Monday, May 28, 2007

The trek that was never to be

Some people are blessed with enviable mesmerising and convincing skills. Try as much as you can, you are forced to toe their lines. And it doesn' t require a formal education or a degree from a business school. I would like to label my driver as one such crafty and scheming person.
For the uninitiated, i have been living in nainital for more than a year now i.e ofcourse when i get a break from iit. Fot the even more uninitiated, in other words dimwits, Nainital is a hill station in the state of Uttaranchal..err..Uttarakhand. For the lesser dimwits, there are places in and around Nainital which are even better than Nainital.
So getting back to my driver- he is bitten by the sometimes very irritating 'travel bug'. People who are itching for an opportunity to travel. The kind who will even jump at the chance to buy a toothpaste. But the catch would be that he should be allowed to travel to the most uninhabited corner of Nainital and locate a shop there. The typical sturdy villager of Kumaon who has spent most of his life 'upping and downing' the majestic hills of Nainital. And God knows how, but he was living under this false illusion that i am the typical hectic jumping jack types- his perfect companion for the roads less travelled. Getting back to his skills, he firstly hypnotised my mother into sending me out with him to a trip of Bhawali ( i am not sure if thats the way its spelled in english) and Mukteshwar. These are places around Nainital which are at much higher altitudes than Nainital. We set out inside our car without any eating hamper to go with. This is going to turn out to be very important later on. He has a very simple straighforward driving principle. 'Drive as fast as you can. The serpentine roads of Nainital are so treacherous that any driver worth his salt is extremely careful. So why should he bother ?' So normally when it takes others 1 hour to reach Bhawali, we were there in 45 minutes sharp. Then came the shocker. We were going to trek. Me and trekking ? I tried reasoning out with him but in vain. He was already there with the necessary paraphernalia and claimed that he was related in blood to Tenzing Norkay. I knew he was lying and yet i was convinced. The mountain in front of me resembled a gargantuan orang utan ready to feast on my meat. It was densely covered with pine trees. Strange thoughts started cropping up. What if i get lost ? I will have to survive eating the yucky tasteless looking pine cones when i am a die hard non veggie. The fact that i had recently watched 'The Hills Have Eyes' didn't help my cause. Then came the gut wrenching shocker. He started drawing out ropes. My eyes popped out of my sockets. He was going to indulge in rock climbing. That sounded the death knell for my trekking bravado. I had had enough. I left him to God's mercy and told him that i would meet him at the top of the hill. Very slowly i steered the car up the slopes and reached the top via road. He was already there flashing the happy dent smile. The sight from there was awe inspiring. I know this is getting tad too longish. But i cannot stop before i have talked about this tree. We were blessed by the sight of the tree right at the top of the mountain.This tree, as the natives claim, has ridiculously incredible medicinal properties. But the best part was they said it was the baap of viagra. My driver couldn't agree more. And there was no immediate way to verify the claim.The scenery around was breathtaking. Only Kashmir might be better. I drank in all that like a heady wine. And then i drank a cup of tea in the kind of tea stall that every bollywood movie associates with a hill station. Something was written on one of the walls of the tea stall. Closer inspection revealed 'Bhoot ka hai apna ghar. Mujhko toh lagta hai darr'. Why the hell did i have to read this? I got goosebumps. Not because of the cold. We left the place in a hurry. Hot steamed food and worried parents waited me. The smart driver again managed to convince them that i had the best travel experience of my life. More action to follow but in later posts.
For records' sake here goes my driver


SaI KRisHna said...

too well written ... i was already mad laughing as soon as i began ... i admire people like your driver :P .... he seems to have a knack at making people like you trek ... though u were utter useless and he had to give up on you :P

exclusively_me said...

arunabh , arunabh , arunabh!!!!!
u lucky , lucky , lucky guy!!!!!
i wished i stayed in someplace like nainital or kullu-manali!!!!
Got only 1 word for it

prachi said...

whoa! Two postz in 4dayz. arunabh! you sure must be very very! Made for some real lovely reading. I almost felt as if i was there. And very cutez pic with the tilkaz n all :)

arunabh said...

Haan haan i knew ... i always knew that you would get great kicks out of seeing me fail yet another trek :(
Anyways i would be more than happy trekking sameer hills.:D So be geared up for tomorrow :)
keep treeking.. err.. keep visiting:P

yeah i know-lucky me. The way you reacted you almost made me feel bad about living there and not felt tht :-| Heaven or not, definitely more than livable :)
keep visiting :)

frankly, cudn't get more vella than this. For the pic compliment - thanks a lotzz
keep visiting :)

Dee Spake Trash Anyway... said...

gosh wat a happening driver!!!!but anyways, the hills will one day have their revenge... u will have to trudge up!!! i am superstitious bout this stuf!!! but i am guessing its a better thing that u survived to tell the tale, than lying in a hospi with broken bones or something... i mean i wudn't have had all the fun reading!!! i am so glad u keep a blog... and that says a lot na???!?!?

Yashika Totlani said...

"the baap of viagra"--- now THAT caught my attention!! and hey mr.lucky... i want a driver like that too! my driver is such a sissy... he gets jitters just driving in the city traffic (i live inside the walled city in jaipur). also, prudent of you to not rock-climb wearing that payajma kurta of yours :D

how abt a travelogue on your 'dicey adventures' huh?? or is that an oxymoron?!?

all in all... well written with your eternal garnish of humour :)

p.s. im one of the jump-even-at-the-prospect-of-going-out-and-buying-a-toothpaste variety... so dont you dare talk the fraternity down!

Anonymous said...

huh? So you had a cool time after the wedding. I thought you would be spending sometime resting your tired limbs. But ofcourse, knowing the kind of lazybones that you are :p, i can guess how much work you must have done in the wedding. SO that explains all. Yeah you looking chic in the kurta :)


Anonymous said...

cool ya .. cool post. and cool you :p
and cool driver and cool weather :)
and cool cam :p

~cool ashant

arunabh said...

Everyone is waxing eloquent about the driver. Sure he will get to hear all this and thn his reaction might spur another post. And remember, superstition is the religion of feeble minds
keep visiting :)

You just missed out.. unlucky u. my driver got married only recently :P
The picture told you only half the story and your half guess was wrong. It wasnt a kurta pyjama combo.. was a kurta jeans combo ;)
keep visiting:)

aah! finally you are here. haan frankly dint have much to do at the wedding. So thn decided to utilise my useless time doing something useful. And having the kind of driver made things easier :p
keep visiting :)

chill ashaant ! chill!
keep visiting :)

Aneesha Pillai said...

Lolzz..whoaat a trek:P
Nevermind...atleast u got to enjoy d intoxicating beauty..lucky u!!:)

JITIN said...

now that was a really adventurous post... it made thrilling reading... & being a UK resident myself, i very well knew the beauty of nainital. But even i hv not heard of those places... ur trekking expedition & those driver heriocs seemed astounding nevertheless!
The best part was abt that 'viagra ka baap' tree & the fact that there was no means by which u cud validate it :-)
great stuff mate!
this was one of ur best efforts...

arunabh said...

This is not supposed to be a joke ? You have lived your whole life in Uk and u never heard of these places :p
i might as well have then made a discovery :D
And yeah tht tree was something.
Keep visiting :)

Norton said...

huh? So you had a cool time after the wedding. I thought you would be spending sometime resting your tired limbs. But ofcourse, knowing the kind of lazybones that you are :p, i can guess how much work you must have done in the wedding. SO that explains all. Yeah you looking chic in the kurta :) ~ruchika

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