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Old 3rd June 2010, 19:43   #16
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Originally Posted by dkhatau View Post
brilliant stuff Dhiraj, Waiting for more. You guys from army families make us envy a lot. I have read your other travelouges also and in my opinion you are a brilliant writer. Keep it up mate.
Thanks for the appreciation. And Yes, I consider myself very lucky to be born as an Army officers Son. Not only for being able to see the country because of him but also because I am proud of him for being able to serve the nation.

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Fantastic story coming up, deky. Never knew that the AMS issues hit you so severely when you fly in (which I have never done).
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Originally Posted by bantejas View Post
Hv Sir,
It is infact worse than trekking/traveling in vehicle up mountains because of the sudden change in the altitude. i mean from almost say 500 mts to 4500 mtrs in two hrs is worse than doing the same in the car in say 3 days as we keep getting acclimatized at different altitudes.

Tejas
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Absolutely, when I have driven to Ladakh, I have done 2000 to 4200 m (Manali-Sarchu), and it was better than Patnitop-Kargil.
Apart from the sudden change in altitude also what affected my condition was the following:-
- As soon as I landed at the airport I was too anxious to go out and enjoy. Thus giving Anxiety and stress to my body.
- 500 meters dash, within two hours of reaching Leh, made my body really starved for oxygen

Infact, just now my Mom also told me that I was vomiting the whole evening and was on ventilator for a while to stabilize my condition. I do not remeber this happening but if it happened than the situation could have been much worst.

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Originally Posted by ranjith.rajaram View Post
Excellent write deky... this is too inspirational .. loved the Indus part and waiting for more to come.
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Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
Deky is back, after a long time. Feels nice to read such a patriotic travelouge. Please continue and post pics as and when possible
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Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Amazing stuff deky. Indus is a river I want to go and take an ablution in. Don't know whether that's possible in this life.
I see a 5* stuff brewing already.
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Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
Wonderful start deky, waiting for the remaining chapters.
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Originally Posted by KRRaj View Post
Great Start Deky . I am hooked to this travelogue.
Thank you guys, I started this thread in a blink, but I dont know how it will turn out. Hope you guys enjoy it.

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Originally Posted by ElantraGT View Post
Deky, thats a great start. I really didnt understand what you meant by AMS. Okay I am dumb. I just googled AMS symptomps and found the answer. For the benefit of users like me, here you go:

Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), altitude illness, hypobaropathy, or soroche, is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above 2,400 metres (8,000 feet).It presents as a collection of nonspecific symptoms, acquired at high altitude or in low air pressure, resembling a case of 'flu, carbon monoxide poisoning or a hangover.[3]. It is hard to determine who will be affected by altitude-sickness, as there are no specific factors that compare with this susceptibility to altitude sickness. However, most people can climb up to 2500 meters (8000 ft) normally.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the content. For those who want more info please visit the following link:

Altitude sickness - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thanks for the link, apart from this I had also started a thread here regarding AMS, which can be read here (All About AMS (acute mountain sickness) Prevention and Cure)

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Originally Posted by Fordmanchau View Post
Yep, have to agree with everyone else here. Wonderful writing. And Dhiraj, kudos to you, a 20 year old story.You must have a memory of a Elephant. Go on!! Waiting for the rest of the chapters . And yeah, I know the photos will be not much, but whatever is there, just post it, if you have already got it scanned.
There are some incidents/ moments in life that we all remember, so do I. Similarly there are some which slowly fade out of the memory and so have they from my memory. And what better way to remember those moments than writing them down in this forum. Its serves dual purpose, First I can read and remeber them for ever and secondly, others can also enjoy.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 21:15   #17
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Default Chapter Two : “tham, Kaun Jaata Hai?” (stop, Who Is Going?)

Before I narrate this incident let me tell you something about our units lay out in Kargil and the security aspect of it.

If my memory does not fail me the Kargil cantonment lies on either side of the Leh – Srinagar highway. Just after the cantonment finishes there is a bridge on River Suru and after that on the other side of Suru the Kargil Town starts.

