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Old 11th May 2010, 13:58   #1
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Default Ushering 2010 @ Nainitoll

As usual, holidays meant mountains, smaller or larger whichever kind. This thought extended to an automatic selection or process of natural selection or process of natural elimination. Boss!! whichever, it meant holidays however short when planning from Delhi meant mountains flickering in scope. Shimla and some Himachal vistas were routine since last few years due to increasing involvement in family-life meant shorter stints to regular joints. I am sure you all know the rig-ma-role, let me get to the juice.

This 2010 new year eve while planning, I thought Nainital would be an easy choice, given its large geo-social spread. However, Sriman may plan as much as Srimati can stomp the yard, wifey had other plans. She complained how living in Delhi for years and not showing colorful bloom of deserts in west. I caught the wiff that Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Mt Abu in offing. But somehow the cat in me wanted to smell morning fog in a place cosying up with a hot tea. As told to moderators while joining, I aint the detination kind, I am the journey kind. Load me into anything involved or not, I will live it. Part of it being the acceptance, journey's are more to mind than the destination. Enough! lets get back.

Well, how other accusations form a beeline as if shone the magnet of cumulative blame (Physics guys, do research it), you don't love spending time with me anymore, its always only kids, we don't go to any parties, at-least a new year party Please! "trying to convince kinds". I knew she was right in some ways, but in lot of ways I couldn't explain to her the mundaness of some brands brushing past, whiff of 212, Bur-berry, or "Huge'o EGO Boss" or still those twinkling diamond'es. It wasn't for less that they call me the "Monk", but in the celibacy of thoughts and impressions, I realized I haven't been the root absorbing the bads and sharing the goods, I have been the sponge, taking in the bad and giving it back. How I didn't spend much time with her and how I did what I wanted and dragged them into it, how simple aspirations didn't bloom. I got it! I need to be better!

But somehow, we or sometimes she or better still at 1 AM, I, kept on trying to seek a budget holiday, all this ego tussle went on from 28th till 31st 12.15 AM. All this while I strayed close to the crater, yet stayed low and not ruffle any wrong feathers. A tact learnt to walk through my decision. exactly at 12.15 AM on 31st Dec I, looked through makemytrip and found Pavillion to my liking. Did I share, how she too tried to sweeten in my direction, she too helped find some property in Corbett. But, I proved myself a moron by sticking my ego in-between and not agreeing. She, obviously didnt like my antique and wanted to bail-out. She slept with the thought and vowed to enrich it in her sleep and attack me in the morning. But Viola!I nudge her and share the news, NAINITAL it is, she woke up startled, she frought with fumes worse than volcanic steam and ash. She got up then and prepared kids clothes, then slept, I too tried in my mind to help her. But by the time I woke it was 11.30 AM and our booking in Nainital starts at 12.00 PM. Somehow managed to get ready (though I requrie less time), having being bred in near-zero and sub-zero temps. A t-shirt, riding pants and Columbia fleece.

We start at 12.00 PM and take 2 1/2 hrs to reach Moradabad highway from Gurgaon, some stretches were easy, some really bad due to truck and container traffic. Sometime at 4 we reach Garh Mukteshwar and also since we had two CUBS in the car, someone had to claw the other, snatch a toy or better glasses. We were constantly admonishing them, thought the route traffic in some stretches was bad, but some were eally good like the Hapur bypass. This route has changed over years when we would curse the traffic. All this while, I allowed wifey to drive too, though she is a competent driver and nagivator. The Driving stint allowed for to cool-off and redirect her ire on the km's we had to cover. We stopped a little before Rudrapaur in a small hamlet to feed the cubs, wife keeping with my nomadic existence had her canteen prepared for such travels, Out came kids basket and we stopped by at a road-side eggshop. Bonus, some hot piping tea, while parents(Dad, Airforce) and IL's (FIL, Amry) both called in with some bad news, Tarai region and especially plains around Ganga are to witness worsening fog situation. I relayed the news and wife seemed a little worried (though she says in me she finds her strength, Indeed!) while I called dad to understand how critical, both the cubs polished of 8 eggs with some bread and banana. OMG, one is 4 and other one 2, WOW! Hamlet folks look at this strange family, Cub's devouring egg's, man in riding pants, half t-shirt, muffler, pagdi and nike sleevless fleece. Oh! I heard one oldie murmur, "Aare yo kisi bade gaon se aaye hoonge" then asked " Aare kahan jayego" mein bolyo " Babaji Nainital" "oh". He musta thought "Useless Choro Hai Yo".


