

Walk in the woods,you embrace greens,reds and browns
Lift your furlorn face up,straighten up,ragged rusty frown
Color can be an adjective or a noun
Did you capture effervescence of this bubbling town

Your binocular binary lens
Make it colorful and intense
All you need is choiceless presence
And an eye to go beyond black and white

Note-
Add Colors not frown
Red or black or brown

Flower of Creation

Rare,divine and rapturous

Lotus of Creation(Brahma Kamal)

From a miniscule bud to a blooming flower

Amidst terrific thunder,lively lightening and shimmering shower

Like All beautiful Creation

This one takes time,tendering and attention

As years passed by,magic is denied

For my mind was always occupied

As White precious petals unfold

Musical mystic story is retold

Comes & goes every year like a blessing

Auspicious August Occasion

Worshipping is a blissful obsession

In this moonlight night,it shines bright

Flower of immense significance

Keeps away energies of pretence and perversion

In all pure presence,devotional form

Sensitive soul, sudden transform

Flower of creation

Came from abyss to spread light in infinite

Watching this grow, a soothing sight.

Two pillars of my life

Younger one a bit shy,elder one never afraid to try

My powerful pillars,we laugh,love and fight

Each one is stubborn in their own way

Yet ready to accept differences in their stride

While younger one is artistic,eccentric and silent

Elder one is boisterous,bold and ambitious

Both are like violet and red end of spectrum

Rare,delightful and precious

Living life in their own style

Defining their uniquely understood meaning

Younger one expresses with gestures while

Elder one is blunt with words

Yet both flying high in the sky,like a magnificent marvellous birds

Younger one is nearby,while elder one away

I miss our trips together,those frivolous fights

Icecream delights,deliberating wrongs and rights

May this continuum of love,arguments and adventure

Keep us together in every trials and tribulation

For what is life,without a brother and sister’s unbridled celebration

Gangs of Belapur Season 2

I put on my stylish black non-threatening wildcraft mask,tie my seemingly strong super slippery shoelaces as I simultaneously struggle with my half broken glasses.I look a different animal in this pandemic.Infact everyone is an unrecognizable beast this year.2020 has woken,shaken and taken heart,soul and freedom of every being.Even the most cutest of soul looks threatening with a mask.Now,You understand why criminals and super heroes wore mask,it does set you apart and instills an air of uncertainty around you.Nowadays,My fear of dying of suffocation due to mask is more than fear of virus.I have changed my mask a gazillion times yet each one disappoints me in a rather special manner.Just like relationship these days,mask only stick around for few days that too if the weather is not too sweaty.

Carrying my eternal idiosyncratic mind with my gritty blue bag,I strode ahead, looking forward to another intense bout of insanity waiting to be showered upon me in my beloved arena.I catch my bus after making some path breaking conversation with Sardar Ji(Bus driver who sings and eats Parle G(Staple biscuit of India) while driving on surprisingly silent roads these days).

“Just bring that bus to nearby circle,Sector X”,My voice is making an unsuccessful attempt to be assertive yet this time it surprisingly works.

“I will check the barricades and tell you”, Sardar Ji replied in a jovial tone.Sardar Ji is a nice person just that he doesn`t get what I say.Anyways,nobody understands what I say.I accept my frivolous funny fate when I see my essential services bus racing towards me.9 minutes on this zombie looking street and my black panther mask is already making me feel asphyxiated and ennerved (if that actually is a word,even Shakespeare created some stupid words,I believe,my chance has arrived or is it,anyways my idiosyncrasy will go on).I put on my loyal headphone and open my last unread audiobook “how to make art by Leo Tolstoy”.As wisdom enters my vulnerable wild mind,I simultaneously think about vaccine,Relativity and enlightenment.