While coming from Leh, our unit was on the left side of the road. As you entered the units TCP (traffic check point) right side was a big field for sports and other unit activities. After the field finished there was accommodation for officers and visiting families. The road finished at my Dad’s single room bungalow. I shall call it a bungalow as being the CO (commanding officer) of the Unit he was privileged to get a mud house, while the others stayed in tin sheds.

Since there was just one room in the bungalow and there were 3 of us kids, a tent was pitched next to the house for us to stay. Five feet behind the tent was a cliff about 100 feet high and below in the gorge Suru used to flow. Across Suru were very high mountains and on a clear day Nun-Kun peaks were visible.

Now on the left side from the TCP, the area was much bigger than the right side. Initially after a field it had Unit offices and the Jawan’s accommodation. After the Jawans accommodation was the MT Park where the unit’s vehicles like jeep, jongas and the bigger ones were kept. Next to the MT park was the shed for the Bofor’s guns.
Opposite the Gun shed (towards the main unit road side) was the Quarter Guard.

Now quarter guard in a unit is a place where all the arms and ammunition of the unit is kept. Since all the arms and ammunition is kept here, it is guarded with armed men all the time. The quarter guard is situated in such a way that an eye on the Gun shed can also be kept from there. The quarter guard also has a small cell for rogue elements.

After the Gun shed came the officer’s mess, where all the officers and the families collected for their meals. And after the Officers mess was our tent and then the cliff.
Well, Hope you got the picture.

Since J&K was simmering that time, the security was very tight within the unit. The unit was surrounded by barbed wires. Armed men used to petrol the unit area all the time. 2130 hrs was “generators off” time and after that no lights were allowed. Basically after 2130 there was an undeclared curfew within the unit. No one was supposed to be out if not required, and those who were supposed to be out were issued code words for recognition.

Even to go out of the unit premises, you needed an armed guard to be with you. No one including the Jawans were supposed to go out without an armed escort. Such was the security scene.

Now the incident:

It was barely 3-4 days since we had arrived in Kargil. After having our dinner we retired to our tents and were ready to sleep. While returning to our tent I had noticed that it was an absolutely clear night and there were countless stars visible in the sky. I had never seen such a sight ever. I could not sleep and soon I was out of my tent looking up at the night sky and gazing the stars. While gazing the stars without actually realizing I must have wandered off into the Gun shed. As mentioned the Gun shed was just about 2 minutes walk from my tent. Before I realized where I was it was too late.

A shrill power full voice broke through the silence of the night “tham, kaun jaata hai?” and everything fell quiet. It was so quiet that I could hear my heart pounding against my chest. I did not know what to do; I did not know the code word.

I knew that this voice was coming from the quarter guard as some one must have seen some figure walking aimlessly in the night and that too in the Gun shed and hence raised the query. Search lights followed after the voice.

I had to act quickly before everyone would be alerted and came there to investigate. I mustered some courage and replied meakly “Bhaiyya main hoon Dhiraj, Colonel Sahab ka ladka” ( its me Dhiraj, Col’s son). I was too soft, I don’t know whether he heard me back or just chose to ignore it, as again came the shrill voice “Tham, kaun jaata hai?” The sound was so shrill and powerfull that it sent shivers in my spine. If ever the phrase “shitting in the pants” came true, I was very close to it.

I moved behind taking the shelter of a gun, just hoping and praying that the man shouting at me would think that I was just an imagination of his mind and would stop screaming out. Every minute spent behind the gun seemed like an hour. A few minutes later the words echoed again, but it was a different voice this time and I swear I heard one of them corking his gun. I was doomed, now there were two of them looking for me, and one of them had his gun ready to kill me.

I started sobbing; I did not want my holidays to end like this. Basically I was scared, and when you scared all horrible thoughts flash across your mind. Suddenly I heard footsteps coming towards me, I had to act and I had to act fast. This was my only chance to show myself. I told to myself “you not a rogue, you genuinely wandered off, though you know you not supposed to be here but still come out and show your self”

Whoever the guy was now very close to me, I put my hands up and came out and started crying to him “bhaiyya main hoon Dhiraj, Mujhey please mat maro” That guy also seemed to be stunned for a moment, he didn’t expect me to come out running and crying to him. He was shining his torch at me and essence of the conversation that happened is as follows

Bhaiyya : Arrey tum yahan kya kar rahe ho
Me : Bhaiyya main aise hi idhar aa gaya.
Bhaiyya : chalo tumhey ghar le jaoon.
Me : Nahin, nahin wo quarter guard waley bhaiyya mujhey mar dalengey.
Bhaiyya : Kyon marengey wo tujhey ( he must be thinking by now that I am mad)
Me(sobbing) : unhoney mujhey dekh liya aur bar bar kehtey hain "THAM KAUN JAATA HAI"
Bhaiyya now laughing uncontrollably : tum yahan pe kitni der se ho?

