I am back home after a week long trip to north east :)
I should say this one week I went through an experience worth a lifetime.
I've seen a lot of places and met people from different backgrounds.
Before I write in detail about them I would like to inform one thing to my readers that the real beauty is in north east, both the people and the places. A special mention to the women in darjeeling. They are simply mind blowing, just 2 eyes weren't sufficient :) to watch them. We met a rajasthani family while we were going to Nathula, and the lady herself told us that gals in darjeeling are very beautiful. She said that each one of them looked like kareena kapoor(her definition of beauty) and they dont need any makeup.
Male readers:- if you are single or looking for a change try your luck in darjeeling :)
I wish I get placed in darjeeling ;) after my MBA.
Title :- The trip to North-East
Swadheen ( The Accountant - The whole trip was accounted by him, GOD knows the facts but according to him the trip costed altogether 21000/- ; by the way our man is interning with PWC)
Kalyan ( The Cameraman - The whole trip was captured by his Lumix, 18x optical,10Mpxl camera)
Soham ( The Late lateef - Right from the start of the trip he was the main reason for every delay, but whatever it may be without him the trip wouldnt have been so exciting. He was more like our guide)
Yours faithfully ( Nothing :(..I was just a participant)
Disclaimer: All the persons in the story are real and any resemblance is well intended and is not coincidence.
6th Mar 7:30pm - We were still in campus at that time, With great difficulty we got 2 taxis and rushed to the Sealdah railway station. The train left the station at 10:00pm. We played cards for sometime and then crashed. It was very cold in the middle of the night and none of us got blankets with us, we tried to cover ourselves with whatever possible, tees,jackets etc.
7th Mar 8:00am - Reached New Jalpaiguri(NJP) station.It's 14kms from Siliguri. We had our breakfast there and took a sharing cab to Darjeeling. On the way we went through places like Kurseong,Sonada,Ghoom and finally reached Darjeeling. It got colder as we climbed higher. Thanks to Soham we got a wonderful hotel(Bird'eye view hotel) to stay.
Bird's eye view hotel
The hotel is adjacent to Cedar Inn(Where Shahrukh stayed for Main Hoon Na). The owner of the hotel is Mr. Uttam, a very friendly person. I'll give his phone number to people only on mail request. The best part was the bonfire, which is very unique to this hotel, on one side you can see the whole of Darjeeling and the other side the bonfire and booze.
Bonfire and Booze Party
8thMar 4:00am - We got up early to leave to the Tiger hills. It was so cold that we were shivering even after wearing sweaters and jackets. The spot at Tiger Hills has 3 floors and for each floor there is a different charge (I dont remem how much, may be our accountant will be able to tell this). From Tiger Hills you get a wonderful view of the Kangchen Dzonga (Kanchenjunga) , the third highest peak in the world, and the sunrise.
Sun rise view from Tiger Hills
Kangchen Dzonga view from Tiger Hills
After that we visited the Ghoom monastery. It's a small monastery but well maintained.
Then we went to the Batasia loop. Here the train track is looped to handle the sudden decrease in gradient. I dont remember the name of the person. Our guide, Mr. late lateef, told some story about the
civil engineer and his wife how they resolved this. Here wore the traditional Nepali and had a photo shoot.
(Late Lateef aka Fatso aka Haggar, Cameraman aka Mamma mia, yours truly unknown, The Accountant; L->R)
We reached our hotel at around 10:00 am, thats when our care taker(Mr.Uttam) told us that the following day there is a strike in Darjeeling and no vehicles or shops will run. We thought over for some time and decided that it's better for us to leave the same day to Sikkim so that we can save one day. One of us,none other than the fatso cried over this plan. He wanted to visit the joey's pub and get drunk. We all said no for this as it was sheer waste of time and one full day was not worth for joey's pub. He had no other choice but to comply to our plan.
The next important thing for us was to find out the taxi timings for Sikkim. We wanted to take the last possible taxi to sikkim so that we could cover as much as possible of Darjeeling. First we visited the St.Pauls School, where the shooting of Main Hoon na took place, but to our disappointment we were not allowed inside. We then went to the city center to find out taxis for Sikkim. After a lot of researching finally got one, where we booked seats in a share taxi which would leave at 3:00pm(the last cab to Sikkim). It costed us 500/-(for 4 people).
Now we had 4 hours so we decided to visit the zoo. It was quite a distance away from our place so took a taxi for 100/-. There were a few shops outside the zoo with nice paintings and handicrafts. We bought some paintings and other stuff. After all that we were left with 1.5hrs, We thought it will not be possible for us to make it if we go to the nice chinese restaurant(Lakit) near our guest house, so we decided to eat at a chinese restaurant near the zoo itself.