I reach the main Gate of my enterprising eccentric Arena.AK-47 detecting machine was as usual in OFF condition.I greet energetic smiling sheepish Security man:Yadav.Yadav has unseen superpower,I was stunned when Yadav asked me to open my gritty blue bag and without taking a glance inside,knows it is safe.He allows me inside after a rather strange inspection of my courageous bag.It started pouring as I made my way towards my boxing zone.I am surprisingly greeted by Kaashi on the way.

Kaashi is our coolest gang member,always donning a black bold goggle and a funky monkey mask with a non-sense serene expression on his face.He speaks only 2-4 words in a day yet resolves the most tricky problems without breaking a sweat.A change in expression on his face is as rare as Halley`s comet.Today must be something special,I wondered as I saw his rare smile hidden beneath his mystic mask.On my way I meet another unique soul:Mr.WittyHat.As he walks past me,he unconsciously sprinkles precious drops of wisdom on my impressionable spirit.

As I walk past dilapidated walls of my bewilderingly bleak building,I am greeted by Boisterous BodyBuilder. BodyBuilder always has an advice on how to raise your testosterone levels,amass black money and build dynasties.I am greeted again on my way to my cabin, by Affabble innocent Nana,who is genuinely heartbroken after I stopped buying tea from him(post corona decision).I finally settle down in my British era built chair when privy phone rang.

“We need Fireman in Arena X”

I take a deep breathe(an activity too crucial to miss out,essential for survival in my crazy witty world),drink my indigenously prepared pulpy protein shake and look with amusement at another day of mindless running and convincing folks to finally use their advanced pre-fontal cortex.

I barely took a sip from my bottle when a series of uninvited invasion in my room(despite Warning sign attached on my door) stunned me.Contractor Sincere is ever ready to get permit for me before I even swap my suave shirt and Classy Joggers with Orange Jail Costume.I know,I must respect my work attire,I would have only if the greedy contractor would have chosen a different color(even grey or black was fine but Orange does feel like I have been enslaved).I call my team member AngryBuddha.AngryBuddha is a mystical character with myriad shades to his personality.I try my best to lighten him up without much success.I must learn to be funny or firm or plain stupid any other trait won`t work in my arena.

After giving series of unconvincing permits to ever notorious contractors,I head towards my pilot project location.My driver:Muddu is still trying his level best to learn English.

“Where we go sir?” He enquired in an amusing tone

“Pilot Project”

“Why do we light flare in our Arena”

After hearing quite a potent technical question from Muddu,I was taken aback and amused.I wanted to say,mate it`s a sign that War is still ON.Yet,I didn`t want my satirical mind to ruin his honest query.

“When there is excess pressure,we have built an efficient system to release”

I wonder,why we still haven`t built an efficient pressure release system for humans.I reach my pilot plant with this tricky thought.I was surprised to see SameShirt walking in a T-Shirt(This was 1st time since last 3 months,that he has changed his shirt).

” Innocuous In-charge is still not on site”

“He is coming with Capitalletter soon”

This project has characters that can match even the toughest gangs of any place on Earth.If you want to learn art of passive aggression without effective work,this is the place to be-My ARena.

I was beginning to lose Hope when I saw my superhero Sappy coming with a blazing step towards the Arena.Sappy always has adrenaline rush around him and he was eager for another dopamine shot by some unseen heroics.As I gazed on the otherside,he had already bought a Cacophanous Crane and few fiery workers to start a mega project.

“What are you upto,Sappy?”

“We will change this pipeline,thickness has come down drastically”

I wish I could change the prefontal cortex of my team members,their thickness must have reduced phenominally by daily delirious acts of sustained stupidity.

As I sun was beginning to set,my hope rose by seeing Innocuous In-charge walk towards the arena with a paper and smile.

Everyday here is an example in notoriety,insane eccentricity with flashes of heroism to somehow save the day.I opened my gritty blue bag to sip in some water.It had been an another swashbuckling silly suave day at the office.

Until Next time,Wear Mask,Use your brain and Drink sanitiser.

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.