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Old 13th May 2009, 12:30   #31
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Default Day 4 - Part 2 Rohtang Rohtang....?

The narrow mountain road is scenic. But I am not interested in the scenery. The cloudy mountain road hold no charm.
For the goal is Rohtang. the goal is pure white snow which blows like powder. The goal is the storm which ravages the cold mountain.
We are beyond Rahalla fall, and stuck behind a slow moving BRO truck. He is not giving way, and we pause frequently, because at places road is too narrow for a truck to pass along with downhill traffic
My wife clicks a pic of ATV thingy
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The traffic is thickening, and there is a line of 10 cars behind me, and I am stuck beding the truck. Millions of taxis are coming down from Rohtang and its past 4pm.

Somehow I manage to overtake the truck at a wider spot, and soon we are at Marhi. As expected there is a huge jam. Thanks to wrong parking, and countless cars coming back.
The weather is getting worse, and we have a light drizzle.
Storm clouds encircle the high mountains.

Somehow wading through the thick traffic. We reach the checkpost.
We are not the only ones. There is a qualis there also.

The soldiers recognize us and smile, and say no with the same smile.

"Mausam Kharaab hai".
I beg and plead. Please let us go. We don't get stuck. If local sumos can go and drop passengers, we can definitely go.

But they are not relenting. "Toofaan aa raha hai" is what they say.
But I am persistant. They are even more persistant.
And as if to substantiate their claims a very light drizzle has started. Lightning streaks the sky, as thunder claps.

Soon a zen filled with 4-5 guys comes. They are in half sleeve cloths, and they also want to go to Rohtang.
the BRO soldiers tell them "Mausam bahut Kharrab hai". They reply, tabhi to jaana hai.
But the soldiers are steadfast. They will not budge.
I am also stubborn, I will also stand there.

I overhear the guys saying "Lagda hai jatt aaj jaa ke hi rahuga, par asi wi khat nahin, asi we jawange piche piche".
Translation, they suspected I will be able to convince them. Wonder how they got this idea.
MEanwhile qualis guys have also started pleading. I tell the soldiers that this is the third time I have come to this checkpost. Please let me go.
But soldiers are not relenting.
So I tell them okay, when these taxis and zen go back, I will wait at Marhi and come up at 6pm, or 7pm or whatever!

But the soldiers are not relenting.
We turn back and park the car 100 meters from the checkpost. Even if we have to spend the night here, so be it.
The zen and qualis people have same idea, and they are also parked, albeit a little further down, a little hidden. They are waiting for the soldiers to allow me.

Its getting colder, and its raining now, mixed with snowflakes. The sleet bites the skin, and I take out the umbrella and stand on the cold lonely mountain road.
Most tourists are going back due to rain and sleet. Its past 5pm, and just 3 vehicles remain near checkpost, including ours.

One soldier goes into the shed for tea, and the other soldier takes shelter under the wall of a shack near the checkpost.

I stand with him, chat up, trying to soften him.
Will we go to Rohtang? Who knows, but I am not giving up. My wife also tells me to keep trying. She tells me today we will go to Rohtang, deep down she knows that. With the words of encouragement, I am even more determined.

But what the future holds, only time will tell!

__CONT__

Last edited by tsk1979 : 13th May 2009 at 12:31.
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Old 13th May 2009, 12:31   #32
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What a beautiful place. And some pictures are truly stunning. well done TSK.
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Old 13th May 2009, 12:46   #33
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Feeling almost like sharing the tesnsion with you, whether will be able to go there or not.And lovely pictures.
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Old 13th May 2009, 13:14   #34
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now you are making this a mystery story. getting very interesting with your every post.

Title should be " Jatt de haath"
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Old 13th May 2009, 13:23   #35
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Tanveer, after a long time a nice bunch of pictures from you. You have captured the landscape quite beautifully. However, some of the mountain/sky shots have a bit of a noise. Otherwise, superb pictures
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Old 13th May 2009, 13:39   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
What a beautiful place. And some pictures are truly stunning. well done TSK.
thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Feeling almost like sharing the tesnsion with you, whether will be able to go there or not.And lovely pictures.
It gets even more tense!
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
now you are making this a mystery story. getting very interesting with your every post.

Title should be " Jatt de haath"
Dhai killo da haath you mean?
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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Tanveer, after a long time a nice bunch of pictures from you. You have captured the landscape quite beautifully. However, some of the mountain/sky shots have a bit of a noise. Otherwise, superb pictures
The light was very unflattering. If I exposed sky, foreground will go for a toss, otherwise the sky and snow was blown out.
So the RAWa required a lot of tweaking, and after sharpening, it screwed things up
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Old 13th May 2009, 13:42   #37
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Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Feeling almost like sharing the tesnsion with you, whether will be able to go there or not...
+1 to that!

Great photos and great narration. The tension and the "to be or not to be" sure is a killing suspense!

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Old 13th May 2009, 13:47   #38
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Dhai killo da haath you mean?
na na, jeed waali haath, I mean adamant
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Old 13th May 2009, 14:12   #39
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Default Day 4 - Part 3 Circus...!