I was under stress and he was laughing, I was confused

Me : lagta hai eik ghanta ho gaya ( I later realized it was only 20 minutes)
Bhaiyya : Koi nahin marega, chalo, thand lag jayegi
Me: aur wo quarter guard wale bhaiyya?
Bhaiyya still laughing: Unki aaj training chal rahi hai, isliye bar bar chilla rahey hain. Tum chalo nahin to Col sahib meri class le lengey!!!

After listening that it was just a training happening I relaxed a bit. That explained why after even 3 shouts no one actually came looking for me. I was escorted to the tent and was told not to come out again. As I lay in the bed I started smiling, what a fool I was made today!!!
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Old 3rd June 2010, 21:24   #18
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wow, nice start one again Deky

and you have been the adventurous guy since childhood, please continue.

cheers
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Old 3rd June 2010, 21:52   #19
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Originally Posted by deky View Post
I have divided this memoir into chapters and each chapter would be a separate moment or an incident. The chapters are
  • Chapter One : The Pain called “Acclimatization”
  • Chapter Two: “Tham, Kaun Jaata hai?” (Stop, who is going?)
  • Chapter Three: My love for Suru River and the consequences.
  • Chapter Four : Horse riding and Hockey
  • Chapter Five : The Zanskar Trek
  • Chapter Six : The man made snow shower at Zozi La
  • Chapter Seven: The Gun that did not stop spinning.
  • Chapter Eight: Being inventive leads to trouble!!!
  • Chapter Nine : Hungroo Loops, the accident, and the lesson learnt for life.
Deky, you always bring out some great memoirs and travels.

And each and every chapter out there is real interesting - great story telling. Do continue!
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Old 4th June 2010, 11:25   #20
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Amazing log in the making.
I remember seeing your two photographs posted in our Humbleh'd thread.
Waiting for it all.

Thanks for writing this for us, and I must admit I envy the army guys
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Originally Posted by simply_sunny001 View Post
wow, nice start one again Deky

and you have been the adventurous guy since childhood, please continue.

cheers
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Originally Posted by adc View Post
Deky, you always bring out some great memoirs and travels.

And each and every chapter out there is real interesting - great story telling. Do continue!
Thank you guys, the episodes will continue in some time but first a few photographs related to the first two episodes. Sorry for the picture quality as these pics are scanned.

Dad's one room bungalow in the summers, with all the unit families
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Dad's bungalow in winters
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Other officer's accomodation
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Our officers mess
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Old 4th June 2010, 12:31   #21
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Amazing, simply amazing! Bro, that is one hell of an experience. For a minute, even I though you're a goner.

Reading this, and a couple of other threads, of yours makes me wonder what you complete memoirs would be like!! Waiting for chapters three and more.
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Old 4th June 2010, 13:00   #22
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Once again ***** worth and awarded. Really interesting, funny and a very good memoir. Will stick to it....

regards
Punzabi
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Old 4th June 2010, 13:02   #23
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After listening that it was just a training happening I relaxed a bit. That explained why after even 3 shouts no one actually came looking for me. I was escorted to the tent and was told not to come out again. As I lay in the bed I started smiling, what a fool I was made today!!!
you should be if you think about this now. I did laugh a lot , great going deky
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Old 4th June 2010, 13:26   #24
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Default Chapter Three: My Love For Suru River And The Consequences

Since I was a kid I always have been fascinated by rivers, mountains and streams. I think they are the best creations of God. I think no two mountains seem alike and no two rivers sound alike.

