Monday, July 19, 2010

Time is the best healer or .....

Is time an escape mechanism? Call me a cynic or a pessimist - But in my experience. we find solutions to lots of problems by having bigger problems ;-)
So time just faciliates new bigger problems ;-) but doesnt really heal anything that is meant to remain etched !

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Glimpses of Gangtok - Day 3 Continues !

True to my word, here comes the Gangtok post.

Gangtok, with its population of 50000, has a cosmopolitan flavor attached to it, with a combination of old-age charm, hospitality and Cyber parlors. I was fascinated with this hilly urbanized hamlet and its inhabitants.

We first headed towards Hanuman Tok and Ganesh Tok. Apparently one gets an amazing view of the Khanchendzonga from the Toks ;-).

As the name suggests, Hanuman Tok has a Hanuman Temple. The place was a humdrum of activity by the Army Junta .The next day happened to be Hanuman Jayanthi and the Governor was expected to visit the place. The zeal and fervor with which they were setting up the place was amazing. They really taught us what commitment and enthusiasm is all about .In addition to decorating the place, there was a small band of people singing bhajans and playing various instruments. I cannot describe in words, the ambience and the aura this place exuded.

Fortunately or unfortunately our gang, with all the Digital SLR’s and cameras, stood out completely, as tourists. So after all the initial introductions like “ We are from Bangalore “ – “Oh U have come ALL the way from Bangalore “ our gracious host threw a bombshell – Apparently one of the local channels was doing a piece on this event and they wanted the touristy Bangaloreans to share their exhilarating experience with the media .

Like always the guinea pig was chosen (No points for guessing) and the apparently media savvy me had to come up with a few lines! Needless to say I was horrified at the thought of doing anything remotely close to this!

So I scampered around the place pretending to take pictures etc etc. Somehow this was not to be my day. JK and I were asked to enact a dramatic ringing-the-bell entry into the temple! It was hilarious, to say the least, but thankfully the whole episode didn’t last for more than a few seconds! In the meantime the whole tourist interview was over and done with by the rest of the gangJ. We had some nice Kadak Masala chai and scooted from the place.

We went to a few other viewpoints but there were no signs of the mountains anywhere around the place and continuing to curse our luck we headed back to the city centre.

I have always wondered, why every city, not only has an MG Road, but it also happens to be the most happening part of the city. Gangtok is no different. But the MG Road in Gangtok is open only to pedestrians in the evenings and no vehicles are allowed. It felt weird and also blissful to walk in the middle of MG Road in the evening with no fear of being run over.

You would also find kids playing football on MG Road in the evenings! This was a sight worth watching especially to someone who is all too familiar with the likes of MG Road in Bangalore ;-).

Eventually we got around to discussing the itinerary. There was some trepidation regarding the itinerary because Nathu-La which was supposedly a must-see was not a part of the itinerary. After some local socializing we realized that a serious discussion with Mr. Mukhiya and itinerary-revisit was imminent.

We finally wound up on the third day with a nice walk back from MG Road to our habitat in Gangtok. There was some illusion of a glimpse of the peaks.

But it was too dark and we were too tired to decide if we were just hallucinating, or the peaks finally decided to bestow upon us the views we were longing for from the time we stepped into this land !( I know its too long a sentence ;-)).

This was just an appetizer of Gangtok. The main highlights of Gangtok will come in the next post

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ruins , Confusion and Gangtok Glimpses - Day 2 -Sikkim

By virtue of its location, mornings dawn early in Sikkim. After all the ravings and rantings about A.Tiptur, the previous night (We are indebted to JK for throwing so much light about such a worthy soul), the morning started on a lazy note. Finally we started off towards Rabdenste Ruins (For some reason the apparently phonetic me is still not sure how this is pronouncedL). Rabdenste was the second capital of Sikkim shifted from Yuksom. Presently the Rabdentse Palace in West Sikkim is in ruins.

The entry to the ruins is calm, enchanting place where it seems criminal to exercise your vocal chords and disturb the tranquility.

A walk of about 0.5- 1 Km leads us to the ruins.

There are many motivating boards enroute, which ensure that the lazy software guys don’t head back without getting a peek of the Ruins.

(The climb could be a wee bit strenuous for someone who is used to staring at the monitor 8-10 hours a day).

The ruins are on a small hillock and are primarily blocks of walls and a chorten. On a clear day (which we were not blessed with) one could get a very nice view of the Pemayangste Monastery! The ace photographers were exhibiting all the acrobatic skills they possessed by climbing up and down several of the walls :-P.

Our videographer a.k.a Kiran recorded some rather scandalous conversations and is shameless enough to use those as blackmail tools :-(( .

Our itinerary said we would be heading towards Temi Tea Garden and Ravangla! None of us had any clue about either of the places except that a couple of us had read these names in the itinerary. The mallu junta was not very enthused about the Tea Garden coz no Tea Gardens can compare to Munnar. Durga with his ESP sensed this, and decided to head straight to Gangtok. Unfortunately his ESP did not make sense to us and we had to sort out the confusion with our Mr. Mukhiya. And before we realized, we reached Gangtok by 4 in the evening.

An interesting piece of information – Every vehicle in Sikkim is generally registered in specific districts and the permits allow them to operate only these specific district(s). So , to my misery, we had to bid farewell to our dear Durga since he was the West Sikkim hero. After a tearful farewell we headed towards our hotel in Gangtok. The journey was full of mystery and we were curious to know our destination. We went through the winding roads, savoring this small hill capital and eventually reached a narrow dingy road. I was hoping against hope, this was not going be our destination! But Murphy being my close buddy, our hotel happened to be on this narrow piece of winding land called a street. The hotel was disappointing to say the least and we realized that we are possibly being taken on a ride by our dear Mr. Mukhiya and the ride had just begun!

But the hotel happened to be nice cozy place and it seemed like a cottage entirely for our group. DCM and I got the best room (I prefer to think so) with a heavenly view. But we were not yet blessed with the view of the mountains :-(.

Travails of Gangtok will follow soon! The good news is that I have decided to update my blog especially the Sikkim travelogue regularly and the bad news is that I am yet to implement them.

Keep visiting for quick(hopefully) updates ;-).