The rain intensifies. Now it also has snowflakes. The white elephant is parked on the side, and I am standing out, under the umbrella with one BRO soldier.
We stand at the side of the shack, approx 100 meters from the checkpost.
The other soldier, his senior has gone into a makeshift BRO shack for tea etc., and he is the loan warrior guarding the gateway to the promised land.
I can feel him softening.
I tell him, buddy, take my umbrella. Let me go, I will come back and take the umbrella from you. I get to go to Rohtang and you get to enjoy umbrella. But he is just grinning.
The zen and the qualis are parked a few meters way.

A Delhi police officers Endeavor meanwhile comes downwards. They were allowed to go(Police influence you see!).
I stop the officer and enquire about conditions up there. He tells me road is trecherous, but even 2WD should be able to make it. they went up till thick snow point and stopped their truck, played in snow and came back. I can feel the soldier soften up even more.

Soon the zen starts moving. I tell him, look they are going back, soon they will go away, and I will be the only one here. Atleast then you will let me go.

But hey wait a minute, the zen is moving towards the checkpost, and soon, they revv up and rush to the barrier.
For a moment the poor fauji is too dumbstruck to react, then he runs towards the checkpost. but cannot match the speed of the zen.
Guys from the back seat get out, throw the barrier on the side, and scoot towards rohtang.
Our BRO fauji can only whistle his whistle.
But how can a whistle stop somebody who did not stop for the barrier also.
the zen is on its way to Rohtang, we we look on dumbstruck.
His senior comes out, and is very very angry.
Some other BRO guys come, including a more senior officer, and he tells the soldiers to take down numbers of the qualis guys also, in case they also try to dash for it.

For some reason I am ignored.
The other BRO guys are also furious, and they decide to teach the zen guys a lesson when they come back.

"Aadhe raaste se rote huya wapas aa jayenge : They will come back weeping from half way" Says one of the soldiers.
They have come down after snow clearing from the top of the pass, and they say vehicles can come down because of gravity, but uphill its almost impossible due to heavy snow on tracks.

Even lahauli expert drivers make passengers get down, and push and shove to cross.

The mood in the air is full of anger, and I am seriously wondering about my chances.
Will we have to go back without seeing Rohtang?

The clock ticks by, and its past 5:30. I am standing under the umbrella on the road. The two soldiers who were at the checkpost are pointing at me while talking to their senior at the entrance of the BRO shack.
The wind is noisy, but I can make out words like (tee baari aaye hain)

The officer who is in partial plainclothes walks towards me and asks in chaste crisp Punjabi "Want to go to Rohtang".
I nod in glee. I also tell him that its a 4x4, and I will be very careful.
He tells me that some people don't have sense and just break barriers and go. Since we have been coming for so long and ours is a 4x4 we will be allowed to go.
He also tells me that if anybody asks up there how did we get permission, we should tell them that we were granted special permission because of 4x4!

Shaking hands and shouting thanks, I back up the white elephant. We will go to Rohtang. Reach the barrier, move it, move it back, and we trudge on to greet the storm!

Rohtaaaaaaaaaaaaaang Here we come!!!
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Old 13th May 2009, 14:19   #40
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wow I can smell the victory. now photo-shoto time

Well one of the reason they allowed you to go on could be, because if anything happens to those dumb zen guys, you can help with your 4X4.

Hope you will tell us about the welcome back ceremony for Zen people at the checkpost , if you were there to enjoy it

Last edited by rkbharat : 13th May 2009 at 14:22.
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Old 13th May 2009, 14:25   #41
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This is quite an adventure. Persistence pays.

Nice pictures too. Waiting for your next update. Also keen to know what happens to the guys in the Zen.
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Old 13th May 2009, 14:29   #42
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Excellently written travelogue accompanied by very nice pictures. Keep going. This travelogue feels a lot like sam's travelogues, with suspense always around the corner.

What about the guys who go to Leh, is this the route they take and if so, are the BRO guys allowing them to go further.

Last edited by hemanthisgreat : 13th May 2009 at 14:31.
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Old 13th May 2009, 14:30   #43
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Tanveer, serious infraction waiting for you if you don't post within next half an hour. And your clock starts NOW!
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Old 13th May 2009, 14:30   #44
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Your story skills have drastically improved.

But like a good movie, you should;ve posted last part first
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Old 13th May 2009, 14:36   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
wow I can smell the victory. now photo-shoto time

Well one of the reason they allowed you to go on could be, because if anything happens to those dumb zen guys, you can help with your 4X4.

Hope you will tell us about the welcome back ceremony for Zen people at the checkpost , if you were there to enjoy it
Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman7 View Post
This is quite an adventure. Persistence pays.

Nice pictures too. Waiting for your next update. Also keen to know what happens to the guys in the Zen.
Yup persistance pays.. And yes we did meet the zen again, picture abhi baaki hai dost!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanthisgreat View Post
Excellently written travelogue accompanied by very nice pictures. Keep going. This travelogue feels a lot like sam's travelogues, with suspense always around the corner.

What about the guys who go to Leh, is this the route they take and if so, are the BRO guys allowing them to go further.
I think around mid may they will start allowing everybody to go. Last week only few local vehicles were allowed, along with election duty vehicles. The BRO guys told me that many of these vehicles had to be helped along due to heavy snow on road.
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Tanveer, serious infraction waiting for you if you don't post within next half an hour. And your clock starts NOW!
I am scared now . Next installment coming sooooon
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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Your story skills have drastically improved.

But like a good movie, you should;ve posted last part first
Hmm last part first? Well I think you meant shouldn't... anyways, think of this as Ghajini like movies, Picture finishes before it starts
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