Having flown a bit, I knew how these fog banks behave, soon came the time of my life, having tackled worse fog (So I thought) in places near North Bengal, Bhutan, Nepal (mostly tagging along), I had prepared the steed with Philips Extreme and carried a Kryton Torch with adapted filter for low level scatter. Though there were a lot of drivers, esp private vehicles no one was ready to risk it. I told wife, no point prolonging it, she said if we get fog in the hills too, well confidently I said no we wont. Stumped, she said, ok lets get to it; and we started with our hazard light on with 3-4 vehicles in our tow. It takes us stopping, walking and searching the signboard near Tanda, with torch as compass, we feel directionless, then I see dim lights appearing in a distance, its a bus. Quick flick of flashlight and we start following the bus. The convoy continues tottering and trying to keep with the experienced dunkard Ahok leyland, seems that bus was quite in control despite having drunk a lot of Fog, and we lesser mortals tasting Single Malt Fog were tottering in this effect. with grimaced hazard lights, though the route called for extreme caution the travel was worth it. Conditions outside brought the family together, both the cubs were silent and wanted to doze off, wife was extra carefull and assisting me with the view ahead. Slowly we crossed the worst section and were crossing into climb, it was already 9:30 PM when we started climbing the hills and wife started edging towards her limit of acceptance, I knew patience was the key and kept driving at 30-40 while ensuring the turns were as harmonic as possible. My Night travel stints from D'shala to Chamba, Delhi to Nurpur, P'kot to M'lo'Ganj, Hey, Pune to Murud and what not, really helped. Oh yeah, night driving didnt allow any Gorge'ous sites and Wife was happy. Slowly we inched towards Nainital and 11.55 PM 31st Dec we entered on Mall road.


Paid toll to enter Nainital and leave baggage full of worries behind, everyone seemed going towards Manu Maharani, splendid fireworks. Also all through-out the route, we made sure The Pavillion is reminded of our booking.

We landed in at 12:15 AM 1st Jan 2010, post checkin baggage transfer and settling our cubs we sauntered for a small tete-a-tete in our balcony, while i saw her silhouted against the hills, I realised for the n'th time, its not easy to be a wife. We all enjoyed the trip much, and I did all the chores with her, and now on Chote Miyan's (2 yrs) farmaayish we plan another "Montain" trip in June. With all the love and caring I had for her when she was my girlfriend, to the fires of promise, through my dungeon deep insensitivity till I emerged egoless and she seemed to have redeemed her Sodexho of Faith to God! Though I started Nainitoll, we all came back Nainitall

Guess its in the blood, my dad, me, my daughter & Son, add wife too. Only moto "Whats on the other-side", we live by it.

And planning quite a few "Trips to the other side"
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Old 11th May 2010, 15:17   #2
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Wonderful compostition in photo number 428.
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Old 11th May 2010, 16:11   #3
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Great pics.!!
Am planning on going there this month for some much needed respite from the heat.!
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Old 11th May 2010, 17:49   #4
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Thanks MX6, difficult more so due to low light and no tripod, but car bonnet helped, I want to start practicing more low light shots
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Old 11th May 2010, 18:14   #5
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I knew it was without tripod as it's placed on the bonnet from the height of the pic. Placing on a tripod in front of the car would have left shadows of you and the equipment due to headlights.
It's a good framing and exposure considering the fact that all you had was fading sunlight at back ground and headlights for foreground and all parts of the snap are used effectively to conjure up a magical image.
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Old 12th May 2010, 11:46   #6
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Default Nainital

Its my one of most Favourite destinations in India.

Nice photos ! I hope to go there again !
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Old 12th May 2010, 13:07   #7
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Classy snaps! Very good. Start of last winter, I was planning to goto Nainital and Jim Corbett but finally had to cancel that trip due to Swine Flu scare. Will definitely do some time soon.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 10:14   #8
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@ampere

I know for you planning these trips to north would take a lot, but your backyard (IMO Bangalore and below (Direction-wise)) have a treasure trove of beautiful places.
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