Same was the case in Kargil. Every morning after getting ready I used to sit on a rock behind our tent and look at the mountains through my binoculars. Checking out if the snow had increased or decreased overnight on the peaks or just watching the cattle graze on the mountain slopes. But those mountains looked too high and majestic and I knew reaching them would never going to happen, so I was just happy enjoying them from a distance.

But what I was desperate of was to somehow get to Suru. As mentioned earlier, Suru used to flow just 100 feet below our tent in a gorge. The gorge was steep and reaching it from there was not possible. It was so close and yet so far.

The River was like a magnet calling me towards it all the time, the more I saw it the more I felt I had to get close to it. I started to find out ways and means to reach the river bank. In a few days I realized that just ahead of our unit, there was a small stream flowing down hill that met Suru. With my little knowledge of streams and rivers beforehand, I knew the best was to reach Suru would be via this stream. The stream was almost dry and climbing down the rocks would be much easier than going down the cliff.

Though I knew I could do it alone but I did not want to take a chance of being caught for breaking rules again, I really could not afford it.So better sense prevailed on me and I asked my Dad if he would take us down via the stream to Suru. Dad did not give me a definite answer that time, maybe he wanted to check the stream route himself.

A few days had passed and there was still no reply from Dad, I kept asking him for the answer every day and he kept saying he would let me know. I got no support from my sister on this issue as she was quite happy sitting in the tent in her free time and reading her books ( she was preparing for her 12th boards that time). To gather more support for my cause I collected all the other kids from my unit and asked them to ask the same questions to their respective Dad’s. This was in the hope to put more pressure on my Dad from all the side.

Anyway I think this tactic worked. Dad announced on a Saturday that tomorrow we are all going for a full day picnic by the banks of Suru. The picnic was not just for the families of our unit, the other families of the other units were also invited.

The picnic by Suru turned out to be fun. All of us actually went down via the stream and reaching the river turned out to be a very simple affair. The unit arrangements were superb. Apart from the food they also carried down tents, mattresses, pillows and a bbq. Sports and games were organized for us kids and fishing lessons were given.


It turned out to be one hell of a day, thanks to My love for Suru!!!

Now a few pictures of the picnic
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Memoirs Of Kargil, Year 1990-scan0010acrop.jpg  

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Old 4th June 2010, 13:39   #25
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Dhiraj,

Have been following your travelogues religiously . you really have a wonderful style of narration and great choices of places.

About time you being made a 'Distinguished Bhpian'
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Old 4th June 2010, 13:40   #26
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deky, excellent travelogue. Which among the five kids are you in the picture?
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Old 4th June 2010, 13:45   #27
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I guess the one standing next to the river in a blue shirt
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Old 4th June 2010, 14:01   #28
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Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
Amazing, simply amazing! Bro, that is one hell of an experience. For a minute, even I though you're a goner.

Reading this, and a couple of other threads, of yours makes me wonder what you complete memoirs would be like!! Waiting for chapters three and more.
Even I thought that was it, but luckily it wasnt it I lived on to tell the story..lol.

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Originally Posted by Punzabi View Post
Once again ***** worth and awarded. Really interesting, funny and a very good memoir. Will stick to it....

regards
Punzabi
Thank you

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Originally Posted by ranjith.rajaram View Post
you should be if you think about this now. I did laugh a lot , great going deky
I was, i really felt like a fool in front of the Bhaiyya.

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Originally Posted by Rajesh Rawal View Post
Dhiraj,

Have been following your travelogues religiously . you really have a wonderful style of narration and great choices of places.

About time you being made a 'Distinguished Bhpian'
Thanks for the appreciation, D-Bhpian is too far off, let me atleast have 1000 posts first.

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Originally Posted by gopikb View Post
deky, excellent travelogue. Which among the five kids are you in the picture?
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I guess the one standing next to the river in a blue shirt
Yup the tallest one, rest all kids from the unit.
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Old 4th June 2010, 14:38   #29
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Great write up Deky. Waiting for more to come
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Old 4th June 2010, 15:01   #30
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Nice memoirs Deky.
It's amazing that most of us can remember all things from our childhood but forget what happened yesterday!
Rated 5*! Waiting eagerly for the rest of the chapters!
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