We ordered for 3 chowmin and 1 fried rice(that was for me). The food was not so great. They served drinking water in bottles. I thought we bought drinking water so picked the bottle, later when we walked quite a distance from the hotel all my friends laughed at me for stealing the bottle. We took a taxi back to the city center. Once we reached there we then thought it would be better if we let Mr.Uttam know that we are leaving in an hour so that he can be ready with all the bills. His number was only with Soham but to everyone's shock he had no mobile with him. He cried saying he lost the mobile. We had just 45mins left with us. Our Accountant told he would go to the chinese restaurant to find the mobile and will wait at the Sikkim cab stop. We three of us left to our guest house.
Our man, Mr. Soham, stuffed himself so much that he had to rush to loo urgently. We took a taxi back to hotel. While climbing up in one of the steep uphills the car coming on the other side got stuck and we all had to get down to push the car out for sometime. It was one of the most desperate situations, at one side we were running out of time and at the other side Mr.Soham was holding his butt :). Finally the taxi could make it and we reached the hotel. We had just 10 mins left with us. We quickly packed our stuff and got into the taxi. Then Swadheen called up and told that he found the mobile but I didnt tell Soham about this. We were a little confident that our Swadheen would hold the Sikkim taxi sometime for us. We reached the place in about 10 mins and were happy that the Sikkim taxi has not arrived yet. We all sat on the steps of the shop next to this stop and were talking about the whole incident. Thats when the taxi driver popped up. He had the camera with him, He told he came to return that. This one was a shocker for everyone. We were happy that we got back all the stuff we lost. :)
There was one beautiful Sikkimese lady standing next to us and was arguing with a guy from the time we reached that place. We thought some fight between the couple.
We were pissed with the taxi guy. It was because of this guy that we had to rush from the time we booked our tickets as he told that the cab would leave at sharp
3 and will not wait for anyone. After almost 1.5hrs a taxi came and the person told that this taxi would take us to Sikkim but we will have to pay some extra amount to which said straight no. We argued for a long time with this taxiwala. All other passengers got into the taxi and the Sikkimese lady was sitting in the front seat,we four of us were in the middle seat.
The argument went on for 15mins, finally even the lady shouted at us saying everyone in the taxi has paid the extra amount and asked us to pay up so that the taxi would move. We finally agreed to pay the extra 300bucks. The taxi left Darjeeling at almost around 5pm.
This was each one's position in side the the cab.
Sikkimese Lady - Darjeeling Guy - Driver
The Chatterbox lady behind us was talking on top of her voice from the time the taxi moved. We got used to that after sometime and all of us dozed off and slipped into dreams. It was getting dark as moved on. After almost some 3-4hrs when it was almost dark outside the cab stopped and both the lady and the guy in front were arguing. Me and Swadheen thought the guy is getting off there. The driver told Swadheen to come and sit in the front seat. I wished him luck to sit next to the lady, So our man immediately jumped off. But to our surprise the guy didn't get down instead the lady came and sat next to me. I was surprised on what was happening, I even asked out loud on wat happened but everyone was silent.
Now the positions in the cab are
Swadheen - Darjeeling Guy - Driver
Later when the cab stopped at one stop for toilets, the guy went out; thats when the lady told us that this guy acted lechy and was falling on her. Then I thought from then I should be careful in all turnings. The road from Darjeeling to Gangtok is fully ghat road and has some infinite turnings.
As we were getting closer to Gangtok this guy started acting crazy. He put his hand behind the driver's seat and was pretending to sleep. He was trying to reach her. I was totally shocked on his behaviour, twice I pushed his hand the otherside. Once I put my hand to block his but still he put his hand over mine and was acting the same. I tapped him and told him to behave properly. Then he got very furious. He started yelling at me, and threatened to hit me. I just kept quite as I didnt want to take the fight any further. Our peacemaker Swadheen got into the scene immediately and tried to talk softly with him and just control the situation. I thought we were four and we could easily thrash him down but then our whole holiday will get disturbed, we may even have to go to police station, which was all sheer waste of time and for us time was the most imp thing at that moment.
We reached Gangtok and this crook got down before everyone. The lady asked us to accompany her till her place. We did so and our hotel was also on the same way. Thats when she told her name is Polin(Pauline) and she works in the high court. When she got down, she thanked her special friend Swadheen. Our man asked her for her mobile to which she said 9&^%,... " I dont remem my number" :-D
Thats how our journey from Darjeeling to Gangtok ended. I've realised how unsafe it is for girls moving alone in this route.
...to be continued